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11 Stress-Busting Staycation Ideas


May 15, 2023

A staycation is a great way to use your vacation days, save money, and enjoy some time at home. It’s an opportunity to leave work behind and focus on other priorities in your life.  Read on for some unique staycation ideas to inspire you!

Relaxing Staycation Ideas to Help You Recharge

While you can definitely spend the entire time on the couch in your PJs endlessly scrolling through your phone, you can get even more out of your staycation by planning it right. Here are some ideas to fill a longer staycation so you can end the week relaxed, recharged, and stress-free.

Have a Themed Movie Marathon

Are you a movie buff? Then watch movies with a purpose on your staycation. Pick one director, actor, year (or decade), foreign country, or theme (example: road trips, the military, or cooking) and watch just those movies. You can even have themed drinks, snacks, or meals to match the theme for a more immersive experience.

Create an Indoor Gardening Oasis

Indoor plants aren’t just pretty; they’ve been shown to reduce psychological and physiological stress and many people believe they can also improve the quality of your air indoors. On your staycation, seek out plants that do well indoors and turn your home into a green oasis. If you don’t already have a green thumb, YouTube is a great learning resource! 

Pro Tip: You can often get affordable (or even free) houseplants from friends and neighbors who want to downsize their collection or find good homes for plants they’ve propagated. Ask around, or check online sources like Facebook Marketplace for deals.

Focus on Personal Growth

Make time for yourself on your staycation with a personal growth retreat. Some ideas: Read motivational or self-help books, journal for self-reflection and self-improvement, meditate, speak with a therapist online or by phone, create and repeat powerful mantras, and set personal development goals.

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Plan a DIY Escape Room

Do you have friends or family members who love puzzles? Then they will love this! Create a series of puzzles, riddles, and physical challenges that need to be completed in order to get the key and escape in time.

Take a Virtual Reality Getaway

If you find yourself missing the thrill of exploring new locations on your staycation, invest in a virtual reality (VR) headset. You can see new destinations, attend concerts, and much more from the comfort of your own home.

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Put Together Nostalgic Time Capsule

A nostalgic time capsule is a collection of things from your childhood. Gathering together photos, personal items, memorabilia, and throwback items is a way to disconnect from the stress of the present and rediscover the joy of simpler times.

Declutter and Organize

Admittedly, not everyone will find this idea relaxing for a staycation. But if you’re the kind of person who swoons over Instagram photos of neatly labeled spice jars in a drawer, this is for you! Find an area of the house to revamp, declutter, reorganize, and rearrange. Toss or donate whatever you don’t need.

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Tackle a Tome

Even big bookworms have difficulty finding the time to read a big book. But you can get a lot of reading done in a week – and check a book off your list that many lifelong readers never get to. At an average reading speed of 200 words per minute (which is on the low side), it would take you this many hours to read these great works:

  • Ulysses by James Joyce, ~265,000 words = 22 hours
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot, ~310,000 = 26 hours
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, ~345,000 words = 29 hours
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, ~587,000 words = 49 hours

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Write Your Novel(la) or Screenplay

Instead of spending the week reading a great work, why not write your own? You’d be surprised at how much you can get onto the page, especially if you’ve had a story brewing in your brain for a while. Write 12½ pages a day for eight days and you’ll end up with a 100-page screenplay. Or write 2,500 words of prose a day for eight days and you’ll end up with a 20,000-word novella.

Dabble in Artistic Exploration

Try your hand at something new, like painting, pottery, photography, or whatever catches your fancy. Engaging in a creative pursuit that’s new and challenging to you lets you express yourself in new ways, improves cognitive abilities, and is just plain fun!

Pick Up a New Skill

Learn something brand new on your staycation. Some ideas: how to fold 10 origami shapes by heart, calligraphy, video editing, intro Spanish/Mandarin/Arabic, basic graphic design, intro computer programming, woodworking, salsa dancing, or how to make macarons.


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Bonus Staycation Ideas

If you’re short on time, try out the following activities that are perfect for a short 1- or 2-day-staycation:

  • Create a spa day
  • Be a tourist in your hometown and explore places you haven’t visited before
  • Camp out in your own backyard 
  • Host a game night with friends and family