Vacation or Staycation?

Vacation vs. staycation. Is one…or both…for you?

I just returned from a little 5 day vacation at the Oregon coast…very relaxing, rejuvenating, just what I needed. I was planning to do a little work over the weekend upon my return, to minimize the to-dos that awaited me, but decided to continue my vacation at home. 

It was truly lovely. No schedule, nothing I had to do, going to bed a bit earlier and sleeping a bit later. I loved just deciding what I was going to do at each moment.

And, I decided not to get on the computer to check emails, even from my personal account. I remained mostly unplugged…just texting with a few friends.

I love traveling, and am feeling the itch for an extended journey away from Oregon, maybe away from the US. I’m not sure where or when that will be exactly, but it’s exciting to ponder. Travel does feed me.

I know some HSPs, however, that really don’t like to travel. They prefer to stay fairly close to the comforts of home, a routine, reliable food options, the ability to manage/control their environment much more than being away. I get that.

I also know that very often those who choose not to travel for vacations, just don’t take vacations. There’s a little stigma still with the idea of staying at home and not doing anything, not being ‘productive,’ being ‘lazy.’

But, it’s so important for everyone, and especially Highly Sensitives, to maximize down time, to be able to recharge, to just be and not do all of the time. How can someone accomplish this while being at home?

A staycation!


I’m sure you’ve heard the term, but have you ever actually ‘taken’ one?

A staycation is only effective as a recharge experience if it’s taken seriously, as a true vacation. Like my last couple of days at the end of my recent vacation, we have to give ourselves permission to be. If I have a week or more to vacation, I generally choose to travel. But if staying home is preferred, how can it work?

Here are some thoughts…

~Tell everyone you’re taking a vacation and won’t be available! If you feel guilty about this, remind yourself of the oxygen mask analogy…you MUST take care of yourself in order to be the person you want to be, so make this ok.

~Schedule yourself ‘out of the office’ in your email platform, and DO NOT check email for the entire week! Yes, there will be a lot waiting for you when you’re done, and it will help to ease back into it over a couple of days, but it’s worth it. If you have your own business, plan zero work time for the whole week, just as you would if you were traveling.

~Avoid all social media. Even if this is a fun outlet for you, it not only can trigger your sensitivities with unexpected information, but it can also lead to feeling like you’re in the usual routine…that you’re not really taking a break.

~Schedule only specific activities that you’ve been wanting to participate in or try, nothing else. Decide when you get up what you want to do that day, and do it! 

~Do a lot of things that actually allow you to be in the moment…meditation, yoga, nature walks, play time with the dog, etc.

~Watch a movie and listen to uplifting podcasts; repeat.

~Get extra sleep. Go to bed when you’re tired and don’t get up until you’re ready. Take naps.

~If you have children, in order to make this a true vacation, you may opt for having them stay with family so you can have solo time and not doing chores or caretaking. Or, when they’re in school, focus on your own activities, and when they’re home, play games and watch family movies and do just fun things together.
The main thing is to treat your Staycation as a ‘real’ vacation…meaning, you are unavailable for normal expectations and chores. This time is for you to enjoy the moment, recharge, and only do things that make you happy. 

I’ll say that again…only do things that make you happy. If that’s taking a bath, great. If that’s going on a run through the forest, awesome. If it means sleeping 10 hours a day and binge-watching…go for it. Or a combination of all of these.

Of course, you can still take a Staycation if you like to travel. It’s easy, inexpensive and requires little to no planning, so it can be added to your overall travel/vacation plans.

This is a great way to refill your energy bucket and ignore the usually overflowing input bucket for a while. When you’re ready to head back to the ‘real world’ you will have more to manage…things will pile up, but knowing this ahead of time and planning a gentle re-entry will help.
And it will all be worth it. 

You’ll be recharged and more able and ready to manage the non-HSP world.

If you can’t see your way to giving yourself permission for a staycation, have a really difficult time taking care of yourself and allowing good things in your life, I’d love to chat about how we can change that. If you’re ready to plan a staycation…have an amazing time!

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