Right now I am sitting in a cafe in Toronto.
I hear: smooth french jazz
I smell: a mix of fresh croissants and melted cheese
I taste: a hot almond lattée
I see: mountains of pastries and bustling professionals taking a much needed caffeine break
Yes, I live in Toronto. I have some time off – and instead of galavanting off to an exotic destination (though I do LURRRRVE doing that too) I have to say I am happy with my decision for a staycation. Remember back to the post I did on the difference between a holiday and a trip? Well I guess this adds another level into the whole mix. If it was on a continuum, the staycation would definitely be more on the side of the holiday as there is some self care and relaxing involved in it, but its also a little bit productive.
I decided that I wanted to take some time in my own city to simply get some things done that I always want to do! For example, if you follow me on snapchat you know I went for my first ever blowout (Ah-ma-zing). Also a couple of times now I have taken a full on spa bath mid-day with epsom salts and a face mask – the whole sha-bang! It’s these little things that I find I always want to do but never have make time for; I always feel pressed for time. I want to blog, do a little learning, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in while, or maybe I just want to be at home and snuggle my little puppy.
I think having a staycation is REALLY rejuvenating! I feel like its a great way to press the “reset” button without the added stress of planning a trip or really spending that much money. A friend of mine actually is completely on the edge of burnout and NEEDING a serious vaca. I told her to just book some time off, tell people she was going to be unavailable for two weeks (giving the illusion that she is out of town so that people don’t call, text you know – ruin her zen 😛 ), and then do things she wants to 🙂
Whether you are taking time off before you start your new job, taking vacation time or planning out a weekend here are some things to keep in mind to make the most of your staycation!
- Use the first time block to CHILL OUT – I don’t care what you’re taking a break from, how burnt out or relaxed you feel, you REALLY have to take a little time to do nothing. If this means laying in bed all day and eating ice cream straight from the carton “do yo thang”! I think the first little while you simply have to give yourself PERMISSION to relax and decompress; I gave myself the first two days out of a two week break. Depending on how long or short your break is will dictate the time of the “relax” mode. This lets your mind and body mellow and close the door from whatever you were doing right before you took time off. This won’t last forever though, so light them candles and have a glass of wine!
- Get sh*t done – I don’t know about you, but I am a serious LIST person (maybe this is inspo for a blog post?). There are always a million and one things on my mind and on my to do list! After the relaxation period is over you need to get yourself organized! [spacer height=”20px”]Make two lists: one for “things you need to do but never have time“ and one for “goals to complete/make progress on during the time off”. The first is really more of a glorified errands list. Think about it though, when was the last time you could sit down and pay all the bills, get groceries or actually wash – dry – fold – AND put away laundry all in one day! I like to get these things out of the way before I get into everything else. This actually helps me to really focus and ENJOY all the other things I have going without the little nagging voice in my head saying (when was the last time you did a deep clean of the kitchen or you should really consider organizing the storage unit in the basement). After those naggy but necessary things are done, move onto the fun list; I think its fun anyway 🙂 On my list I have work on my online course, write blog posts in advance, and work on other passion projects I have on the go. YES, I do work on these things when I am not on staycation mode, but I never am able to do it during the day time hours or when I feel most creative! So this is def. a luxury.
- Mental preparation – This last step is KEY so you don’t go into full blown melt-down mode when you have to return to work (or whatever you were taking a break from). YOU MUST PREPARE! Something I put into this category is – yes it will be hard – to go to bed at a reasonable time. Even better, try and train yourself to go to bed earlier that you used to before the staycation! I am guessing if you’re anything like me you always intend to sleep early and end up tuning into Scandal (or really ANY other Shondaland material 😉 )! My bad – I do that too often!!! Anywhoooooos – try to go to bed earlier – try to get back into the routines you need for your “every-day life” but amp them up to improved versions to start creating good habits. Believe me, it is SO MUCH EASIER to create new habits when you’re rested. You will definitely thank yourself for the preparation when you do go back to work and you’re not craving for that midday nap or a full on gourmet breakfast each morning 😛
Happy staycation – ing!