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“What will you do with five weeks off work?”
As I write this, I’m on holiday—a home stay vacation as the cool kids call it—code word for pandemic holiday.
I’m an artist; I don’t need to travel, I say to myself. I do need to engage and create and I have a desire to entice my senses.
I laugh to myself because last year, I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to go on a winter trip with friends to a warmer climate because I had big plans for an extended holiday with family.
This year, I’m appreciative of health and family and everything that I took for granted last year this time.
In the midst of all that is going on, I have so much to be grateful for. I’m blessed to take time off and blessed to be able to have a home, a sanctuary.
As a therapist, I often use the analogy of pouring from a cup. We need to continue to fill ours if we can give to others because we cannot fill from an empty cup.
I daily work on filling my cup through creative work and nature. I have five weeks to restore. I plan to do this lovingly. I plan to have a real holiday experience without leaving home.
This is my guide, and you can easily create your own.
I encourage you to look at what fills up your cup. This is not the same thing for everyone and what works for me might be a recipe for disaster for others.
The purpose of this article is to gently get you thinking about some self-love and self-care.
This is my guide for the next month. I will strive to include the following:
1. Movement that is gentle and nourishing.
On holidays, I like to spend long hours walking and taking photos. I follow with gentle stretches and yoga. This isn’t anything complicated.
2. Art, music, and travel.
To experience this in a meditative state, I can close my eyes and go anywhere. This isn’t astral travel—just meditation and visualization. A few moments can be like a trip to the museum or art gallery.
3. Slow food cooking.
It’s restorative. On holiday, food that simmers engages the senses, and the home smells sweet. I enjoy homemade soup and curries.
When you think of special memories of holidays, what food do you recall?
4. Spa baths and home facials.
They are not everyday experiences but they could be. Holidays at home can feel like a spa if we set the stage and use products and objects that indulge the senses. My favourites are candles, chocolate, tea, and an audiobook.
5. Making and creating.
It restores and nourishes my spirit. The messier the project, the more grounded and connected I feel. I enjoy painting hands-on. Grown-up finger painting is indulgent bliss.
It’s my daily dose of medicine. I begin and end the day with this and it is often meditative in nature. On holiday or downtime, I enjoy outdoor writing at a café or in the park.
7. Writing a letter to myself expressing gratitude for self-care and love.
I like to include goals for making this more of a daily ritual.
8. Listening to and creating music.
Singing is a joy, and starting the day with song and dance can get your daily groove on. My favourite is my morning jam with my kitten, Bella.
I love it almost as much as writing and can spend a lot of time doing it. On holiday, I love holiday reads as well as audiobooks and foreign films. If I can read a book and then watch the film, even better.
10. Drink coffee and tea.
I love tea and coffee, especially on holiday, and a holiday stay vacation definitely requires some serious home coffee house creations.
11. Simple Meals.
I love simple meals and picnics, especially on holidays. Packing a lunch for a long walk or hike can be a sweet way to spend the day outdoors.
What says holiday more than window-shopping and possibly buying some greenery for the home? As seasons change, we can give our living space a burst of new life with fresh greens and blooms.
These are my 12 most important ingredients for a home stay vacation.
I hope this made you think, smile, and possibly explore how you can make a day, weekend, week, or month restoring and filling up your cup.