#TakeADay for Self-Improvement: How to Get the Most Out of a Staycation

It seems there are just never enough hours in the day. And when to-do lists keep getting longer and the amount of free time is getting shorter, it’s easy to forget to take time for the one person who needs it most: you.

Are you itching to finish that book you started months ago or in desperate need of some peace and quiet? Instead of taking a trip, take a day for a little self-improvement. Sometimes a day (or two) at home is just what you need to feel refreshed and renewed.

Here are a few tips I find helpful to make the most of a self-improvement staycation.

Mind Over Matter

Our minds seem to be racing a million miles a minute at every moment, and sometimes, we need a breather. My recommendation is to meditate. And no, you don’t have to be a yoga extraordinaire to clear your mind with meditation. Simply find a quiet place at home, away from distraction, close your eyes, and begin to focus on your breath and heartbeat. 

If you’d rather try a more structured form of meditation, apps like 1 Giant Mind and Headspace can guide you to a state of mental bliss. Whichever route you choose, you’ll surely come out the other side feeling both sharp and relaxed. Why? It's an easy way to clear your mind and set the mood for your day. Don’t be afraid to try it (no one is looking).

Body Talk

No matter what kind of life you lead, finding time to exercise is a major challenge across the board. A day off is the perfect opportunity to remind your body of its capabilities. You could attend that class at the gym you’ve been curious about, or get on your feet by taking a long walk or bike ride through your neighborhood. You never know what you might find while exploring.

Brain Fuel

While I do love to give my brain a break (usually by watching Parks and Rec reruns), a day off can be great for investing in yourself. Is there a new skill you're looking to hone? Take a day to conquer a Skillshare or Lynda Step away from the computer and sign up for a hands-on culinary course or DIY tutorial. 

Take it a step further by spending the day evaluating your career goals. Where do you want to be in five years? What steps do you need to take to get there? Use time off to update your resume and LinkedIn page (connect with us!).

You can continue challenging yourself while building your personal and professional skillset.

Family First

Lastly, one of the most important aspects of time off is to use it to prioritize your kids and loved ones. You could prepare their favorite recipes or simply tackle a looming project your spouse has been begging you to check off the list. Just allow yourself to focus on relationships that matter without work getting in the way.

And for those friends with whom the only exchange you've had since college are Facebook and Instagram likes, why not send an email or make a call to rekindle the relationships? Even just a few minutes to say you’re thinking of them will mean a whole lot; they’ll be touched by the gesture, and you may even reminisce on an old memory.

No matter how you choose to spend time with the people close to your heart, making that effort will remind you of what’s really important.

Embrace Project: Time Off's challenge to #TakeADay. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you stop focusing on work stresses and start focusing on yourself. Use the hashtag to tell us on Twitter and Instagram how you #TakeADay for self-improvement!

October 13, 2015