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Mental Health Break - Make your staycation feel like a vacation

Sometimes the best vacation is no vacation! Learn how to transform your ordinary surroundings into an extraordinary experience.

Perhaps the thought of planning an elaborate getaway fills you with just the sort of stress you are trying to escape. Maybe your budget for this year’s vacation is frugal given next year’s Australia extravaganza you’re still saving for. Either way, you don’t have to leave your home to take a relaxing and rewarding break from work. You do need to plan ahead to make it magical, however. A bit of thought can allow you to have an unusual experience in your usual digs, and banish all thoughts of the everyday.
 
During any vacation, the temptation can be high to take a quick digital peek into how things are going at the office. So make it impossible. First, temporarily remove your work email from your personal phone. Next, implement your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature to prevent unwanted calls. Remember how no one could reach you that time you went to Europe? The world didn’t fall apart, did it? Your time is just as precious on a staycation. Plan ahead so that all your work responsibilities will be covered in your absence. Then you won’t need to give it a second thought.
 
What do you think of when you think of home—comfort, or chores? Usually a bit of both. But not this week. Splurge on a housekeeper to come in during your last day of work and make everything spotless. And have them do more than just tidy. Get all the laundry done. And give them a budget to spruce up the place with flowers and candles in all the right places. Those thoughtful touches set the tone that this is no ordinary week.
 
Do things differently. Are you a fan of art galleries, but have no idea what’s available close to home? Do some research and come up with an itinerary. Your hometown may not be home to the Mona Lisa, but surely there are other artistic treasures guaranteed to make you smile. Find out about them—and visit them. Take lots of pictures on your outings, to preserve these special memories.
 
Dinner time can be a highlight of holiday sojourns near and far; there’s no reason your staycation should be anything different. Look up recipes you have always wanted to try. There’s no reason to stick to your standard dishes. During those daily outings, pick up unique ingredients you have never tried before. If you have a spouse or roommate to share this special staycation with, shake things up a bit. Cook meals together—or agree that on alternating days, you will provide “room service” to one another.
 
Enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience and remember that, with a bit of creative ingenuity, everything you need for a fantastic vacation may be closer than you think.