Here’re a few things I learnt from this staycation –
1. You don’t always notice that you need a break but those around you surely do. When you aren’t your best self, no matter how well you think you’re hiding it, those around you can always tell there’s something off about you.
2. You definitely don’t make the best decisions when you’re exhausted. Your vision becomes clouded and your judgement impaired, or for some, it may be an inability to make decision at all because you’re second guessing yourself all the time.
3. Stress is healthy and we can deal with stress, so long we allow ourselves to recover. Here’s a tip that I learnt to effectively recover from stress: find recovery activities that are polar opposites to your stress activities. For example, if your day job requires you to be logical and analytical, then doing a
creative project (e.g. learning to dance) will give you the recovery to avert the stress. On the other hand, if your hobby project is equally logical and analytical (e.g. chess), it may in fact leave you feeling more exhausted.
4. Enjoy waking up every day with no expectation and no firm plans, and how to deal with the feeling of guilt, panic, and restlessness. On the first day of my staycation, I didn’t know what to do with my time. I began by going to my favourite bakery and ordering a raspberry brownie for breakfast (something reserved for just the weekends). On my way there, I walked past a game shop and decided to pick up a jigsaw puzzle – I hadn’t done one since 12 years old. I also picked up the ingredients to make my own brownies. I remembered that the last time I’d baked was well over 2 years ago – pre-LEAP! And there, bit by bit, my pleasure projects started to fill up my week.
5. Make it sustainable and schedule recuperation every week. Our personal batteries need to be charged regularly, as opposed to be running on empty followed by a big bout of recharge. From my week of staycation, I reconnected with some of the activities that recharged me, but haven’t done in a long time. So now I’ve set aside time every week to do them because I shouldn’t have to wait for another staycation to do the things that recharge my batteries.
Oh and guess what? Contrary to expectation, I didn’t do ANY structured exercise during my staycation.
It’s a tad embarrassing for me to admit this but here it goes: my body didn’t feel like doing my usual exercise, and needed a break from it, so I let it. And you know what? I survived with no real exercise for a week. I wouldn’t dream of stopping exercise altogether, but a week wouldn’t hurt a bit!