Holidays are meant to be relaxing, but world events may mean travelling abroad is too stressful for you to contemplate right now. Even staying safe holidaying within the UK can be a challenging prospect if you’re worried about COVID 19.
So why not holiday at home instead this year? Read on to discover some inspiring ideas for a truly relaxing staycation to leave the anxiety behind.
Even in an ideal world travelling on holiday can be a stressful experience, from planning the trip to packing to negotiating traffic or airports to worrying if the weather will be fine for your long–awaited trip.
A staycation, given a little planning, can be a relaxing time and a great opportunity for some crucial self-care. Stay at home holidays are also a great way to save money.
Because reducing stress has been proven to benefit the immune system, it makes so much sense to unwind during these anxious times.
Your home may have become your sanctuary during lockdown, but chances are it’s also become your workplace or the kid’s schoolroom. So if you’re planning a staycation, you’ll need to take some time to prepare beforehand so you can view your home as a relaxing place again.
This can be easier said than done, but it’s vitally important you allow yourself the luxury of forgetting about work for the duration of your staycation. If your work/life balance has become blurred over the past few months, make sure you let your boss or clients know you’re not going to be available. Put an ‘out of office’ on your emails and mute any Whatsapp workgroup notifications. Don’t feel guilty – this is your time and you’re entitled to take it.
Put away your work computer, tablet and phone, in a closed cupboard or box in a separate room if possible, so they’re out of sight and you’re not tempted to log on. You’ll be back refreshed and ready to tackle work in good time.
As far as your personal phone goes, ideally mute this too, and schedule in specific times to check any messages or missed calls.
One of the joys of holidaying is trying delicious food, often from other cultures. So why not make a menu plan for your staycation, scheduling in some dishes from around the world and cook them as a family? Combine your meal with some delicious themed mocktails or juices, along with a movie or documentary based in the country of your choice, or a destination-themed family quiz.
The great thing about cooking at home is you can include lots of immune-boosting veggies in your meals. This isn’t always possible when eating out in restaurants when often all you get is a sad side salad, overcooked vegetables or worse still none at all. Many restaurants now deliver quality food, so if you do treat yourself to a meal ‘out’ at home, in just a few minutes you could add a dish of steamed vegetables for an extra nutritional punch.
One of the safest ways of getting out into your local area is to spend time in nature, known to boost mood, assist relaxation and even improve your immune system. Many people have found spending time in green spaces extremely beneficial during lockdown.
Grab some binoculars and visit a local nature reserve; pack a picnic and spend the day by your local river; try your hand at kayaking or take your bikes into your nearest woodland.
Sleep is often overlooked in a busy lifestyle, yet it’s crucial for good health. Too little sleep increases the production of stress hormones, suppresses your immune system and is even connected with heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Use your staycation as a golden opportunity to catch up on some sleep. But remember your body thrives on a regular sleep rhythm, so try to go to bed at a similar time each evening and allow yourself the luxury of waking up without your alarm.
If you share your home with others, dig out those family board games, plan a camping trip in the garden; watch a streamed theatre production or take part in an online quiz night.
Schedule in some quiet time and dust off any books you’ve been meaning to read for ages, brew up a turmeric latte and get stuck in. Another great way to relax is to turn your home into a spa. Light some candles, make your own natural facemask, soak your feet in Epsom salts and relax.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and stress in these challenging times and would benefit from some one-to-one support using nutritional and lifestyle strategies to improve your physical and mental health, contact me today.
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