Get away from it all without getting away, at all.
In its annual report, Pinterest detailed the ideas users looked at most last year, giving insight into what they’re planning to do this year.
Travel trends identified by Pinterest include climbing mountains, visiting Mediterranean islands and exploring the world’s deserts, but there’s another category that will keep vacation-lovers closer to home. Searches for “self care” rose by a whopping 537% last year, leading researchers to identify the “self-care staycation” as one of 2018’s top trends.
“We’re seeing this self-care come into clear focus as something that people consider to be essential to health and wellbeing,” said Larkin Brown, a user researcher at Pinterest. “People are actively creating spaces and setting aside the time to focus on themselves and find balance in their lives.”
Self-care elevates the staycation — a vacation at home — to the next level, allowing you to focus your energy on taking care of yourself.
“Ultimately, self-care retreats are about doing something that brings you joy, calms your mind, and leaves you feeling refreshed and better able to handle some of the stresses of everyday life,” said Brown.
Follow the steps below to plan your own self-styled, self-care staycation.
Home or away?
The first thing to decide is where exactly you’ll stay. For a bit of indulgence and a change of scenery, book local accommodation. If you’re on a budget, or are planning on short notice, staying home can be just as good. It’s essential that you make your home a comfortable, pleasant space. Book a cleaning service for the day before your staycation starts, set out some candles and fill your living area with things that make you feel cozy.
It’s okay to catch up on a few items on your to-do list, but stay offline as much as possible. Turn on an out-of-office message, turn off push alerts for social media and news, and avoid any non-essential email. Not only will this get you out of the hunched posture we all spend so much time in, it will allow you some breathing space.
See something new.
Just because it’s a staycation doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Some of the best parts of traveling can be the small interactions with locals, learning about the history of a place or trying new cuisines, and the same is true here. If there’s a café you’ve been wanting to try or a museum you’ve been meaning to check out, now’s the time.
Catch up on sleep.
A study out of University of Colorado, Boulder last year found that camping was a great way to get your body clock back on track. People who headed out into the Rocky Mountains sans electronics fell asleep and woke up earlier than their stay-at-home counterparts, and got almost 10 hours of sleep at night.
Your self-care staycation is meant to be luxurious, so no need to pitch a tent, but try to get as much natural light throughout the day as possible in order to reap similar benefits. Make sure there’s no light getting in at night either, and seriously, no cell phones or computers in the bedroom.
Get outdoors. One of last year’s top trends was ‘forest bathing’, the Japanese practice of spending time in nature. Even if you’re in a big city, you can head to a park with a picnic blanket and a book to get some fresh air. Bonus: this will help with your intake of natural light, too.
Plan to be pampered.
A staycation is meant to allow you to relax and recharge, and that means planning ahead. Without giving yourself some structure, it will be easy to fall into your weekend routine or feel forced to catch up on chores. Book a spa treatment in advance, plan for where and what you’ll eat, sign up for yoga or gym classes and gather a stack of books or magazines you want to read.
Bring home a souvenir.
A souvenir from your staycation will have the same effect as a trinket or bottle of wine from your last holiday, by helping you recall those pleasant memories. Give yourself something that will remind you to take a deep breath and take care of yourself, like a candle or a set of soft Turkish towels.