5 Ways To Make Your Days Off At Home Feel Like A Vacation

Make everyday life feel more vacation-like.

How To Relax At Home And Make A Staycation Feel Like A Vacation getty

Everyone wishes they could just go on vacation when things are hectic — but what they don't realize is that they can also learn how to relax during a staycation.

Going on a vacation trip to somewhere fun is awesome, isn’t it? That sand in your toes, untucked shirt, relaxed feeling? Ahhhh…I can almost hear the waves.

What makes vacations so wonderful and relaxing?

It can’t only be the surroundings and location, can it? Nope.


However, you can do an "At Home Challenge" and make your everyday life feel relaxed like you're on a vacation.

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Here are 5 ways to relax at home and make your staycation feel like a real vacation.

1. Assign out household responsibilities.

Things still need to get done on vacation. Clothes need to be washed, food needs to be purchased, and dishes need to be cleaned and put away. At home, these things seem heavy and full of drama ("Why won’t he help me empty the dishwasher?! How come I’m the only one picking up around here?!").

While on vacation we tend to see what needs to get done and do it without all the heaviness or drama. Why isn’t there any drama? What’s different? Uh... it’s because we don’t add drama.

When vacationing, we’re more likely to come together to figure out how the different things are going to get things done. Who’s going to shop? Who’s cooking and on which nights? Who will clean up the dishes? There’s the recognition that we’re all on vacation — mom and dad included — and a team effort is needed.


At home, these tasks usually fall on one person (historically, the female), and if people do chip in, the mindset is that you’re "helping" that person out instead of fulfilling a shared responsibility.

At home challenge: Come up with structure without the drama. What sorts of things did you approach as a team on vacation? The dishes? The meals? It worked there, so why wouldn’t it work at home? Sure they might resist at first. That’s normal, it’s a new routine and they’re used to you doing it all. That’s okay.

Choose to view your household as a team. On a team, all team members have responsibilities. Sure there’s a coach but that person doesn’t pick up all the balls, run all the drills, and mow the lawn. The team chips in.

Where in your life do you have drama around basic tasks? Emptying the dishwasher? Doing the laundry? That’s a good area for you to start with a plan.


2. Allow adult fun.

While on vacation, adults take time for fun. They allow themselves a "beach read" or to just sit and do a puzzle.

You might spy an adult sitting on the porch gazing at the beach or the trees. We might even do the crossword puzzle in the middle of the day.

At home challenge: Make time for these things in your "regular life". Allow yourself to sit and gaze. No matter where you live, beauty can be found. Question why we even call certain books “beach reads”?

Fight back and read one when you’re not at the beach. We don’t always need to be efficient, learning, and striving. We can read something just for fun. We can do something just for fun. We don’t always have to be moving so fast. Pause to look up at the sky.


What do you enjoy doing on vacation? Add some adult fun into your at-home staycation days.

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3. Honor your senses.

When on vacation, we take time to stop and smell the roses. We pause to look at the view. We touch each other. We usually slow down to taste our food.

At home challenge: Think of which senses you use while on vacation and brainstorm how to add some into your daily life.

My landlocked house has so many ocean and water pictures that you have no doubt as to where I love to vacation. I also love to diffuse oils that are fresh, uplifting, and outdoorsy. When the weather allows, I open the windows to invite the feeling of a beach breeze in my house.


How can you add mini-joy moments to your senses? When traveling to Thailand recently, we brought home some spices to flavor our food here. Consciously slow down to use your senses.

4. Have a vacation mindset.

When you wake up on vacation and have a full day planned of picnics, beach time, hikes, or shopping, do you think, "Oh my, it’s going to be such a busy day"? Hopefully not.

You probably think something more along the lines of, "I have such a full day."

The thought "I’m so busy" generates stress and overwhelm while the thought "I have a full day" can generate excitement. It reminds you that your day ahead is a day you designed and has aspects in it that will bring you joy.


At home challenge:When you wake up to a full day of work, kids activities, and a long to-do list, be intentional with what you tell yourself. Instead of saying, "I have a busy day" or "There’s so much I have to do today," make the shift to say, "I have a full day" or "I’m choosing to do a lot today."

It will make all the difference in how you feel in your day. On a vacation, we tend to take more responsibility for what is going on in our days versus in day-to-day life we tend to look outward to blame others.

Spoiler alert: We have choices as to what we’re doing in our day and what goes on our calendar. You’ll feel better the less you speak of your day as if you’re a bystander ("I’m so busy") and more of an active participant ("My day is full").

5. Interact with other people.

Whether you go on vacation with your partner, your kids, your girlfriends, or your extended family, you undoubtedly take some time to put your phone down to pay attention to the person you are with.


You probably listened with more of an intent to get to know about the person’s current life experience. You were probably interested in what was happening in their lives and listened to what they thought about what was happening in their lives.

The result? Your relationships deepen and you are more connected.

At home challenge:Consciously choose to be in relationships with those around you. Listen with the intent to understand. Ask more questions. Give less advice. Close your mouth and open your ears. Get curious.


What are they saying? Why? What might they be thinking to get them to do that? Now that you’re home, see how you can create pleasure and connection with the people around you.

Okay, warriors, there are 5 different ways that make vacation wonderful with 5 things you can try at home.

We really can make our everyday life more vacation-like. The name of my podcast and the goal of my business is to get women to live lives they love: whether at home on a regular old Wednesday or while exploring remote lands. Choose one of the at-home challenges and get started today.

If we want things to be different, we need to do things differently.

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Susie Barolo is a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Coach and Podcast host of the weekly Love Your Life Show. Sign up for her weekly newsletter to help you live a life you love!