With Christmas just days away, most of our workplaces close down for a period of time.
Time off work is always a winner, but it can be a pricey nightmare to travel at this time of year. I also know a lot of people’s Christmas celebrations revolve around the city they live in, so they can’t stray too far.
Enter the staycation.
I was lucky enough to have my own staycation a couple of months back. A short break between jobs and extra time around the house sounded blissful to me, but as a Type A personality, suffering from bouts of imposter syndrome, I know I have the tendency to ‘potter’. Also known as: cleaning, cooking, doing boring errands and catching up on my long to do list.
All worthy activities that feel nice to tick off the list, but not exactly a break.
I planned out some activities to keep me occupied and away from the vacuum cleaner and also set some ground rules to bring ease to the period and make it feel different to my everyday routine.
First, the ground rules:
- Enjoy a minimum of 9 hours sleep each night (what a rule!)
- No cleaning
- No social media, just email and my blog reader Feedly
- No worrying or guilt
Then came the preparation…
I knew as a Type A, I couldn’t sit around a dirty house all week with no food in the house. The first morning of the staycation, I stocked the kitchen and gave the house a clean. I recommend the same for you if it will make the rest of your time off more enjoyable.
Now onto my top 5 staycation activities for you to try:
Make spa water
This was a random one I’d read about on a couple of blogs about staycations, but it’s become a fast family favourite.
Making flavoured (or spa, as I’ve dubbed it) water is meant to give the impression that you’re on holiday, drinking something a little tropical and different to the norm.
My personal favourite was sliced cucumber and lemon infused in a jug of water (or mineral water if you prefer some fizz). Stick it in the fridge and enjoy for a couple of days, refreshing as needed. Lemon water is also meant to be great for your digestion and immune system.
Some other combinations I’m keen to try – fresh mint and lime, orange and mango slices, and blueberry and pomegranate. Delicious.
Catch up on media (not social!) with no guilt
Whether it’s piling up books beside our bed or in our Kindle, saving articles and emails to go back to one day, or making a list of the movies we need to see before we die, these fun lists start to morph into ‘have tos’ rather than ‘want tos’.
When I’m busy at work, it’s hard to find the time to enjoy these things, and even when I do, I know I’ve got other things I ‘could’ be doing. Time to ditch the guilt and indulge. Lie around for hours watching box sets, escaping into a book, or catching up on all the Serial podcasts. Take advantage of the time off, and no shame ladies.
Try those classes you never get to
Not all places are open over Christmas, but if you search ahead, you can totally tick some New Year’s resolutions off before the end of December.
Head to that yoga class you always skip (or even do the 10am one on a Tuesday that work always prevents you from making!), try a photography or cooking class – anything you would try on a vacation when you have the time.
Enjoy a 'do nothing' morning
These are the absolute best. Turn off your phone, do not set your alarm, even stash all your clocks out of sight.
Let your body clock wake you up, then stay in bed. Read, stare at the ceiling, do whatever works for you. Again, no guilt!
Visit new cafés and restaurants
Another benefit of the staycation is the time to visit those cafes and restaurants you read about or saved in your phone during the year. On my staycation, I drove across town in the middle of the day (hello, no traffic) to try a new organic café. I honestly never go to that suburb and would rarely drive that far for lunch, but… I had the time…
Plus, often people travel out of town over the festive season, so you might find busier restaurants are easier to get into. Just check the opening hours.
And remember you’ve got at least 9 hours sleep ahead, so again, indulge with no guilt.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone and even if you can’t take time off, consider a weekend staycation sometime soon! You deserve it.