11 RELAXING STAYCATION IDEAS FOR A MUCH-NEEDED BREAK
By Rebecca Paredes
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy
Summer travel may look different right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your time at home. Now’s the time to turn “staying in” into a self-care staycation that helps you feel recharged, relaxed and centered — because you deserve some R&R. Here are some of our favorite staycation ideas to make it happen.
11 RELAXING SUMMER STAYCATION IDEAS
1. GO BACKYARD CAMPING (OR LIVING ROOM GLAMPING)
No crowded campsites or curious critters here. Just pitch a tent in your yard (or your living room) and bask in the comfort of knowing that if you forgot something, you can just run back inside. Bonus points if you pack your favorite camping foods and enjoy them al fresco. We’re big fans of keto snack plates or these easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy Lemon Coconut Energy Bites.
When you’re used to summering poolside, sunbathing is the next best thing. Sunlight is great for you:
- It helps your body naturally produce vitamin D, which supports immunity, muscle function and strong bones.
- Sunlight stimulates your serotonin levels, which results in more positive moods.
- Getting enough sunlight also supports your body’s circadian rhythm, your natural sleep-wake cycle. That means getting enough sunlight can help you fall asleep more easily.
All this to say, stretching out for 15 to 20 minutes in the sunshine is an easy form of self-care that feels luxurious.
3. COOK A NEW RECIPE
Cooking right now looks different for everyone. If you feel like you’re in a rut, take this opportunity to cook for pleasure with new and delicious recipes that you’ll want to come back to again and again. Here are a few of our favorite recipe ideas for the ultimate staycation:
- Sleepytime Tonic: This dairy-free riff on moon milk is a traditional herbal remedy for anxiety, stress and insomnia — AKA the perfect thing to sip when you want to unwind and chill out.
- Adaptogenic Turmeric Latte: This dreamy latte features ashwagandha powder, an adaptogenic herb that helps you manage stress. Learn more about the benefits of ashwagandha.
- Keto Pancake Cereal: It takes time to make many tiny pancakes, but you’ll be rewarded with a bowl of goodness. Do it for the ‘gram.
- Spaghetti Squash Patties with Avocado and Poached Egg: Brunch, anyone? Layer two breakfast all-stars with roasted spaghetti squash, and you get a recipe that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
- Paleo Summer Buddha Bowl: Seasonal vegetables take center stage in this vibrant (and vegetarian!) bowl.
4. … OR DON’T COOK
If you’re burnt out on cooking, make the most of your summer staycation and order takeout from a local restaurant. Visit an old fave, or try something new. Bonus points if you take it outside and eat it picnic-style.
5. GO ON DIGITAL DETOX
You already know that spending tons of time on your phone isn’t good for you. Overusing technology affects your productivity and well-being. If you’re glued to news reports and your Twitter timeline, a staycation is prime time to disconnect — even if it’s just for a short while.
You don’t have to ditch technology for an entire weekend. Instead, try these easy ways to disconnect:
- Stay off your most-used social media platforms for a day.
- Put your phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode. Place it in another room while you focus on something else, like reading or meditating.
- Don’t look at screens after dark. Journal, go on a walk or call a friend instead of video chatting. This is a great way to manage blue light and boost your sleep quality. Find out why blue light is messing with your sleep.
6. TAKE TIME OFF
Start your staycation on the right note — i.e. letting your coworkers know that you’re vacationing from home and no longer working from home. If you can, give yourself a three-day weekend. Set an out-of-office message. And resist the urge to check your email until you’re back in office.
7. EMBARK ON AN IN-TOWN ROAD TRIP
It’s time to break out your favorite road trip playlist. If you want to hop out of your car, check ahead of time to see what public spaces are open (and follow social distancing guidelines). Or drop the windows and go on a scenic drive. Don’t forget the road trip snacks — Collagen Protein Bars are perfect fuel for any adventure.
8. FIND YOUR INNER ZEN
Yoga is associated with reduced stress, better sleep and an improvement in well-being — and it’s really easy to add to your routine. Don’t worry about mastering downward-facing dog right out the gate, either — there are plenty of beginner-friendly practices you can try in your living room with zero equipment (although a yoga mat or towel spread on the floor can help). On YouTube, Yoga With Adriene offers a variety of free practices by length and skill level, or hop into CorePower Yoga’s live practices.
And for those moments when you really need help finding your zen, try Zen Mode. It’s a stress supplement that’s designed to help you reach new levels of zen with adaptogenic herbs and nutrients. Think of it as calm in a capsule.
9. USE AN ACUPRESSURE MAT
Acupressure is a treatment that stimulates trigger points along your body, without any acupuncture needles. It’s a relaxing way to unwind, but you don’t have to wait for a spa day to try it. The Sleep Induction Mat is designed to stimulate acupressure points along your back so you feel refreshed, relaxed and full of feel-good endorphins. Learn more about how an acupressure mat works.
10. GIVE YOUR SLEEP ROUTINE THE FIVE-STAR TREATMENT
You have a morning routine, but what does your bedtime routine look like? If it involves any combination of “staring at screen” + “not feeling sleepy,” it’s time to treat yourself to something new. Take full advantage of your staycation time and sleep like it’s your job. And no, this doesn’t mean sleep in until noon (although, hey, you do you) — this means give yourself the extra care and attention you deserve to boost your sleep quality. Here are some ideas:
- Dim the lights after dark, and if you look at screens, use Night Mode or low brightness.
- Make your room as dark as possible. If blackout curtains aren’t an option, turn off electronics in the bedroom and wear an eye mask. It should feel like a cave.
- Get a sound machine with ocean noises to feel like you’re sleeping in the tropics.
- Take a shower or bath one to two hours before bed — it may help you fall asleep more quickly, according to a 2018 review.
- Take Sleep Mode about 30 minutes before bed to relieve stress and help your body wind down with plant-sourced melatonin.
Try these Bulletproof Sleep Hacks for more tips to get the best night’s sleep, ever — even after your staycation ends.
11. PICK UP A HOBBY
You finally have time to whip up that complicated recipe you’ve had saved for ages (or make trendy Dalgona Coffee). Dig into your garden. Craft something beautiful. Jog on an open trail. Doodle.
There are no rules during your staycation, but plenty of time to explore new activities that bring you joy — and really, that’s what a vacation is all about, even when you’re staying at home.