Updated: Jun 27
I find myself working more now than before the quarantine. Days are long and stress is high. I originally thought I was going to have more time to do other things besides work while staying home, but it has been the opposite. By Friday I am exhausted. A vacation day here and there is absolutely needed.
Are you taking a vacation the middle of the quarantine?
I took two half days off this week and learned that unless you plan what is that you are going to do during the time "off" you most likely will find yourself working like any other day. That is exactly what happened to me on my first attempt to take a vacation day.
Now I know better. So here are my best tips for you if you are planning to take a day or a few days off while staying home:
Plan ahead how are you going to use your time off,
Turn all notification and alarms off,
Turn on the out of the office notice in your email and
Take a break from the news for a couple of days.
And here are some ideas for a stay at home vacation:
Enjoy outdoor time:
As weather also starts to warm up, it’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy some outdoor time. Go for a walk or a run, play with your kids outside, get the BBQ going, or just seat outside with a drink in your hand. No matter what you decide to do, get outside, get some fresh air and some vitamin D.
You might not be able to go a national pack but you can take a camping trip in your own backyard.
Take an online class:
I know many people would not think about taking an online training on a vacation day. Seems like something you would do at work. Well, now is a great time to focus on your personal growth. Think about what skills you want to develop and look for an online class you can complete. There are so many options available, many of which are totally FREE.
This weekend for example I will be taking a photography class. Nikon is offering free classes this month of April. Last week I took a leadership and personal development class and I have also tried cooking classes online before.
Travel (virtually) to a new place:
Had to canceled spring break travel? I know it’s a bummer but take the opportunity to travel virtually to some place in your bucket list. Many museums are offering FREE virtual tours. You will amaze by how many YouTube videos are out there that will take you on a virtual tour to your favorite places in the world or check out Google Maps for 360 views of the most amazing landscapes in earth.
Try a new recipe:
Tired of eating the same every day? Last week at our house we went on a tour around the world at dinner time. I searched in Pinterest for recipes from different countries and every day of the week we ate a traditional dish from a different country. We made recipes from Spain, Mexico, Honduras, Greece, Japan and Cuba. It did take a little planning ahead of time but it was worth it! We got to experience other cultures and flavors and it was fun looking for the recipes and cooking.
Get your personal finances on check:
Now that you are home is a great opportunity to take look at your finances. Cancel any services or memberships you might not be using, like that gym membership that you can't use since you are not able to go to the gym. Take a look at your spending and try to find opportunities to save, or even you can try to put a budget together.
Invest time on a current or new personal project:
I use my weekends and days off to work on my blog and my podcast. Is on the days off that I work on producing new content, recording and editing my podcast and scheduling all my social media post for the week. For you might be side hustle, a hobby, a craft, etc. Think about what personal projects you have been putting off due to the lack of time and invest some time working on them. Specially if those are things you enjoy, what a better way to spend your day off than doing what brings you joy and fulfillment!
Read a book:
Relax, lay down or sit outside and read a book, or try listening to an audio book while you go for a walk around the neighborhood. You can get two free audio-books when you get started with Audible! Looking for book recommendations? Check out some of my favorite personal, career and leadership development books.
Video call with your family:
We use the term social distancing, but we should call it physical distancing. Physical distancing doesn't mean social distancing. You can still connect with family and friends virtually. Leverage technology to stay connected and check in with your love ones.
Through a virtual party:
Who said you can't have a party? Using video conference technology like Zoom you can through your own virtual party. Invite everyone to grab a drink and host a happy hour. Play games online via a video call like Pictionary or trivia. Host a vision board virtual party or a happy hour book club. Get creative!
Prepare a time capsule:
One day, this that we are living today, will be included in history books. Future generations will learn about COVID-19 pandemic at schools as the time the world slowed down.
Imagine how cool would it be to look back in time 5, 10 years from now and remember what happened, maybe tell stories to your kids or grand kids. This time capsule activity can be specially fun if you have kids home. Check it out!
Support local businesses and avoid having to cook for a day:
You might find yourself cooking more than you have ever have. How about taking a break? Order some food at a local restaurant. You can support your favorite local businesses while you enjoy a delicious meal without the hustle of cooking and cleaning.
Self-care day / spa day:
You might not be able to go to a spa, but you can bring the spa home. Turn your bathroom into your own personal spa.Take a relaxing bath, put a face mask, eye mask, get your own manicure done, take a foot massage, take a yoga class in your living room, make some spa water; in summary just pamper and treat yourself. Here are some of my favorite self-care products to create your very own spa experience at home.
Have your own three-day film festival.
Pick a theme then bump them to the top of your Netflix queue or check for them at your local library and stock up on a supply of your favorite movie snacks.
Get that spring cleaning out of the way:
Is that time of the year! Typically, I am too busy with schools and other activities with my kids that every year I struggle to get this done. This year might be the year that I get to do it all at once in one day or over a weekend.
Take on a house project or do some yard work:
I must admit that we are not the handiest at home. Typically, we just hire someone to take care of any home improvements. But if you are the handy type and you enjoy doing home projects or maybe, like me you are not handy at all but want to give it a try, now is the time! Go to YouTube and search how to do that project you have been pushing off for a while.