SOCIETY TALK

The therapeutic effects of staycation

Staying indoors is an alternative when you can't afford a vacation

In Summary

• Staycations have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years

A woman relaxes at home during her staycation
A woman relaxes at home during her staycation
Image: PIXABAY

We achieve relaxation from our tedious everyday routines by going on vacation at least once a year. Whether it is a faraway vacation or an annual return to ocha, we look forward to the holidays as they give us the much-needed break from our regular cycle of events.

Vacations, however, are a costly occurrence. Perhaps that is why most people can afford one in a year at most. Vacation expenses include travel, housing, food, clothing, entertainment and miscellany. A vacation can take up to a year to plan and save for. It is worth it but it is a precious and rare thing.

At times, after weeks of hard labour and mentally exhausting work, we feel the need to rejuvenate ourselves with a vacation type of break, but the wallet reminds us we cannot afford it. That is why staycations were invented.

A staycation literally translates to a vacation had while staying at home. However, some people refer to staycations as a sort of holiday where they spend time at a getaway location not too far from home but far enough to feel ‘travelled’. A staycation primarily lasts between 24 and 48 hours. For it to qualify as a staycation, it requires two things: a home-type setting and minimal physical activities.

Staycations have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years because of several factors. First, they are low-cost. Secondly, staycations speak to the generation of ‘Netflix and chill’, where young people would rather be indoors than outside. Lastly, over the last few years, with the outbreak of a global pandemic and travel restrictions, most people started finding solace in their own homes.

One can look at staycations as a sort of system upgrade, whereby when you upgrade your device then restart it, the device functions better. A staycation is a complete shutdown from the mundane that allows a person to feel motivated to resume the ordinary. Having this quiet time by yourself is beneficial to an individual as it helps them distress and indulge in activities they love but have little time for.

For instance, a person can opt to get in touch with their creative side by cooking, painting or doing things like crafts. Others may choose to re-engage with their physical side by exercising, doing yoga or swimming. Most, like me, find pleasure in catching up on all the hottest TV shows and movies and recreating recipes from Tiktok.

For those intending to have staycations at home, make sure you have the house cleaned prior and there are no looming household chores. A clean and organised environment automatically initiates a relaxing mood. For those who have unexpected or frequent visitors, let people know you will not be around and will not be available. Make yourself unavailable from any engagements or surprise outings that could occur during this period.

A staycation can also be a good way for couples to reconnect. A couple may enjoy time out from their busy schedules to share a specified time that is just for them. By withdrawing from the norm, a couple creates a safe, intimate space that is just for them. This allows them to engage with each other in a more relaxed setting.

An ideal staycation for couples would be an overnight trip to a new place that is comfortable and relaxing. It is important to set rules for such times to avoid disagreements. For instance, a big cause of disagreements between couples is devices. A couple can, therefore, agree to have limited device time that will not get in the way of their reconnecting.