With the UK on lockdown, you’d be forgiven for scratching your head a little when it comes to your weekend plans.
And yes, while you could clean your home or do some DIY, given the current climate we think it’s only right to take some time out for yourself. Use this time to switch off, relax and – dare we say it – have some fun.
But how to do that without leaving the house? Milla Lascelles, a holistic health and lifestyle coach from London, shares her tips for the ultimate staycation.
1. Set the scene.
“Sometimes all we need is to rework our habitat,” says Lascelles, citing that feeling you get when you rearrange some furniture, declutter your coffee table or pop some nice new products by your bath tub.
One way to create that staycation feel at home is to give your bedroom a quick and easy makeover. “I think before you do anything, make your bedroom a minimalist haven, similar to what you’d find in a hotel room,” she says.
“Declutter the room, fold your towels on the end of the bed, perhaps move that radio in your kitchen to your bedroom and invest in a brand new, cosy, white robe to hang on the back of your door.” (Or just giving your existing dressing gown a wash to freshen it up!)
In the morning, why not grab a tray and treat yourself to breakfast in bed?
2. Soak it up.
If you’ve found that a week of working from home or just general life stress has left you with tense shoulders, it might be helpful to run a bath to relax those muscles.
“Bathing is really therapeutic and the ritual allows the mind to slow down and rest,” says Lascelles. Turn your bathroom into a spa with bath oils and a face mask. Slice some cucumber for your eyes. Whale music optional. Get some candles on the go if you can and keep the lighting low. Go the whole hog.
3. Have a picnic.
Put a fancy picnic together in your garden – or, if you don’t have one, on your balcony or even in your living room. “Why not get your picnic basket out and and find a lovely spot in the garden where you can stay put for an afternoon with your family?” says Lascelles.
Pack some sandwiches, snacks and drinks, and you’re good to go. Just don’t forget your picnic rug!
4. Camp out.
If the weather permits, you could even sleep out under the stars in your own back garden, says Lascelles. This is a great option for those with kids.
Dig out that old tent or those sleeping bags that have been gathering dust, grab a portable BBQ (to make dinner with) and don’t forget your hot water bottles.
If you don’t have the outdoor space, why not build a cosy den indoors and sleep there instead – midnight snacks, fairy lights and blankets are a must.
While connection is key during the lockdown, it’s wise to give yourself time to disconnect for a little while. “Try and unplug from the noise when you can,” says Lascelles. “If anything, due to current circumstances, screen time is up so try and make your staycation weekend device-free in certain rooms in the house.
“You could even try and carry this on throughout the coming weeks. You may feel uncomfortable at first and even become bored but you will adapt quickly and start to enjoy it.”
6. Get moving.
As it stands, we can all leave our homes once a day for exercise – so try and find a new route to explore. Preferably one where other people aren’t going or a place where you can keep a good distance from others. A good hour’s walk will leave you feeling invigorated and like you’ve actually escaped for a bit.
Failing that, treat yourself to an exercise class as you would if you were staying in a hotel with a gym, says Lascelles. There are plenty of online fitness classes to choose from – we tried them – and most can be done from your living room with no extra equipment needed. We even chatted to Joe Wicks about his one!
7. Get creative in the kitchen.
There’s something really nice and fulfilling about preparing a proper meal – whether you’re making it for yourself, or for others in your household. Pick a recipe, something you’ve never made before, and embrace the challenge. If you live with others, get them involved in making dinner too – then make sure you all sit down to eat together.
Make your own pizzas. “Not only is it cheaper it’s also a fun activity to get the whole family involved with,” says Lascelles. And if all else fails, order a takeaway.