Do you remember, in the depths of the recession, when the media kept using the word “staycation”? It was cute for a minute but then you just wanted that word to be forever banished from the vocabulary of every television anchor in existence. It was nice to see families cutting back on spending, and while I am all for exploring your own city on the cheap, there is just something about the idea of the staycation that bothers me. More than a vacation, staycations tend to promote the idea of focusing on what is important in life. They promise to help you take a break from the daily routine and enjoy the small things around you. But shouldn’t we be doing that regularly?
Think about the reasons you love vacationing. Now try and implement those specific details into your normal week. Is it lounging around having an adult beverage with friends? Host a little after work shindig for your peeps. Is it delving into a good novel? Toss up a hammock in your backyard and spend some quality time with Steinbeck (my favorite author). Maybe your favorite aspect of vacationing is really bonding with nature. Go for a mid-week hike!
Here are a few thoughts to help you carpe diem with your newly minted leisure time:
Start slow. Its pretty difficult to go from a packed schedule to enjoying the small things consistently, so start off with a twice a month commitment. Hopefully, you’ll eventually make sure that at least once a week you are treating yourself to some vacation style activities.
Don’t cancel. It is incredibly easy to bail out on your newfound leisure time because of work stresses or last minute intrusions. You might say, “Well, I’m only cancelling on myself.” Don’t take the bait! Consider this as sacred time for you to relax and recharge.
Know what fuels you. Know the things that really help you feel rested. For me it is being with people. I never feel happier than after a get together with my friends. For you it could be an hour in the bathtub or a walk through the park alone to clear your head. Know yourself.
We as humans can get in ruts. We easily forget that the best parts of life really aren’t the things. People and experiences are WAY more fulfilling. So take a step back and put your smartphone down. Grab a drink. Have a game night. Enjoy your life – because you aren’t going to get another one. Take advantage of the family, friends, and nature all around you. Fully appreciating those built-in beauties on a more consistent basis doesn’t take much money, it just take a bit of effort. You can change your lifestyle to reflect your real priorities more and more. Good luck!