Staycationing and Giving Yourself a Break

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While the term itself may be new, staycations are the opportunity to take a break from reality while still living in it. How one specifically defines what a staycation is to them can vary, but so long as it’s somewhere familiar, involves a significantly relaxed pace, and does not involve your everyday routine, it’s a staycation. Unlike vacations, they come without the stress of planning an itinerary, or meeting schedule times like flights and tours, but they still come with that temporary escape that gives your brain the break it needs.

As an opportunity to relax, staycations can have several benefits to your mental health. It’s a reminder that you’re allowed to pause when things get overwhelming, giving your mind the chance to distract itself on things that aren’t taxing or daunting. Stress can manifest itself in physical ways too, so taking the time to breathe can have a positive effect on the tight knots and tense muscles as well. And while escapism is one purpose of staycations, it’s also the chance for reflection. There’s no looming tasks to distract you during this time, and by relaxing, you can also have the opportunity to think about why you have been feeling the way you feel in an unassuming, peaceful environment.

For those who can, staycations can be especially luxurious by staying in a fancy hotel nearby or booking a spa session to fully indulge in relaxing. These don’t have to be the only options for an escape, however. The following can be some other options:

Have a DIY spa day: Sure, it’s not actually going to the spa and having someone pamper you, but getting a face mask, putting on your favorite playlist, and dropping a bath bomb in the tub can have a similar effect.

Rearrange your space: Staycations keep you in a familiar environment, but it’s still the chance to escape, so if you can, you can move things around and pretend as if your living space is someplace completely new. Furniture rearrangement is one option, but you can also make yourself a blanket fort, or simply light a few candles.

Explore nature (weather pending): If you live near somewhere with trails or near a park, you can take a couple of hours to go with a friend, family member, or even just yourself and your headphones, and walk or bike surrounded by trees and green.

So don’t pack your bags and settle in somewhere you know, and let your mind take the vacation it deserves.

Further reading:
https://medium.com/thrive-global/9-steps-to-a-mental-wellness-staycation-6bdf5aca54d0
https://www.bustle.com/p/how-a-staycation-helped-me-with-my-anxiety-why-you-might-want-to-try-one-too-7580043


Have you ever taken a staycation? How would you plan a staycation if you were given a few days to yourself? Do you think taking one would benefit your mental health?

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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