Staycation: Treating Being Chill at Home as an Art.

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staycationPermanent Staycation. Wouldn’t life feel less stressful if it met somewhere in the middle, and we always felt the components of vacation life at home? There really are a myriad of ways to enjoy many of the benefits being on vacation offers us while living our regular lives. Why oh why must we choose between the options we enjoy while on vacation versus our routines when we’re living our normal day to day? Nothing will ever beat a beautiful beach or mountain view with zero responsibility. But we can certainly aim to bring a little more of that vacation serenity into our daily world.

We’ve devised a genius way to maintain being on perpetual vacation even when we’re not. Here are 3 ways you too can bring your vacation choices and mindsets into your typical home life and enjoy a daily staycation.

Foodstaycation

1. On Vacation: I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I tend to eat healthier. While in Sedona at the Enchantment Resort & Mii Amo Spa, I had a shot of wheatgrass juice for breakfast every morning, gazpacho with heirloom tomatoes and avocado for lunch, and a light, healthy dish like salmon over a bed of brown or wild rice with veggies for dinner.

2. At Home: I tend to run out and get a slice of pizza or a burger and fries when I work because I’m usually rushed. For dinner, it’s pasta, turkey tacos, chicken cutlets or leftovers. And while my dinner options aren’t unhealthy, per se, I’m running out of ideas and bored with the same old meals.

3. Solution: Figuring out what to eat three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year is a job for an insane person, or maybe Julia Childs. So, why not join a healthy recipe community like EatingWell. There are thousands of healthy recipes that can help reignite your love of (or in my case tolerance for) the kitchen. How about posting on Facebook, “Any great recipes for dinner?” That typically garners about twenty responses from my helpful friends. And, regularly invite that staycation vibe by taking yourself out for dinner somewhere dreamy. Just stay away from the fast-food joints and overly crowded places. It feels a lot more like a vacation if the ambiance is a bit more serene than a red and yellow plastic interior that serves food wrapped in paper.

Body

1. On vacation: How do you feel about getting up at five in the morning for some outdoor yoga on your back patio or poolside with the chiminea ablaze surrounded by mountains and warm air under a sky lit only by stars because the sun hasn’t even come up yet? Sounds like heaven, right? Or what about a hike through the redwood forest late afternoon? Or even a couple of aerobics classes at the spa before a massage, manicure, or facial? These are the kinds of activities I love to do while traipsing the globe.

2. At home: Wake up, get kids ready for school, scurry into a cold bedroom to throw on some old workout clothes and race out the door to my local (stinky) gym where the classes are packed and there’s a waiting list for the treadmills. Occasionally, I’ll forego the gym for a bike ride down highway 70. If I’m really pressed for time, forget it. I don’t exert one bit of energy save what it takes me to get from the bedroom and out the door to work.

3. Solution: Get rid of your routine. One of the joys of traveling is we tend to be more adventurous, willing to try new things, and much more open-minded. Don’t remove that risk-taking mentality from of your life. Incorporate unconventional activities into your weekly workout. Instead of taking your usual aerobics class at a conventional gym, enjoy a relaxing yoga class with low lighting, calming music, and aromatherapy rather than getting your heart rate up. If you have a backyard space, why can’t you set your alarm to take a few minutes for yourself to replicate the way you began your morning on vacation? Take a staycation from the gym and go outside, enjoy the stars, do a little stretching and smile at how you figured out how to bring vacation home. Or you could really do something different and join a group that practices the Korean tribal art of Kuk Sool Won. When you open yourself to new and exciting activities, you’re not only participating in the novelty of it being different and new, you’re learning about a new culture.

Mindstaycation

1. On vacation: Blah, blah, blah, I can’t hear you. This is my brain on a vacation. Mushy, uncomplicated, and at peace. Enough said.

2. At home: In great contrast to my vacation-brain, at home, it’s in constant overdrive. I have a million multi-tasking facts swimming together naked in an overcrowded pool of sludge. Because I wear several hats ( writer, designer, board member, committee member, volunteer, homeowner, mother of two, etc.) it’s sometimes hard to keep it all together and the stress begins to take its toll. By the end of the day, my brain actually hurts. To make matters worse, before going to sleep I’m in bed reading until my eyes blur.

3. Solution: Whoa, slow your roll. It’s all about treating being chill as an art. If that’s impossible during a work day, maybe it’s more about clearing some stuff off your plate. Or better yet, enjoy a staycation kinda feeling daily by creating a sacred space at work or home where you can calm your thoughts. Set a timer for 10, 20 or 30 minutes where you just sit still and do nothing. And while it’s impossible to empty your brain completely, you can take this little chunk of time to visualize a future vacation place or simply rest your eyes. If this daily meditation trick doesn’t rejuvenate, explore what does for you. Don’t throw in the beach towel until do. Either way, find as many ways to bring vacation home as possible and blur the lines further and further between the two. It’s the life you deserve, and with a little effort and creativity, it’s a life that’s available to you today.

 

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Tracy Shields

Tracy Shields is co-owner of N3 Oceanic, Inc., maker of Res-Q products (myresqproducts.com), a mid-size vitamin supplement corporation whose all-natural, heart-focused health products are featured on radio shows across the country, and endorsed by celebrities such as Frankie Avalon. She has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Cornell University, is a writer, a mother of two awesome boys, and absolutely loves heart-healthy recipes.

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