At the time of writing we’re just over a third of the way through 2020 (although some of it’s felt like an eternity). And many of us have an accrued holiday allowance that needs to be used.
Although we’ll be allowed out of the house at some point, international travel won’t be on the cards for a good while, and picking a local destination won’t be simple either.
Road trips to the countryside - great. Staying at hotels? Not sure. Festivals and swimming pools? Probably not.
So there’s a good chance we’ll be spending at least some of our holiday time at home.
Is this a recipe for disaster? Or is it an opportunity to shake things up positively? Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can take a proper break closer to home.
If you do decide to take some lockdown leave, it’ll be different to a normal holiday.
Maybe you feel like you’ve already got lots of free time, and it’ll be more of the same. Or it could give you some much-needed breathing room in a busy family life with kids at home.
Sure, you can’t travel, but you can relax, forget about work, do new things, and have fun. You could make your garden into a Lego Glastonbury.
Or turn your place into a stunt bike playground (if you’ve got a massive house and aren’t afraid to break things).
Just have a look on TikTok for home activity inspiration. It's full of housebound creatives turning their gardens into obstacle courses, their kitchens into discos and their bedrooms into gyms.
Why not try tackling the things you’ve been putting off? Paint the shed, tidy your shelves, start your exercise routine - or just do nothing at all.
Change it up from everyday life
One of the most important ways to enjoy your holiday is to bring some variety.
As we've mentioned before, one of the best ways to stop holidays feeling so short is to do at least one new thing each day. So you could try learning some words in a different language, or cooking a recipe you've never tried. The variety helps your brain organise memories better, and stops experiences blending together.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s had nothing to do at home for a while, why not spice things up a bit and get active?
Now’s your chance to get on your bike (or strap your boots on) and explore some of the nearby neighbourhoods you don’t usually pay attention to.
Or if you’ve had a pretty strenuous lockdown taking care of family, work and all the other stresses of modern life, it’s an important time to get some rest in.
You can give yourself the spa treatment at home or make an absolutely epic breakfast. If you don't normally do it, try some yoga or meditation.
Help other people
The start of 2020 has been difficult for a lot of us. Keeping sane and happy isn’t easy while everything’s going on. Especially if you live alone or if you’re prone to overthinking.
One of the best ways to get out of your own head and get some happy chemicals moving in your brain is to forget about yourself and help other people. The benefits of altruism are real and well-documented.
You could try something small, like stopping for a (socially-distanced) chat with someone when you’re out for a walk. Phoning a relative for a chat is usually appreciated, and contacting your vulnerable or elderly neighbours to see if they need help will also go down well. It might involve delivering supplies, sprucing up local amenities (like parks, gardens and fences) or just helping them feel connected.
Or you could do something more significant like signing up for a volunteering scheme. It’ll get you out of the house, you’ll meet new people, and won’t feel guilty for how you use your time.
Remember to forget work
The one thing you really should do, as much as possible, is forget about work.
This means no reading work emails during your time off. You can’t leave your phone at home, as we’ve previously recommended, because you are home. But you can leave it in another room and tell people not to contact you about work matters.
You need to take the mental load off to recover properly, and return to work with a clear head. Thinking about work is still work, and although it's impossible to keep your mind from drifting back to work (especially during uncertain times), ruminating on the same thoughts over and over won't help you rest.
Take the opportunity to connect with your family, do interesting things, and keep yourself healthy.
We could all do with a bit of rest and relaxation at the moment, so don’t forget to tend to your four pillars of rest (physical, mental, emotional, social) and try to forget the world of employment for at least a little while.