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august_blog_photo_2020Has anyone else been lamenting their canceled vacations and fearing the rest of the year without a break? Spending their nights crying over a fancy new summer dress that you will never get to cut the tags off? Online shopping for big bags of sand to put in your back yard so you can pretend you are at the beach?

Glad it isn’t just me! This year has been stressful and a major strain on my self-care routine. I think I have single-handedly raised the price of multiple ice cream companies’ stocks. And the most frustrating part for me? I had to cancel a trip I was planning for a year.

It seems petty to complain about missing vacation at a time like this, but I have to acknowledge how important vacations are to helping me stay motivated throughout the year. My favorite part of life is traveling, it’s what helps get me through the long work weeks, gives me a reason to have a workout routine, and stops me from continuously online shopping for things I don’t need. So not being able to travel has left me a little aimless and unmotivated to do anything other than sit on the couch and become depressed.

Top to it off, this month was my 30th birthday. I planned an awesome cross-country road trip with lots of sightseeing and bad roadside attractions. But COVID-19 came and took away my mid-life crisis plans, never to get a chance to properly mourn my twenties again! But I am nothing if not resourceful, and I refuse to let this take away my vacation. So what do I do, you ask?

Staycation! Now I will be honest, I don’t usually buy into this whole staycation nonsense. I have done it before because vacations are expensive, but I usually save all year to take a trip because I hate sitting around my house, pretending like playing video games are as exciting as cocktails on the beach. But I am determined to give it a try!

What fun, exciting, non-clique staycation things did I do?:

  1. Made my own birthday cake because I love to bake
  2. Hung a hammock off my porch and read a book on it, while making my husband fetch me drinks and Cheetos
  3. Spent a full day only eating from local restaurants – I patronized seven businesses because you can get take-out more often than just breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, thank you very much.
  4. Took a fabulous bubble bath in my jacuzzi tub (which I forced my dogs to join in on because dogs in bubble baths make for great photos)
  5. Went for a secluded hike
  6. Did Merritt Facebook video workouts because if I don’t work out, my body gets tired and achy
  7. Meditated every morning to the sound of waves
  8. Made an extensive vegetarian feast

So… I’m sure you’re wondering if this staycation was enjoyable? Of course it was, I was able to have restful sleep, time to myself, and order room service get my husband to bring me delicious food! And bonus, I still had photos to post on the ‘gram because dogs in the bath are just as exciting as vacation pictures. (I don’t need any negative people in my life that will try to tell me otherwise.)

I cannot tell you enough how important taking time out of our routine is! With the stress coronavirus brings, and the added element of not being able to go out and do the fun activities we have gotten used to, it’s so helpful to take time to reset your brain. I’m sure everyone has lots of factors to worry about – kids, not having vacation days, worrying about keeping a steady job – but to me, that is when it is most important to have relaxation time. You aren’t going to be good for anything if you are too stressed to sleep or too sick of being in the same room as your partner to keep your cool when they have eaten the last of the string cheese.

So I challenge you to come up with your own staycation if you aren’t able to go on a trip this year, whether it’s an hour alone on a walk, or a week camping in the back yard with your family. And if you need a little help, chill out with this color page below, it goes great with an old school Britney Spears album and a glass of sangria.