In recent years, the idea of self-care has gained exponential popularity and traction; as society’s growing acceptance and openness around mental health increases, it’s only natural that we are also starting to talk about recharging, healing, and growth.

According to Travel and Leisure, searches for “self care” on Pinterest rose by a whopping 537% last year. Researchers concluded that the “self-care staycation” will be one of 2018’s top trends.

The Benefits of Taking a Staycation

More and more, people are embracing the idea of a staycation, or a vacation at home. The idea of self-care and taking a staycation go hand-in-hand; when you’re not stressed out with traveling, logistics and time changes, you can focus your energy on taking care of yourself. Ultimately, self-care staycations are meant to bring you happiness, calm you down, and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for whatever comes next in life – just the way a normal vacation would.

Plus, if you’re short on time or money, a staycation is a perfectly affordable way to knock out taking time off while still getting a vacation-y feel.

Preparing For Your Staycation

When you get to a hotel room or an Airbnb rental, it’s usually pristine and stocked for your stay. The same should be true of your home when you’re getting ready for your staycation. Treat yourself like the royal guest you are!

That means decluttering, storing anything you want out of sight, and even giving your home a good cleaning. This way, you can let yourself relax during your staycation, just as you would if you were at a hotel or resort.

So what should you do during your staycation? Here are a few ideas:

Unplug

The point of a vacation is to unplug and enjoy yourself, and the same holds true for a staycation. Turn off your notifications or put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode. Let your friends, family, and coworkers know that you won’t be receiving or responding to messages. You’ll be shocked at how immediately relieved you feel once you let go of the digital world. Try to also stay away from checking the news too much.

Catch Up on Sleep

Perhaps the number one victim of a hectic and stressful life, sleep should be your top priority when taking your staycation. By now, you should know the myriad benefits that come with getting a good night’s sleep. If your sleep schedule is messed up from your traditional work and play schedule, why not take this opportunity to get it back on track?

Nourish Yourself

When you’re uber busy, it can be nearly impossible to feed yourself properly. Food just becomes a barrier to whatever you need to get done. For your staycation, commit to cooking healthy, delicious meals for yourself, actually buying groceries, and maybe even signing up for a cooking class to improve your kitchen skills. If you want to take it to the next level, consider hosting a dinner party for your closest friends (but only if it won’t be stressful for you!)

Find Some Nature

The best part of taking a staycation in your own town is that popular nature spots are empty on weekdays. Whether it’s a refreshing hike, a swimming hole, a scenic overlook, or a mountain biking trail, get out and try to enjoy the world you live in. If the weather’s nice, take your bike out and have a picnic.

Do Something New

It doesn’t have to be skydiving, but it can be whatever exciting and out-of-the-box means to you. Maybe you’ll finally try that restaurant you never go to, because the taco trailer across the street is your daily routine. Maybe you want to take a yoga lesson. Maybe you want to take drawing classes. Whatever it is, give yourself the gift of trying it out. What’s the worst that could happen?

Pamper Yourself

Just as your mind needs some rest, so does your body. Book yourself a spa treatment, massage session, or even an hour with a stretching specialist. Your body will thank you.

Read

And no, we don’t mean scrolling through Reddit or reading your Twitter feed. Read an actual, physical book sans distraction. The feeling of finishing a good book can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying.

Do Absolutely Nothing

Maybe you’re someone who always has ten different things going on at once. Or maybe you’re simply feeling burnt out. If that’s the case, it is okay to do absolutely nothing, whether it’s catching up on your favorite Netflix show or not talking to anyone for a few days. We all need different kinds of self-care, and sometimes, the best kind of self-care is simply to give yourself some space.

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