Repeat after me: I can and will design a life I don’t need a vacation from.
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If you are sitting around thinking you desperately need a vacation this post is for you. (I know many of us do after avoiding travel throughout the pandemic for so long) And if you are sitting around not in need but just wanting a vacation and can’t afford summer vacation because inflation is at an all-time high, airfare is through the roof and your income won’t keep up – this post is for you too. I’m here to tell you that if you are yearning and crying out for a vacation, you’re doing it wrong. No, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get away, but you shouldn’t always feel the need to do so. Ideally, you should be enjoying your life every day. And the desperate need for a vacation says something is amiss. Until you’re fortunate enough to be whisked away to a secret paradise island like Tobago, or playing slots In Las Vegas, you need to find ways to make every day feel like vacation even without an affordable summer vacation trip. Luckily, it’s not that hard to figure out and you can do it on a budget! Check it out…
1. Start and end each day with something you enjoy
If you follow me on Instagram you know that reading in the morning and meditation with a bit of stretching at night are both part of my daily routines. No, they aren’t anything fancy but they sure do help make the day more enjoyable. And that’s important when making every day feel like a vacation.
Yes, I know every day won’t be a great one because life isn’t always all about pleasantries. After all, who really looks forward to those boring meetings at work or going to the dentist? However, even if you do have some unpleasant things going on in your day, it doesn’t mean it can’t still be an enjoyable one. You might even be able to make it as enjoyable during summer vacation. So if you can help it, refrain from checking your email first thing in the morning and leaving the most stressful part of your day for night. Instead, start and end each day with something you enjoy so you always have something to look forward to no matter what. Think eating your favorite meal for breakfast or starting an exciting new project at work as soon as you get in. After all, every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day.
2. Practice easy meditation and mindfulness
Some may call it overkill, but I try to practice some form of meditation for a few minutes every hour on the hour. Sometimes, it’s as easy as counting my breaths for a few minutes and other times, I might break out my meditation app and do the five-minute prompt. Not only does it help me calm my mind even in the moments of stress and overwhelm, but it reminds me to be mindful and live in the present. Everything we do is either thinking about the past or preparing for the future. But we rarely, take a moment to actually enjoy the present and what’s happening in the exact moment we are in. And that is a big part of making every day feel like vacation. If you’d like to try meditation and don’t know where to start, check out this book for some tips.
3. Perfect the lighting
It took me a while to understand and accept this, but lighting really can change the mood and ambiance of your environment. (I’ve gotta thank my hubby for helping me realize this.) That’s why there’s always so much thought put into lighting when it comes to decorating for weddings or even designing retail stores. So make sure the ambiance is set for prime vacation mode at home. You can do that by getting a customizable LED bulb. We have this one that can be controlled by an app. It’s pretty cool having the ability to control the lights and make them cool colors like pink, red and even green. If you really want to feel like you’re in paradise, set the lights to flash to the beat of your favorite mellow song.
4. Take advantage of fragrance
Some may be non-believers, but I totally believe in the power of aromatherapy. Whether or not you want to believe it, aroma certainly can affect the way we feel. Think about it. If you smell rotten food you feel sick, yet something about the fresh laundry scent awakens something very calming in you. If you find a fragrance that smells good to you, there’s a good chance it will make you feel good. It might even help you feel that bliss feeling typically found while on vacation.
Find the fragrance that resonates good feelings in you and insert it where ever you can in your everyday life. Put it in your car, purchase the candles in that scent, wear it as your perfume or get a diffuser and fill your home with the aroma. I absolutely love this diffuser from Amazon and tend to use lots of lavender and citrus scents to emit the smell of relaxation and vacation in my home.
5. Explore a new territory or try something new
What’s a vacation without experiencing something new and exciting? You don’t have to go on a safari, but do what you can to open your mind. Try a new food, take a different route home from work or listen to a new podcast.
6. Delegate as much as you can
I think what everyone loves about vacation is not having to do things you don’t normally like. For me, it’s laundry but for others, it may be cooking or cleaning. Whatever it is, try to delegate the task to someone else when you can. Hire someone to clean, get your groceries delivered or utilize a laundry service. Eliminate the tasks in your life that bring your frustration and your everyday life will certainly start feeling more vacation-like.
And if you can’t delegate those frustrating tasks, do what you can to complete them as efficiently as possible. The more efficient you are, the quicker you can get the task done and move onto the things that truly bring you joy. You’ll be that much closer to feeling like everyday is a vacation or a stay cation.
7. Express gratitude
Whenever away on vacation, don’t you have moments where you stop and think about how thankful you are to be there? Or is that just me? Being grateful for the life you’ve been given no matter how imperfect it may be, is a big part of turning your life into a vacation. Take time to remember and acknowledge that there was a point where you wished for the things you have now. It may not be perfect but remember there is always something good in every day.
8. Sleep well
So sleeping in late isn’t always an option in your everyday life. I know that’s one of the great benefits of vacation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the best sleep possible. Ideally, it’s recommended you get seven hours of sleep each night. Realistically, that’s not always an option if you are working long hours, have a household to manage, errands to run and children to raise. So instead focus on making it the most inviting and comfortable sleep you’ve ever had in your life. Break out the white noise machine, invest in the silk pillowcases, find the comfiest pillows ever and use the high thread count sheets. (No, the jersey cotton sheets won’t cut it!) And don’t forget to practice some meditation before drifting off.
9. Get active
I know working out isn’t everyone’s favorite past-time, but you can’t deny the endorphins a good sweat session emits. It doesn’t have to be pushups or running a 5k but find a workout you enjoy doing and spend a few minutes doing it every day. Those feel-good hormones are exactly what you need to fill like you are on your own little mental escape even if you aren’t on vacation. Consider trying Zumba! It’s one of my favorite ways to get active since it’s the workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. And if cardio workouts aren’t really your thing, you can also try finding an interesting class on Masterclass. (Pretend you’re traveling for an interesting conference.) No a course, isn’t usual for a typical vacation, but imagine how amazing it would be to spend your day learning about creating outside the lines from Issa Rae or ballet from Misty Copeland, or gymnastics from Simone Biles. It would definitely be a summer vacation to remember.
10. Eat well
I think all the amazing food is one of the best parts of vacation; especially if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to eat at a five star restaurant every day. That’s why it’s important to eat truly satisfying food for at least one meal of your day. Yes, you can do that even if you’re on a diet. Just mix in something good with all the salads. If you are a big fan of smoothies, make that part of your meal plan. Or if you love eggs, find a way to make some for breakfast. If you don’t think you’re a good cook, check out the blog Divas Can Cook for some inspiration or Skinny Taste for her FREE meal plans. (I happen to love the smoothies in this cookbook.) Or consider drinking some good wine. The blog, The Sophisticated Life, has lots of wine inspiration. Plus, Masterclass does have a session on making a gourmet meal with Gordon Ramsey
11. Drink Well
We can’t act like all the good drinks aren’t a major attraction to vacation either; especially if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort. Turn yourself into an at home mixologist and create some tasty cocktails. Or consider drinking some good wine. The blog, The Sophisticated Life, has lots of wine inspiration. Of course, drinking well isn’t limited to cocktails. You can enjoy some perfectly brewed herbal tea, a great smoothie or even some mocktails. (I happen to love the smoothies in this cookbook.) And the Cocktail Artist makes great mixers you can enjoy with alcohol or without. And of course, it helps to feel like vacation if you have a great vessel or glass to put your drink in. My personal favorite is a pineapple.
12. Make your bed
I already covered sleeping well, but one of my favorite parts of vacation is stepping into the hotel room and seeing that amazingly inviting bed. Even when you’re not at a resort, there’s no reason why your bed at home can’t be just as amazing and inviting. Make your bed every morning and you’ll always feel pleasantly refreshed when you walk into your room. Bonus points if you use a light-colored duvet cover with some welcoming, soft sheets. Curl up with a good book or my ebook, Actionable Quotes: Your Favorite Quotes Won’t Work Unless You Do, and you’ve got the making to a few days that almost align with a fabulous summer vacation.
The bottom line is you can’t always be whisked away to a tropical paradise, but there’s always something you can do to bring the vacation to you. Soon enough, you won’t be dying to run away because you found a way to turn your everyday life into paradise.
Are you in need of a vacation? What things do you do to make life more enjoyable and feel like a vacation.
TERRIfic Quip – Vacation is a state of mind.