The best vacation at this time of year is the one that keeps you at home. Yes, it would be great to sip a Pina Colada on a beach rather than suffer in this winter torture, but the stars have aligned and this may have been the vacation that I needed – the Stay-cation.
A Staycation is a vacation at home instead of an exotic destination. It gives you time to relax, reflect, and get those things done that never get done anyway.
I recently found a new job which allowed me to have a very tasty two weeks off as a stop-gap in transitioning from one workplace to the next. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with the many things that COULD be done in this time.
I could have been: Pushing with the social media for this blog, writing ten articles, challenging myself with photography assignments…so…
The Staycation began with the ring of my alarm clock at 9:00am on the first of January. Taking a swift right jab at this damned alarm, I decided it best to get things started around 11…or 12. With day 1 being a complete wash, I pledged that after I recovered completely from my hangover and severe case of acute procrastination, I needed to get Sh#t done!
Now in wrapping up the first week of my Staycation, here are 5 ways that I ended up keeping busy, staying productive, and still enjoying my time off:
1) House Keeping
It’s hard to write blogs when sharing a chair with dirty laundry and unopened bank statements. Cleaning the house has freed me of a feeling of clutter and discomfort both in my head and in my bedroom. A clear mind is necessary for meaningful work, and with this break, a clear mind should be top priority.
2) Find a Productive Environment
While instincts tell me to hibernate at home during this time of year, forcing myself out of the house and into a cafe pushed me to get work done and be alert. No longer was Netflix, cold beer, or Uber Eats in arm’s reach. By making an effort to go to a new cafe or bar every day to get work done, allowed me to enjoy doing work on my own terms.
3) Take Some Time for Carefree Fun
It’s completely unrealistic to think that this break is supposed to have no fun at all. Refreshing my creativity and creating new perspectives comes from taking timely breaks and enjoying things like movies, art, new experiences, and hanging out with the crew. While it might not be productive, it’s my therapy and gives me the refuel in energy I need to push harder the next day.
4) Work in segments
Dividing up work allows for you to feel a sense of accomplishment by finishing many small goals instead of chipping away at one big one. This was a handy tip I learned from a colleague who worked in short bursts to maximize how much energy he had while working. Breaking up work into do-able chunks kept me motivated and still accountable to finish tasks until the week was over.
5) Get Something Down on Paper
There’s a real mental commitment that happens when you put a pen to paper. It takes a lot of confidence and inner strength to fight anxiety, the fear of failure, and laziness to write those first words or type those first few tags for a blog post, story, to-do list, or last-minute essay. Bridging thoughts with action stops you from experiencing those long stares at a blank Word document or surfing through the lesser known corners of Youtube. Know that at the end of the day you can quantify what you actually did…Who knows, you might come up with something brilliant or something so horrible that you rethink your career path and give up on life, (just a joke /sad tightrope that I mentally walk everyday)
Wish me luck on this next week of my Staycation and let us know how you spend your vacations at home and if any of these tips actually make any sense.