Vacation is awesome, isn’t it? That sand in the toes, untucked shirt, relaxed feeling? Ahhhh…I can almost hear the waves. Yet, because of COVID, many of us are choosing to quarantine. Which means that those days at the beach or exploring distant lands are not happening right now.
What to do? Sit home and feel sorry for ourselves? Not on my watch. Instead let’s find ways to make your daily life feel more vacation-like. Some call it “Staycation”, I call it adding joy to your everyday life. Building in mini joy moments is something I strive to do every day, no matter the state or health of the nation.
How To Vacation From Home
What makes vacation so wonderful? It can’t only be the surroundings and location, can it? Nope. There are 5 specific things that make vacations so spectacular. In this post I explain each and include an “At Home Challenge” so you can start now. Join me in making your every day life feel more vacation-like today.
1. Structure without Drama.
On vacations, we plan or schedule without the added mental drama of daily life.
Things still need to get done on vacation. Clothes need to be washed, food needs to be purchased, dishes need to be cleaned and put away. At home these things seem heavy and full of drama (why won’t he help me empty the dishwasher? How come I’m the only one picking up around here?!) While on vacation we tend to see what needs to get done and do it without all the heaviness or drama. Dishwasher needs to be emptied? We do it. Clothes need to be washed, let’s throw a load in.
Why isn’t there drama? What’s different?
Uh….it’s that we don’t add drama. When vacationing, we’re more likely to come together to figure out how the different daily tasks are going to get things done. Who’s going to shop? Who’s cooking and on which nights? Who will clean up the dishes? There’s recognition that we’re all on vacation, mom and dad included, and a team effort is needed. At home, these tasks usually fall on one person (historically the female), and if people do chip in, the mindset is that you’re “helping” that person out instead of fulfilling a shared responsibility.
AT HOME CHALLENGE: Plan ahead of time. Come up with structure without the drama.What sorts of things did you approach as a team on vacation? The dishes? The meals? It worked there, why wouldn’t it work at home? Sure family members may resist at first. That’s normal, it’s a new routine and they’re used to you doing it all. That’s okay. Choose to view your household as a team. On a team, all team members have responsibilities. Where in your life do you have drama around basic tasks? Where do you find yourself asking others to help out? (emptying the dishwasher? Doing the laundry? etc…) That’s a good area for you to start with a plan.
2. Adult Fun is Allowed:
While on vacation, adults take time for fun. They allow themselves a “beach read” or to sit and do a puzzle. You might spy an adult sitting on the porch gazing at the beach or the trees. We might even do the Soduku in the middle of the day.
AT HOME CHALLENGE: Make time for these things in your “regular life”. Allow yourself to sit and gaze. No matter where you live, beauty can be found. Question why we even call certain books “beach reads”? Fight back and read one when you’re not at the beach. We don’t always need to be efficient, learning, and striving. We can read something just for fun. We can do something just for fun. We don’t always have to me moving so fast. Pause to look up at the sky. What do you enjoy doing on vacation? That’s a great clue as to how you can add some adult fun and mini joy moments into your days.
3. Senses are Honored:
When on vacation, we are more mindful with our senses. We take time to stop and smell the roses. We pause to look at the view. We touch each other. We usually slow down to taste our food. We say yes when our partner asks to take a walk.
AT HOME CHALLENGE: Think of which senses you use while on vacation and brainstorm how to add some into your daily life. My landlocked house has so many ocean and water pictures that, if you were to come over, you’d have no doubt as to where I love to vacation. I consciously diffuse oils that are fresh, uplifting, and outdoorsy. When weather allows, I open the windows to invite the feeling of a beach breeze in my house. How can you add mini-joy moments to your senses? When traveling to Thailand recently, we brought home some spices to flavor our food here. Touch your partner as you pass each other. Consciously slow down to use your senses.
When you wake up on vacation and have a full day planned of picnics, beach time, hikes, or shopping, do you think: “Oh my, it’s going to be such a busy day”? Hopefully not. You probably think something more along the lines of: “I have such a full day”. The thought “I’m so busy” generates stress and overwhelm while the thought “I have a full day” can generate excitement. It reminds you that your day ahead is a day you designed and has aspects in it that will bring you joy.
AT HOME CHALLENGE: When you wake up to a full day of work, kids activities, and a long to do list, be intentional with what you tell yourself. Instead of saying: “I have a busy day” or “There’s so much I have to do today” make the shift to say: “I have a full day” or “I’m choosing to do a lot today”. It will make all the difference in how you feel in your day. On a vacation we tend to take more responsibility for what is going on in our days versus in day-to-day life we tend to look outward to blame others. Spoiler alert: We have choices as to what we’re doing in our day and what goes on our calendar. You’ll feel better the less you speak of your day as if you’re a bystander (I’m so busy) and more of a active participant (My day is full).
5. PEOPLE PLEASURE:
Whether you go on vacation with your partner, your kids, your girlfriends, or your extended family, you undoubtably take some time to find pleasure in the people you’re around. You consciously put your phone down to pay attention to the person you are with. You probably listened with more of an intent to get to know about the person’s current life experience. You were probably interested in what was happening in their life and listened to what they thought about what was happening in their lives. The result? Your relationships deepen and you are more connected.
AT HOME CHALLENGE: Consciously choose to be in relationship with those around you. Listen with the intent to understand. Put your phone down more often. Ask more questions. Give less advice. Close your mouth and open your ears. Get curious. Look that person in their eyes. Ask yourself how you can create pleasure and connection with the people around you.
Okay warriors, there are 5 different ways that make vacation wonderful with 5 specific things you can try at home. We really can make our everyday life more vacation like. The name of my podcast and the goal of my business is to get women to live lives they love: whether at home on a regular old Wednesday or while exploring remote lands. Choose one of the at home challenges and get started today. If we want things to be different, we need to do things differently. Leave a comment below as to which ones you will try. Better yet, head over to the private Warrior Women Facebook Community where we discuss each week’s podcast live every Thursday. We’d love to have you join in!
Important Note: All of these vacation feelings and experiences do not apply if you’re in a dysfunctional relationship or life situation. If you’re reading/listening and thinking, “Susie, my vacation sucks. My life sucks”, this post is not for you. I invite, beg, encourage you to contact me for coaching. For years I experienced a life where it didn’t matter if we were on vacation or at home, my life was not fun and pausing to look at the sky or breathe in an essential oil blend was not enough. This post would’ve created shame and furthered my negative feeling about myself and my situation. That is not my intent. Your situation is not your fault but it is your responsibility. Reach out to a coach by the end of this week. You are not meant to be living in such pain.