For some of us, our homes are our sanctuaries. Being able to travel has taken on new meaning and traveling for leisure will be something we contemplate as we deal with health and safety issues of recent times. When will it be safe to travel again? What will that look like? That question is yet to be answered.
Homeowners are installing pools, outdoor kitchens and home gyms at record rates. We long to be outside and enjoy the summer and adding amenities to our homes is one of the answers to maintaining social distancing and crowds that come with outdoor venues. Some of us are challenged by work furloughs or lay-offs and that makes budgeting for a vacation or a trip not possible.
You need sabbatical time, it is part of being human. Our children don’t understand why we can’t afford to go to Disney this year, let alone what a pandemic is, and we are tasked with creating a substitute to replace annual trips. If you don’t have a pool, that doesn’t mean you need to install one. Think back on when you were a kid and what you did to entertain yourself. Kids these days might find doing things solo as foreign. What we are doing to cope right now is unprecedented. We are not used to sacrificing in the ways we’re experiencing now.
First things first. If you aren’t ok, nothing will be ok. Take care of you.
First – Self-Care
People have reported higher levels of stress-induced fatigue: Essential workers are likely overworked, underpaid, and worried about the possibility of catching Covid-19; parents might be exhausted with around-the-clock child care; and in general, people could be emotionally fatigued due to the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of the pandemic. (Nguyen 2020)
Working from home is not what we imagined. Cognitive work takes energy. You’ve got to create real mental breaks for yourself or you will burn out quickly or worse, affect your mental health. If you are working from home, it’s easy to lose track of time.
The self-employed or those in work from home situations before mandates to stay at home have already experienced these challenges and have created optimal situations to get work-related tasks done. Some professionals are even thriving during this time. Go back through your networking rolodex and find some of those contacts who seem to be weathering the storm in positive ways and reach out to them.
Too Much Time on My Hands
Did you ever think you’d have too much time at home? Everyone has a different narrative. Children are playing and needing, barking dogs are barking at all the wrong times, the a/c goes out, your PC dies. The interruptions are endless. By making a plan, you are able to track what is going right and navigate rough days with retrospect. Create a schedule and do whatever you can to stay to your plan. If you need help, ask for help whether it’s from a spouse, a sibling, a parent or a service. If your mental health is being affected, then it is time for intervention.
Back to Basics
Most of what we tell ourselves, we believe. You’ve got to train yourself to think differently about your circumstances. If your self-talk says, “Life is awful, it’s never going to get any better, I’m never going to financially recover from this”, then you’re telling yourself a self-fulfilling prophecy. That old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” is not without merit, it’s time to get out the juicer.
We can also create a reality check and remember traveling is nice, but it’s not without incident or price. Packing, unpacking, missed flights, lost luggage, cruise ships that break down, and rain the whole week you’re at an outdoor venue can wreak havoc on the best planned vacations. Many times, we return from vacation saying we need a vacation from our vacation. Savour your at-home time and create a hassle-free staycation for yourself.
Staycation Ideas that Create Therapeutic Value
If there are children in your picture, plan meaningful time for both them and you. Hire a sitter and plan evening activities or a movie night while you and your significant other go for an early evening bike ride and picnic dinner. Invite a few friends if that feels right. Have grown-up talk and share adventures and misadventures. There is nothing more therapeutic than grown-up group therapy with an adult beverage.
There are an unmitigated number of ideas of what you can do for stay-at-home entertainment on websites like Pinterest or YouTube. Do something intentional and meaningful. Make a “bucket list” of the things you’ve always wanted to do to improve your mind, body and soul and start working your way down the list. To help you get started, we’ve included a downloadable PDF that will get your imagination and inspiration ignited.
We’re Here for Your Health Emergencies
While you are working on creating your to-do list of life experiences, know that we’re here for your physical well-being. As an emergency room we care for all of you in all the right ways while you are with us. Enjoy each day fully and remember we are here 24/7 365 days if your staycation includes an unexpected medical emergency.
Nguyen, Terry. “How to Have a Fulfilling Staycation When You’re Sick of Your House.” Vox.com. N.p., 05 May 2020. Web. 25 July 2020. https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/5/5/21246989/coronavirus-travel-staycation-at-home
Nemko, Marty. “The Case for Staycations.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 17 Nov. 2015. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-do-life/201511/the-case-staycations