Tired of carrying emotional baggage? Can’t afford a spontaneous flight away from your problems? Here’s how to get the break you deserve, at home and with minimal effort — an emotional staycation.
1. Disconnect to reconnect
This one feels almost impossible, but it’s essential. In an increasingly technological world, we constantly receive stimulation from our phones and laptops.
Work emails, texts from your parents, even random spam calls bombard you with obligations and dampen your day off. So treat your staycation like an actual vacation and minimize your phone usage.
All the time, people disconnect on remote trips without cell service. So don’t worry about going off the grid for a couple days — the world will still be there after your recharging session.
Even better than using pure willpower: turn your devices completely off, or put them in airplane mode. You can always check for important notifications at a single designated time each day.
Keeping attentive to your notifications gives you continuous cortisol bursts through the day – not the right fuel for a peaceful emotional staycation.
2. Room service, please!
Stock your fridge with high quality nourishment, like pre-made snacks and bottled drinks. Create your own mini-bar without the guilt-inducing prices.
On a real trip, you’d be paying for a hotel room or AirBnB, outside meals, souvenirs, etc. So don’t give yourself a hard time for stocking up on snacks that will help your mental and physical wellbeing.
This can help you indulge on your staycation without worrying about where and what to eat.
3. Splurge wisely
Funds that would have been spent on a flight or a hotel can be used toward enriching your staycation. Allocate money to eat out or order in so you’re not stressed about the effort, timing, or cleanup of cooking. Perhaps you can take a mindfulness class to learn grounding skills. Rent a mood-boosting movie that’s not on Netflix. Get a massage. Or try some new spicy food to feel an endorphin rush.
4. Let your mind do the wandering
Instead of figuring out the complex subway systems in Tokyo, check out a few escapist books from the library. You can rent a few from your local library right before your planned staycation — free and easy. Sometimes an escape from reality is exactly what you need to enjoy your time off.
5. Be mindful of your connections
It can be difficult trying to relax when you’re constantly talking to others. Maintaining social connections can be tiring for introverts, but extroverts get drained too – at the very least, always being connected takes time away from self-reflection and meeting your own needs. That loss of personal time can build up and contribute to stress and burnout.
Try minimizing the effort it takes to engage with others. Make a list of friends who are easy to talk to, kind of like an inner circle of trust. Or, turn to the internet, where you’ll find safe spaces to talk freely without self-consciousness or embarrassment.
Forums and anonymous online chatrooms can provide freeing social interaction, without any worry of judgement – the perfect way to avoid feeling isolated while staycationing.
Go forth and recharge your batteries! And remember, staycations aren’t as labor intensive, overwhelming, or expensive as real vacations — make time to rest and take care of yourself frequently, and your emotional health will thank you for it.