The past year has been incredibly stressful for so many of us.
And with the pandemic causing global disruptions to travel, it can be hard to find a way to disconnect from our daily stress and get that all too important time to rest and recharge.
So whether it’s one simple day where you have no obligations or it’s time to take those vacation days with nowhere to go, HER is here to provide the tips you need for the ultimate staycation experience that will leave you rested, relaxed and ready to take on whatever comes next.
1. Do nothing.
Let’s start with the obvious and, for so many, most needed. Give yourself some time with nothing planned. Whether it’s one hour or one full day is up to you and what you feel would be most beneficial. You could veg out and watch TV. You could get lost in a good book.
Perhaps you could even give meditation a try.
If you’ve never meditated before, there are lots of ways to get started, including guided videos on YouTube. According to Psychology Today, one of the first things to do is start small, with a three- to five-minute meditation. It sounds really short, but if you’ve never done it before, it can feel a lot longer than you expect. There’s several ways to try it: You can sit quietly and close your eyes, maybe with some peaceful music or sounds on – try to focus on your breathing. You can also try a meditative walk, where you focus more on the feelings experienced, from breaths to the sensations you see, hear and feel. The key in both is stay in the moment and open, focused on what’s happening and not letting your mind wander to to-do lists and schedules.
2. Have an at-home spa day.
You don’t have to go out or spend a lot of money to treat yourself to a nice relaxing day with some pampering. Try a soothing bubble bath (maybe with some music, a glass of wine and good book) or give yourself a manicure (or if you’re more like me, keep it simple and just clip, file and paint).
Try a face mask, whether it’s homemade (here’s a DIY recipe for one that reduces redness and soothes skin: dossierblog.com/my-go-to-diy-face-mask-for-nights-in) or store bought. For both, there are endless possibilities, so keep in mind your own skin type and what your goal with the mask is, whether it’s to tighten or hydrate or detoxify.
I recently tried a face mask that came in a She’s Native box I purchased at the end of 2019. (If you’re unfamiliar with She’s Native, learn more about the local seasonal box at hermagazinemidmo.com/shop-local-subscription.) The Zo Skin Health Ossential skin brightening sheet masque, which retails for about $25, was easy enough to apply (and scare my boyfriend with). I left it on for about 12 minutes and, after removing it, my skin felt tighter and refreshed, and looked noticeably brighter. I tend to suffer from a dry, peeling and red T-zone, and this mask definitely made a difference. For several days afterward, that area in particular looked completely healed without adding any other lotion or moisturizer. (I have one other face mask to try, received again through a She’s Native box. The Epicuren Chai Soy Mud Mask retails for $16 to $21 for a 2.5 fl. oz. Bottle. My next day off will feature that one.)
3. Venture outdoors.
Even though it’s winter, it can still be a good time to enjoy the outdoors, at least a little. And there’s really no shortage of options in Mid-Missouri.
You could visit a local park (if you haven’t checked out Binder Lake or Ellis-Porter Riverside Park, both are worth a trip) or head to North Jefferson City to visit Wilson’s Serenity Point, a personal favorite for a relaxing view of the river. Take a hike on the Katy Trail or the greenway. If there’s snow, enjoy a snowy walk through your own neighborhood – just make sure you’re dressed for the weather!
4. Explore your hometown.
Take a day to play tourist in your own area.
In Jefferson City, visit the Washington Park Ice Arena for an afternoon of skating or check out the Missouri State Museum inside the Capitol. Tours at the Missouri State Penitentiary are expected to start in March for the 2021 season. Take a stroll down High Street and enjoy some of the local shops. Whatever you choose, just make sure to check and make sure of any changes or restrictions due to COVID-19 precautions.
If that’s not adventurous enough for you, expand your radius. Take a drive, assuming the roads are good, and walk around a town you’re less familiar with. Just make sure to take precautions for your own health and that of those around you.
5. Try new recipes.
Whether you’re an experienced cook or tend to stick to take-out, this is the perfect time to try something new.
Personally, I love to bake and there’s something about it that’s almost therapeutic for me. Melting chocolate always puts me in a better mood, which is why my baking stints tend to produce cake balls and truffles, things I can coat in chocolate and cover in sprinkles. (It doesn’t hurt that these are also things that tend to look fancy but require very little actual skill at making them look pretty.)
Find a new recipe you’ve always wanted to try or experiment with a new ingredient. (I’ve been addicted to spice blends for a while – I love finding new ones and trying new recipes to use them in.) Maybe this is the time to try a meal kit, where everything you need for a specific meal is delivered to your door, and all you have to do is follow the instructions. (I’ve tried a few different ones, from EveryPlate to HomeChef, and have yet to have a bad experience. It’s just a question of what’s best for you and your household, as well as your wallet.)