Thanks to Stephanie Haywood for this guest post on Planning a Self-Care Vacation!
Traveling and self-care may seem like two contradictory activities, but they don’t have to be. If you plan your trip with self-care in mind, it may be just the refreshing change you need to reset your perspective and attitude.
Why a self-care vacation?
Taking a trip where you focus on the restoration of your mind, body and spirit can boost your physical and mental well-being and health. Decreased depression and anxiety and increased self-esteem have been correlated with self-care trips. It’s important to determine if there’s a particular type of self-care you wish to focus on, be it mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, or maybe all of these. Relaxation and restoration look different for everyone, so plan what will be truly rejuvenating for you. Bring only the clothing that you want to wear: nothing uncomfortable.
Before you go, cover things at work
Before you leave on a trip, it’s important to see that things will be covered at work while you’re gone. This might mean working ahead before you leave or hiring a temporary worker to cover for you. Or you might find that a virtual assistant can take care of many matters. Make it a point to let clients and customers know in advance that you’ll be gone. Be sure to turn off your phone for at least part of the time you’re gone so you truly unhook from work.
Places to go
Your destination may be determined by what is nearby and how much time you have. Seek out places with natural beauty, the potential for quiet time, safety, and whatever amenities will be refreshing for you. Some people want to hike or canoe. Others want to be pampered in a spa or attend yoga classes, while some want to be immersed in culture, or a new environment. If you’re going alone, choose activities that truly will feel restorative to you. Make the needed compromises if traveling with a friend.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Although Vancouver is a large city, with proper planning, it could be a good place for a self-care getaway. Situated close to both the mountains and the coast, Vancouver offers access to a wide variety of outdoor activities. Historic and cultural sites abound, and you’ll never be at a loss for an interesting place to explore. For example, in Stanley Park, the Brockton Point Totem Poles are displayed, and one can enjoy the outdoors, as well as the cultural center with history and information on the First Nations of the area. Travel blogger Brooklyn Murtaugh is based in Vancouver, although her travel tips and stories span the globe.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs is a delightful small town, and Hot Springs National Park is right at hand, offering lodging in their campground, or the historic Hale Hotel, built in 1897 and recently modernized, is nearby. Opportunities for hiking, soaking in the hot springs, biking, fishing, and exploring nature are at your fingertips. If you like the area and think you’ll return often, you might consider buying a vacation home in Hot Springs. Vacation home down payments generally require 20% or more of the buying price. If you can’t afford that, taking out a second mortgage on your home or taking out a home equity loan might be a possibility.
This charming town in southern Indiana is an artist’s colony and provides many opportunities to peruse the work of locals in galleries and shops, as well as visit historic sites and discover public artwork. Nashville is near the Yellowwood State Forest and the Brown County State Park, some gorgeous areas where you can enjoy nature. The historic Story Inn, developed in 1851, and modernized more recently, is a lovely place to stay.
Located in the Berkshires area of western Massachusetts, Pittsfield offers culture, history, and access to stunning natural areas. There are nearby places to hike, bike, canoe, enjoy winter sports, and appreciate the stunning fall foliage. The Berkshire Museum, Herman Melville’s home, and the Hancock Shaker Village provide peaceful and fascinating ways to immerse yourself in history.
If you’ve been stressed to the point where it’s impacting your ability to work, play, and enjoy your significant relationships, then taking a self-care trip might be just the thing to restore you. Before going, cover your bases at work, so you won’t have to worry about such things on your trip. Try not to over-schedule your time on the trip. Sometimes we all need a bit of downtime to rest, wander, nap, read, or simply enjoy our surroundings.