It is not often that I have a day off, or two for that matter, with nothing to do. If I use a vacation day, it is typically because I am either traveling (most vacation days are spent in the car), attending a conference/training, or on rare occasion, going on an actual vacation. The last time that I had two days off with no real plans was two years ago, when we happened to have back-to-back snow days at SLU. Being snowed in during a major storm is a bit different than having two beautiful summer weekdays off. I was sort of at a loss for what to do.
I started by doing what I know best. Making a To-Do List for my two days off with all of the "fun" I wanted to squeeze in. Nothing says "I don't know how to relax" more than planning out one's relaxing. Am I right?!
The list looked a little something like this:
- Clean apartment - Check
- Go to the beach - Check
- Read books - Check
- Watch the Olympics - Check
Target trip (with it's own list)
- Work on dissertation - Sort-of Check
- Clean out fridge
- Clean out closet
Get shoes for Maria's wedding
- Drink coffee - Check
- Get in two runs - Sort-of check
- Take naps - Check
- Play with kitties - Check
- Watch Treme and send back to Netflix
- Finish blog posts
Go to the mall Get more Gu from Sports Authority Makeup from Bare Minerals
- Sleep In
But I did manage to check off a few of the other things, both fun and errands/chores. Yes, even on my staycation, I had chores on the list. Between my running schedule and work, I haven't had so much time to keep a tidy house, and several rooms were in need of some TLC.
A few highlights of my staycation:
I got in two morning runs, followed by this amazingly healthy breakfast. Check out how well I eat when I have time to cook.
The nice weather let me open up all of the windows, which made the cats very happy. Always a plus when I can watch them stalk squirrels and birds from behind the screens.
Took a walk to the beach, and managed to stop and check out the Little Free Library on Lake Dr. So cute! We are actually doing a walking challenge at work. It is amazing the steps I got in on my two days off. So much more time for physical activity. Plus, you get in a TON of steps cleaning with all of the back and forth between rooms.
Walked through Atwater Park.
And down to Atwater Beach! So beautiful.
I stayed at the beach for probably about an hour, and managed to get sunburned, despite sunscreen application. While there I multi-tasked reading a book and checking updates on the Olympics via Twitter. Crazy, yes.
A few reflections on my staycation experience.
1. I am really uncomfortable with just relaxing, because I so rarely have time to do it. I pride myself on being good at "going with the flow," but I seemed to struggle with a lack of structured time during my day off, and had to create a schedule/structure for myself. Perhaps on another staycation I can try a different route.
2. Sleeping-in just didn't happen. I really wanted to sleep late, but between Chris and the cats morning routine (yes, my cats seem to have a strict schedule), I got up at my regular time. The benefit of this is that I got my runs in early before it was too hot, and I was able to catch lots of Olympics coverage.
3. I could not resist the urge not to check my e-mail. I only logged on once, but then panicked when I saw how full my inbox was, and immediately began responding to stuff. Which then resulted in some of my coworkers yelling at me to stop responding. So I did log out. Oops.
4. Post-vacay led to me being super overwhelmed when I got back into the office. That wasn't fun. I need to find some better coping mechanisms to deal with that so that I don't immediately regret taking time off.
5. I would like to attempt to disconnect from social media on a future vacay/staycay. I actually probably used social media even more while off this time, again, mainly because of the Olympics. I think I would be a lot more refreshed if I turned everything off for a bit.
And finally - I am thinking that four years from now, I'll just take the full two weeks of the Olympics off. That Olympics fever really gets me...
How do you spend your Staycations?