Even before COVID-19 hit, many people had begun cutting back on their discretionary expenses, with one of the first cuts being annual vacations. One great alternative to your annual holidays is the stay-at-home-vacation, otherwise known as “staycation.”
What is a Staycation and What exactly do people do?
A staycation is a fun blend of the words ‘stay’ and ‘vacation,’ and it means just that- having a vacation where you already stay.
In a staycation, you will enjoy your daytime, making trips to local attractions and spend the night at home. Visit museums, botanical gardens, zoos, go for a road trip, restaurants, hiking parks, and other local attractions. You don’t have to leave your home to enjoy a staycation; you can also enjoy an indoor staycation with fun things like watching a movie, having a dance party, making art, etc.
This type of vacation recently saw a sharp increase in popularity because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and other factors like the downturn in the economy. Not to mention the hassle of planning a holiday and high cost of gas during summer, which takes half the excitement of a holiday for most of us.
The critical saving point here is on accommodation since you sleep in your bed at night. But you also save money on transport since you can walk, cycle or ride to your destinations. You also get the chance to save on food. For instance, you can pack picnic lunches, and have breakfast or even enjoying dinner at home.
Research shows that introducing mindfulness practice into your life effectively reduces the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. What better time to try mindfulness than on your staycation?
Here are the best mindful ideas to make the best out of your staycation
1. Deviate From Daily Routines
Enjoying your staycation requires you to change your daily routines and truly make it a relaxing period.
Stay away from doing the laundry, cleaning the garage, and any other household chores or projects. Set up a professional out of office message for your email, set your phone on silent, and don’t forget to turn off reminders and your alarm clock. The goal here is to have a wonderful time just as you would on a typical vacation.
Smartphones are essential components of our Lives because they keep us informed and connected to other people. However, smartphones can be overwhelming, with studies showing that they negatively affect our health as well as our social and intellectual lives.
This is worrying considering 63% of Americans check their phones the first thing when they wake up in the morning and the last thing when they go to bed.
The main objective of a vacation is to help us relax, increase our happiness, and improve our emotional stability. Going phone-free does just that. It allows you to decompress, and recharge.
What is the last time you went for a few hours without your phone? You probably don’t remember, and even if you do, chances are being without your smartphone left you feeling uncomfortable or even anxious.
Take a break from your smartphone during your staycation even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. Carley Schweet, a mindfulness expert and self-care coach, says that going without phones even for 30 minutes will help you be more relaxed, improve our happiness and even mental well-being. Use the time to enjoy your environment to be mindful of the things closest to you.
3. Practice Mindful Eating
If you usually enjoy eating out on your travels, do the same during your staycation. Keep reminding yourself that even if you’re at home, you’re still on vacation.
Eliminate distractions such as your phone and TV to help you practice mindful eating on your staycation. Don’t rush your meals. Concentrate on how the food makes you feel.
Whip out your expertise in the kitchen with new recipes, flavors, taste, and textures. If you have a partner, this is a perfect opportunity to try special date nights with different types of food.
Do not turn your back on local restaurants, especially during these harsh economic times due to COVID-19. Order in or visit your local restaurants to try their savory dishes. After all, trying new restaurants and foods is one of the highlights on vacations, and your staycation doesn’t need to be any different.
4. Cleanse Your Aura
An aura is a rainbow-like electromagnetic energy field that encloses a human body, animal, or object. Your aura is attuned to your health and emotions and is directly linked to your mental energy or higher spiritual body.
Every person has distinctive auric fields that are interconnected with one another. This explains why sometimes you get inexplicable gut feelings, such as when we say,” I really have a bad feeling about this.”
Your aura can be drained by the people you spend your time, or your situations such as; unfulfilling jobs, family problems, toxic relationships, all of which are normal parts of the 21st-century life.
Two of the best ways to cleanse your aura is to do mindful meditation and yoga. Other simple, fun activities such as walking in nature, clearing out your space, dancing, Epsom salt baths are also effective in removing negative body energy and unclogging your mental energy. Applying essential oils like Lavender and Jasmine on your temples, wrists, and behind your ears is another great way for cultivating positive energy.
5. Zen Out Your Space
Since you’re not exposed to a new environment on a staycation, it is essential to bring that new positive energy into your own home. Having a mindful space at the comfort of your home is just as effective as practicing mindfulness itself but without the usual difficulties of being in an unfamiliar environment in a vacation.
The best thing about creating a mindful space at home is that there is really no single right way to do it. Usually, a quiet corner is good to start with, so the first thing you need to do is to declutter your space.
Designate a dedicated, mindful corner in your house by removing any distractions. You can choose an area with plenty of natural light or even a cool dark space if that’s your preference.
If you decide to go with natural sunlight, make sure that the temperature is not too hot, so you don’t have to keep getting up to adjust the temperature. If darker places are more relaxing for you, use candles or lamps to provide mood lighting.
Amber-colored Himalayan salt lamps will create a perfect ambient glow for your meditation, yoga, and other mindful practices.
6. DIY Spa at Home
A trip to the spa is a definite part of most people’s holiday vacations, so why not create DIY home Spa and enjoy some self-care during your staycation?
Granted, it will not be the same without a therapist on hand, but you can achieve a more relaxing experience than only getting in your bathtub with cucumber slices over your eyes.
Try the Abhyanga self-massage, which is a full body massage that uses essential oils. Start massaging yourself in straight and circular motions, applying even pressure from your feet all the way to the top of your body. You can also use circulating movements from the center of your body outward, gently working your fingers throughout your body.
There are many types of Ayurvedic oils you can use, although essential sesame oil is considered the traditional oil for this type of self-massage.
Your environment will factor in on how relaxing your self-massage session is going to be. Comfort and warmth are the two most important ingredients for a truly relaxing spa experience at home.
Scent and aromatherapy are significant as they trigger happy memories and kick-start relaxation in our bodies. Try to remember your favorite massage oil or scented candles from your last spa visit and use them. Music and lighting are also equally important. Take it up a notch by using self-heating eye masks, which are incredibly relaxing.
Don’t forget to treat yourself with a unique facial for beautiful skin and a more relaxed state of mind.
Most of us go on holiday to escape our daily lives and relax. Staycations are a great alternative to unwind at the comfort of our own home without the hassle and expense of travel.
Mindfulness practice takes staycation to a whole new level of relaxation and fun. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to save for an entire year to do it. Enjoy mini staycation on weekends, evenings and any other time you need to unwind.