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Summer is my favorite season and it always gets me excited to try new things. It makes me daydream of traveling to exotic locations and having adventures over the summer. However, those trips are expensive and exhausting. I’m all for making memories but tracking halfway around the globe can be stressful when you have anxiety like me. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely still room in my life for adventure and I hope there is in yours too. However, there’s also a place for resting and recharging at home. If your mental health is in need of a reset try out these ideas for an awesome mental health summer staycation.
There is no housework or chores allowed while you are on a staycation. This is one of the few hard and fast rules and it must not be broken! Prep for your staycation by cleaning up, doing laundry and getting done any annoying adult tasks that might need doing. Treat yourself to a housecleaner during your staycation if you can afford it. There is nothing more luxurious in life than having someone else change your sheets. If you can’t afford something like that (girl, I hear you) just put in some extra time to get your house in order before your staycation begins. You want your house to feel relaxing and refreshing to be in. Remember, there is NO ADULTING while on your staycation so get whatever it is that needs doing done so you can get some R&R. Once your habitat is in order, make a list of all the activities you can think of that would be fun or relaxing and use it to plan out the itinerary for your staycation.
Get Some Killer Books
I love everything personal development but this is your staycation so you should get what you really love. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trashy romance or re-reading Harry Potter for the 100th time, grab the books of your choice and head outdoors. I am blessed enough to have a hammock in my backyard but if you don’t have such luxuries head to a park and spread out a blanket. Reading in the sun is my favorite way to start the day when I am on actual vacations so I always incorporate it into my staycations.
All The Food
I prefer to eat all my favorite foods while in my staycation and then do a super healthy “detox” the week after. One of my favorite things about vacation is being able to eat whatever I want without feeling guilty. Try some new restaurants in your own town to have a whole new experience without leaving your area code or grab your trusty comfort food favorites and kick it at home with a movie. This is your mental health staycation so do whatever makes you feel refreshed and relaxed. I personally love to get takeout from my favorite Mexican restaurant and eat it while watching reruns of Gilmore Girls. You could also go the healthy route and challenge yourself to eat healthy for a week. I’ve been adding tons of fruits and veggies into my diet and I honestly feel like a different person.
Your staycation obviously needs to include some spa time. Do a yoga sequence or guided meditation to really help you get into the spa vibe and make yourself some of that fancy water with cucumbers in it. Rock a big comfy robe and slippers. Put on a face mask and paint your nails. Slather your hair in leave in conditioner and rub coconut oil all over your body. Watch a chic flick on Netflix (I love Legally Blonde) or play a spa playlist on Pandora and bask in the pampering.
Try Something New
One of my favorite things about traveling is that I’m always pushed out of my comfort zone and into trying new things. Sign up for a trial at a new gym, try a new food or try out a new dance class. Look up Groupon deals for your city and go do something you haven’t done before. Sometimes doing something new can shake you out of a funk and help you reset your mental health even if you’re still in your hometown. It’s easy to get beaten down by the grind of the day to day and that’s why a staycation can be so good for your mental health. It’s an opportunity to bust out of your daily routine and do things that really make yourself feel good.
It’s freaking summertime and that means you need to get your butt outside. Lookup parks in your town and go to any that you haven’t been to before. When I did this I was surprised there were so many that I didn’t even know about. If you don’t have access to any parks find a coffee shop or restaurant with outdoor space and post up for the afternoon with a good book. Go on a bike ride or a walk around your neighborhood. There is something about just being outside that can really help me reset my mental health. Spend some of your staycation getting in some quality outdoor time when you would usually be adulting or doing annoying chores.
Summer means a good chunk of the year is already over and that means it’s the perfect time to reflect. What were your goals for the year and are you on track to reach them? Do your goals still feel like things you really want to achieve? If you don’t have goals now is the perfect time to write some. Spend some time daydreaming about what you would love your future to look like and brainstorm some steps you can take to move you in that direction. It can be intimidating to go after big dreams but just taking small steps can help you start getting the momentum going. A lot of time the hardest part is getting started so plan out the first steps and make a commitment to yourself to get started. This is also the perfect time to do some self-reflection, you can grab my free mental health journal below.
I hope these give you some ideas to help you plan your own awesome staycation. Make sure to incorporate whatever your favorite things are and to have strong boundaries about not doing any chores or work. A staycation can be just as relaxing and exciting as a real vacation if you have strong boundaries and don’t let your adult life creep into your self-care time. It’s important to have time to yourself so take the opportunity to have some guilt free fun.
I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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