A Stay-Cation can be a great way to gain rest and rejuvenate yourself and get your creative juices flowing. I had more to say about Stay-Cations than I realized. Here is Part II in the series.
- Read. I know tons of people who love to read and who do not have time to. I have a commute, so I listen to a lot of books, which is great, but that is a different experience from reading a book the old fashioned way. Now, most of my experience with reading a book for pleasure is “stolen minutes”—a few minutes before bed during the week, the last little bit of my lunch hour, etc. Sometimes, a lot of time passes between my reading sessions and I have to reread to reacquaint myself with the book, and it takes forever to finish one. I remember when I had less going on finishing an entire book in a week or less. I remember my pre-teen and adolescent years spending an entire weekend day lying around the house with a book. It’s such a rare experience now, I equate it with pure luxury. So, if you also like to read, treat yourself to a new book or two, and then on your stay-cation, give yourself plenty of time to read. Read while sitting at an outside table at a café if the weather’s nice or in a lawn chair in your yard. Bed and the bathtub are also good reading spots. Enjoy the luxury of time to read without being rushed!
No time for the stay-cation, but want the benefits: Eat lunch at your desk, and then go sit somewhere with your book. If you have a spot near your work, you will get almost your entire lunch hour to delve into your book. Do that all week, and you have five hours of reading. As an alternative, go to bed an hour earlier a couple of times a week, and spend that hour reading. Possibly an even more fun alternative is to take yourself on a solo date in an evening or on a weekend to visit a bookstore or library. Take time to browse. Take in all the different sections and genres. Get a coffee and flip through a magazine or hide out in the corner and read a novel for an hour or three.
2. Finish up a project or work on a hobby. I have lots of hobbies. Sometimes, I do them regularly and sometimes, months pass before they get my attention. A couple of months ago, I went to a quilt retreat and spent a few days sewing. I finished several projects, but not completely. One quilt still needed a couple of borders. One needed the back pieced. I didn’t think I would get to do those things until I was able to take some time off. I wanted big blocks of time. Then, I started on a Sunday afternoon just to see if I could make a little headway, and I finished the borders and the back in a couple of hours. So, how does this fit into the Stay-cation idea? Well, I’ll start with the retreat concept—you can set aside one or more days of your time off to devote to your hobby. Plan what you will work on and make sure you have your supplies ready to go. Set a goal that’s doable for the amount of time you have. Plan how long you will work on the hobby and when you will take breaks. Maybe you want to write a novel outline and write the first couple of chapters. Maybe you want to put together a simple quilt top to use as a wedding gift. Whatever it is, plan it and get ready. Then, on your stay-cation days, enjoy the luxury of having hours to spend on the hobby you enjoy.
No time for the stay-cation, but want the benefits: Try my Sunday afternoon trick (also easy to insert into an evening after work or a Saturday. Work on your hobby for a couple of hours. Don’t have a couple of hours? Commit to twenty minutes a day. That will add up to a chunk over the course of a week. You aren’t committing to doing it forever—just for a week to reignite the joy you have in practicing your hobby.
3. Go to a movie. I love going to see movies in the theatre and it just doesn’t happen very often. Weekends are busy and it is difficult to hit a movie in the midst of everything else that needs to happen on a Saturday or Sunday. When I was a kid, we didn’t go to the movies as a family very often, and when we did, it was a special occasion. When I was older, going to a movie with a friend was a big treat—a mark of adulthood since we were going without our parents. Then, when I first started working, I would occasionally take a vacation day and make a point to see a movie by myself in the afternoon. When I was in graduate school, one of the professors encouraged my class to see a movie every week simply to de-stress. I think I continue to carry all of those lovely associations with a movie in the theatre—it’s a fun, special, treat, a de-stressor, a step away from “real” life. If I go, I want to make sure I am seeing something I am really interested in, and bring money for popcorn and candy.
No time for the stay-cation, but want the benefits: Look at your calendar and pick a week night to go after work. Figure out dinner or if your teeth won’t rot and your diet won’t derail, have popcorn and a thin mint for dinner and enjoy the luxury of a movie during the week. If that’s not doable, have movie night at home. Pick a show or two on Netflix, and make sure anyone you live with knows that’s the plan for the evening, so they can join you if they want to. If you go the home route, just make sure that you create the movie theatre experience by silencing your cell phone and giving movie time your full attention.
I love hearing how others approach stay-cations Please share your thoughts in the comments. Next up: Stay-Cation Ideas Part III, the final installment in the series.