People often talk about two times during a holiday they dread the most. Returning home and packing. I would add a third, leaving in the first place. While travelling is one of the things that makes me the happiest and I am lucky to do quite a bit of it, I almost never look forward to a trip until I’m almost there. Then when it is time to go, I am equally distraught until I return to my house and settle into a familiar setting.
With a massive 15 day trip currently cancelled due to the pandemic and a few more trips due to be cancelled in the next few months, I thought I would try to recreate the same holiday vibe from my house by focusing on all the things I do enjoy about travelling and being on holiday.
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Planning and Preparing
Planning and preparing are completely different to packing.
Just like a good night out, the most fun part of which is dressing up with your girlfriends before you hit the town, planning for a trip is when the magic happens.
It is a time to daydream, read about different destinations, research and imagine all of the activities you want to be doing.
This part works really well, when you don’t allow reality and money issues to get in the way of a good planning session. Yes, logistics and money are both valid issues but the planning session can be therapeutic before it needs to become real. By that I mean that you can dream big and let your plans take you to the places and destinations you have always dreamed of and not necessarily the places you can feasibly go to.
A study on how holidays affect happiness in the Netherlands found that the simple act of planning a holiday can add more than 8 weeks of improved mood. The reason? Anticipation and having something to look forward to.
Plan a holiday for the future to improve your mood and having something positive to look forward to.
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Turn One Room Into A Relaxing Space
Being stuck at home doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t work. Millions of people work from home, with the only requirements being an internet connection or a set of creative tools.
But being at home can also feel like all you do is work. Soon, you start to associate places in your house with chores and that can intensify feelings of stress and anxiety which are not what a good vacation make!
When you spend all day inside the house, it is best if you leave one room for relaxation purposes only. The bedroom area works best for this.
Don’t do work from your bedroom!
Try to make your bed everyday as though you are in a hotel room. Clean your towels more often and light scented candles for relaxation.
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Indulge in Sleep
When we are on holiday we tend to sleep in more.
There are also less negative thoughts when we do things we generally think of as “wasting time”. A good nights sleep works wonders on your brain and mood and allows you to wake up refreshed and do more of the things you enjoy.
You can use an essential oil diffuser a pair of noise cancelling headphones or blackout blinds if that helps you sleep better.
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Turn off your Phone and wifi connection
You know what happens most often during a holiday? You forget to check your phone. Sure, you take it out to take photos and occasionally remember to text your friends and family but you get so caught up in the moments that checking technology is just not that important.
Try turning off the Wifi for a few hours during the day, putting your phone is a drawer and finding new things to do. Watching TV or movies is obviously not the objective here.
This is a time to do any of the other things on the list that don’t rely on technology.
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Focus on good meals
One of the many reasons we are happier during a holiday is that we treat ourselves better. We sleep more, we leave work behind and we eat good food.
While it is tempting to simply make a quick sandwich and plop yourself back down on the couch to continue binge-watching Friends for the umpteenth time, don’t!
Take out a cooking book that has been collecting dust or look up recipes for your favourite meal. More points if you attempt to make something you wouldn’t normally or go out of your comfort zone by trying a recipe from a different cuisine. It is all part of the experience.
Cooking has a range of emotional benefits. Firstly, it puts you in control of a situation and gets your creative side going. In addition, cooking a meal can put you in the zone. That is the feeling we wish we had more when we worked. When you are completely engrosses in a task and all time seems to fade away while you are 100% focused on what you are doing.
Cooking and baking can also improve your mood since you are doing something good for someone else. Nobody has ever said no to freshly baked chocolate cookies. Plus cooking can also be a bonding experience with other people in your house.
- What other ways do you have to feel like your are on holiday from your house?