While I’m all for encouraging a warm-weather winter vacation if you live in a cold climate like Chicago, sometimes it’s just not in the cards. It’s that time of year where winter is dragging on and it’s so easy to feel kind of blah. Even though I was just on vacation, I’ll admit that I had a bit of a culture shock when I came back from Australia… After three weeks in the sun, it was such a contrast to be dropped right back into the rain, snow, and ice-cold temperatures. Talk about a buzz kill! But since I’ve been back, I’ve been making more of an effort to bring some of that vacay feeling into my regular routine at home.
When you think of a staycation, your mind probably goes to staying at a hotel in your home city, right? While that can definitely be one way to do it, it’s totally possible to have a staycation right from your own home. To me, it’s a little less stressful than packing up your things (and paying for a nearby hotel), but to be fair, it can be a bit harder to disconnect from your everyday when you’re in a familiar place.
For today’s blog post with Seven Daughters, I came up with seven tips for rocking your staycation – from home or hotel. For me, it’s all about fun and spontaneity, and I’m sure you can relate. When I’m home, I’m typically such a creature of habit… I tend to go to the same coffee shops, the same workout classes, take the same route to work, etc. I think the trick to mastering a staycation is to totally deviate from your regular routine! And just like when you’re planning a vacation, I think it’s best to go into your staycation with a little bit of a plan. (Just so you’re not getting stuck wondering what to do and getting sucked in to your regular routine!) Hopefully these ideas help…
1. Explore More
It’s easy to fall into hibernation mode when it’s raining sideways, but if you’re someone that recharges more by exploring and inspiration rather than R&R, getting out and doing things is essential.
Act like you would on vacation… You’re probably not one for hanging around the hotel room when you’re away, so wake up and seize the day. Find a new coffee shop in your ‘hood or venture to a new part of town!
Get lost on foot exploring a neighborhood or two, visit a museum, rent a bike, get tickets for a movie or show, go ice skating, try a restaurant that you’ve been meaning to try forever. Break the routine and try something new! Act like a tourist in your own city.
*If you do want to book a hotel or AirBNB for your staycation, book one in a totally new neighborhood that will feel like you’re in a different town entirely!
2. Totally Unplug
This one is easier said than done, but I highly encourage a weekend where you keep your phone and internet usage to a minimum! Just as you would on vacation, put your phone on Airplane Mode or Do Not Disturb. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter (raises hand!) without even meaning to sometimes, try deleting your apps for the night or the weekend. I think you’ll be shocked how much better you feel after a little break!
3. Live a Little
Just as you would on vacation… get the wine, order dessert. Embrace the #TreatYoSelf mentality! So often when I’m at home, I go into this mode of healthy eating and really limiting my drinking, but it’s okay to live a little, you know? If you’re out to dinner, order the bottle. And if you’re relaxing at home, crack open a bottle of wine that you normally wouldn’t. Just like you would on vacation, care a little bit less about calories, rules, and the “shoulds” or “should-nots,” and just do what brings you joy.
4. Spa Day
Again, this is one you can go out and splurge on or DIY at home!
Draw a luxurious bubble bath or get some bath salts to soak in. Light a candle, read a book, flip through a magazine, listen to a podcast, play some relaxing music, or simply just soak in (and soak up) the silence. Make sure to have a fluffy robe to cozy up in after you’re out!
And when in doubt, add a nice glass of wine! The Seven Daughters Pinot Noir cans are the perfect match for the bathtub… No need to worry about breaking glass in your bathroom! (Or you can pour it into a glass to feel a little extra fancy… Whatever floats your boat!)
In addition to a bath, toss on a face mask and a hair mask, too. (Check out this post for my must-have masks!) Give yourself a mani or pedi, dry brush, exfoliate, slather on a body oil, etc. Whatever feels luxurious that you normally don’t make time for, do it!
5. Binge Material
Maybe you’re always on the go and a weekend at home mastering the art of doing nothing is just what the doctor ordered. Just be sure to ignore all things work and household related – no computer, no laundry, no dishes, no errands.
Instead of getting sucked into re-runs or whatever’s on, rent a movie you’ve been wanting to see! Binge watch a show you’ve been meaning to check out. Stock up on glossy magazines to flip through. Go to a local bookstore and find a book to get lost in over the weekend. Plan ahead so you don’t have to do a thing!
And since you’ll need some snacks… Popcorn pairs perfectly with Seven Daughters Pinot Noir! I’m all about that “Chicago mix” of cheddar + caramel. Can’t go wrong with salty & sweet!
6. Get Outside
It can be hard when it’s so chilly, but just as you would on vacation in a cold climate, bundle up and get your butt outside. If it’s above 40 degrees, you can usually find me on the lakefront path in Chicago! Between the fresh air and beautiful views, I always feel 100% recharged after a walk on the lake.
7. Revisit Your Hobbies
On vacation, it’s always a little bit easier to reconnect with your hobbies. You make time to take a tennis lesson, practice yoga, play golf, attend a cooking class, play a card game, etc. While the weather may not allow for some of these outdoor activities, you can always try to find an indoor alternative in your city! (Or if all else fails, just go bowling instead.)
If I’m trying to have a relaxing weekend at home, I almost always cook a more elaborate meal for myself one night. (If you cook a lot during the week or are usually cooking for your family, this might not sound as appealing to you.) For me, I really do like cooking (and baking!), but I rarely make time to cook anything that takes more than 20 minutes during the week. (Or really, anything that requires a recipe, to be honest.) So if you enjoy planning and creating a well-thought-out meal, do that!
Hopefully these seven tips inspire you to find a little bit of that vacation state of mind without hopping on a plane!
Here’s another little something to keep in mind…
I took an online course last month that encouraged us to start asking, “What seems like the most fun thing I could do right now?” So even if you’re not devoting a whole weekend to a staycation, you can still find some ways to bring a little extra dose of fun to what you’ve got on your agenda. That can look like blasting music when you’re cleaning around the house, answering emails from a café instead of my desk, writing from a chic hotel lobby instead of on my couch, going out to get coffee instead of making it at home, taking a little walk around the neighborhood to clear my head before getting started on work, coloring and listening to a podcast instead of turning on the tv, etc. Finding these little ways to incorporate more joy into my everyday has been a game-changer! And it truly helps to break the mold and channel that vacay mindset. 🙂
What are some of your tips for savoring a staycation?! Would love to hear!
And don’t forget to pick up some Seven Daughters before your next staycation… You can find it at your local Whole Foods, Binny’s, Mariano’s, Jewel, and Uncorked.com!
Created in partnership with Seven Daughters