With three effective vaccines available, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be on the horizon. Nevertheless, health experts caution that now is not yet the time to ease up on restrictions intended to keep the infection rate at bay. The virus has already started to mutate, and more infections could lead to variants against which the vaccines are not effective. This could serve to prolong mitigation efforts that have already lasted more than a year.
Self-care is arguably more important than ever during a pandemic, yet it can be a challenge due to restrictions in place to stop the spread. In particular, travel is not advised, which limits your ability to take a much-needed vacation. However, with a little creativity, you can enjoy a staycation that is just as restorative as a trip away. Here are some tips to make that happen.
Make Your Home More Fun
Maybe you've been thinking about some sort of recreational improvement to your home. Now may be the perfect opportunity to research inground pool prices or install a basketball hoop. As an added bonus, you can continue to enjoy improvements such as these long after the pandemic is over.
Set Clear Boundaries
Chances are that you have been working from home for several months now because of the pandemic. When you work from home, it is difficult for other people to understand the difference between work time and personal time. If you're not going away for your vacation, some people at work may still misunderstand this to mean that you are available to deal with work issues.
You need to set clear and reasonable boundaries with people at work and be assertive at enforcing them. Make the same arrangements you would make if you were going out of town. Keep your phone and computer turned off, and be clear that you are only to be contacted in a genuine emergency.
Vary Your Activities
For the first few days of your staycation, it might be fun just to sit around doing nothing. However, this may become boring very quickly. To make your time off feel more like a vacation, you should plan some fun things to do. Each day you should do something a little bit different. Maybe one day you binge some favorite movies or television shows, the next day you try a new exercise or outdoor activity, and after that, you relax and pamper yourself with a home spa day. What you do is up to you; just try to make it something enjoyable that you don't usually do.
A normal staycation offers you the opportunity to enjoy cultural activities in your own community. However, many of these have had to close or limit admittance due to COVID-19. On the other hand, many cultural institutions from around the world have adapted to the current state of things by offering virtual events. Examples include online concerts and virtual museum tours. You could visit the Louvre and see priceless works of art, such as the Mona Lisa, without ever getting up off your couch.
Camp Out at Home
Nothing feels like a vacation like sleeping out under the stars. If you have a backyard, you don't have to go far to do it. Even when there isn't a pandemic, backyard camping is often better for families with little kids because they don't get homesick or overstimulated by doing something that's too new, and they can go inside to use the bathroom as necessary. If you don't happen to have a backyard, you can still simulate the camping experience in your living room. Unroll your sleeping bags, set up a tent or a blanket fort, turn off the lights and grab a flashlight. For extra authenticity, you can play a selection of nature sounds.
While the pandemic may be over soon, your self-care cannot wait. After the stresses of the past year, you need a little break, and these are some creative ways to take it.