When life inevitably gets busy, one of the first routines that often falls away is self-care. In an effort to restore the balance, it’s important to recognize the activities that lift our mood, promote well-being, and help curb any anxiety we may be feeling. Whether you’re in it for the spiritual, mental, or physical benefits of self-care, most of us can agree that one thing always has the magical ability to take us far away from the stresses of daily life: our beloved vacations.
When you aren’t able to travel — maybe you’re in school, the kids are in school, or you’re saving up for that special trip — we can still recreate the most restorative parts of a good getaway at home: no packed schedules, no clutter, little TV watching, time to work out, and a pristine space to hang out in at the end of the day. All it takes is a little planning and some creative workarounds to bring that vacation vibe into your everyday life.
Bring Your Hotel Room Home
Is there anything like the feeling of returning to your hotel after spending an adventure-packed day in a new city? It’s as if months of burnout instantly disappear with the swipe of your key card.
Here are a few ways to recreate that luxury hotel feel:
- Clean out the closet. Yes, it’s a bit of a chore now, but you’ll thank yourself later. Hang a robe where you’ll see it first thing in the morning or just before bed. Don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to declutter different areas of the house as well. Creating calm and meaningful spaces to spend your time in may be the ultimate self-care practice.
- In the bathroom, don’t let plastic containers clutter your sink. Switch them out for that crystal perfume bottle, luxe skincare jar, matching glass canisters, and a chic scented candle. Elevate the look even more by placing everything on a beautiful marble tray, and round out the hotel ambiance by hanging up those rarely-used guest towels because, hey, you’re the guest now. Put out the expensive hand soap, it’s time to use the good stuff.
- Wash your sheets with a scented laundry detergent. Next, style that bed like a pro — this is no time to leave out the throw pillows. You’ll be reminded why one of the great joys in life is slipping under fresh linens at the end of the day.
While simple, these little touches can make all the difference.
At-Home Spa Day, Anyone?
Have you ever, in your life, said no to a spa day? We didn’t think so.
Here are a few ways to bring the oasis of the spa home:
- Try some aromatherapy with calming essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus. Saje makes great options for steam diffusers with scents based on the mood you’re aiming for. Aesop’s oil burner blends are another recommendation for a moment of zen. Then treat yourself to a hair or face mask and dip into a tub sprinkled with relaxing salts or luxurious bath oil.
- More time on your hands? Give yourself a mani/pedi. You can even try a DIY nail look that might otherwise be too time-consuming. Check out Olive and June‘s nail tutorials for advice from the pros.
- Marie Kondo your beauty stash. What better time to clear out that beauty and skin care cabinet and make it “shelfie” worthy? Take inventory of what you have and haven’t been using and donate the rest.
Who knows, maybe you’ll have a spa day every weekend from now on?
Enjoy Your Morning Routine
It can be as easy as remembering a treasured ritual while on vacation (a daily espresso at the neighborhood café or a morning walk along the beach) and recreating that experience as closely as possible at home. Do yourself a favor and don’t tune into the news first thing in the morning. This is the time to create a morning routine that will set the tone for the rest of your day.
Here’s how to start your morning right:
- Find a plan that works for you. You may be the “exercise at 5am type” (more power to you), or your day might flow better with a later wake-up time and some mindful meditation in order to feel centered.
- Start the day feeling accomplished. Activities like reading, journaling, making a list of the day’s goals, or just getting outside for a walk, are all things you can do that will have a positive impact on your life.
- As easy as it is to regress to old comforts for breakfast, do your best to keep it real. Opt for whole foods that will fuel your day, not make you tired 4 hours in. Your body will thank you.
These habits may just stick long past your self-care staycation.
Need a virtual excursion to another country? Think of somewhere you’d love to travel and watch a movie set in that destination. Extra points if you whip up a dish or a drink beforehand to match the location.
Cubano sandwiches pair perfectly with the funny and charming flick Chef, as does Beef Bourguignon for Julie & Julia. A glass of chianti can’t be beat for watching Under the Tuscan Sun, just like a glass of rosé is perfect with the Provençal classic, A Good Year.
If you really want to commit, we recommend selecting a curated tablescape from Social Studies to complete the look. They’ve sourced everything so your décor can channel locales from Joshua Tree to the Amalfi Coast.
Move it or Lose it
Yoga is self-care at its finest. A muscle relaxer, brain booster, immunity enhancer, and stress reliever all in one mindful practice, you may just find that now is the time to make this healthy habit part of your daily living. So roll out that mat, stream a class, and give your body, soul, and spirit what they need to feel their best.
Want to move a little, but don’t want to follow yet another online instructor? Push your furniture to the side of the room and have a themed-dance party. Whether it’s Hip Hop, Disco, Motown, or Salsa, just let loose and dance like no one’s watching.
(Because they’re not.)
Sorry, We’re Booked
And if, like us, you have too many books and too little time, now’s the opportunity to make a dent in that stack piling up on your nightstand. Enjoy a little Vitamin D with your literature if you’ve got a sunny outdoor space, or sink into your sofa with a cup of tea and a book about — what else — self-care, and escape the noise of life for a while. Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace is Every Step is a go-to for remembering to stay present, as are the mantras of his How To series.
Self-care is what it takes to improve our health, manage stress, and connect us more fully to the world around us. Setting aside time specific to — and only for — self-care is a great way to look after ourselves and begin new habits that will boost our well-being for years to come.
Check out our full #StayWell series about self-care, wellness, and easy travel tips by following the tag below.