I only have so many vacation days a year. And, like most of you, I value those days. Saving them for when I really need them. If you are like me, you can get very particular on when to take a day for fear that an unknown circumstance or opportunity may pop up in the future and you will think, “Why did I use my day, then?” But, let me tell you, be selfish and take a Vacation Day that is solely for you but not for travel. It will help you clear your mind and possibly cross things off your ever growing list.
Quite frankly, I think Vacation Days at home are the best and here are my 10 reasons why.
1. Breakfast with your Kids
There is something about sitting down with your child and eating together that is bonding. I realized that Lo and I eat breakfast together one day a week, Saturdays. That is it. And, that is sad. She is usually with a babysitter at breakfast time and weekends, we are always on the go. Rush, rush, rush! So taking a moment to enjoy each other is so fulfilling.
2. Time to Regroup
Our home is suppose to be our sanctuary and “safe” place. After hectic schedules, stressful meetings and looming projects, sometimes the last thing we want to do is waste our vacation days on stressing ourselves out even more with a trip. And, while a getaway can sound divine, if you are traveling with littles, you may just be adding to your headache. A day at home can be what you need to decompress and get your mind back on track.
3. Take Care of Ignored Projects
Maybe it is the piling laundry, the heaping dishes, a piece of clothing that needs returned and sent to the Post Office, a hallway closet that is busting at the seems, a vacation day at home can give you the time to take care of things that have been neglected or typically wait for the weekends. I read once that you should do all your chores during the work week so weekends can be truly reserved for relaxing and fun. That is is great except sometimes the work weeks are so crazy, that these things truly add up. And, weekends, can sometimes feel like an extension of the work week.
4. Invest In Your Relationships
Being able to rock my baby girl to sleep for each nap is what vacation days are made of! Hands down. No more needs added to this list. All relationships in our lives need time, maintenance and care. Sometimes we get so caught up in our professional relationships that we fail our personal. I swear my little girl giggles and smiles more on a random Wednesdays than on Saturdays. Maybe it is my mentality that this day is a treat to us both.
5. An Excuse For PJs All Day
And, maybe I should add no makeup too! I love not having to make a fuss over what I am wearing and how I look. Now, I am not saying lets just be a slob but what I am saying is no hose (ah, yes!), no heels, no curling my hair and no eyeliner. It is a free pass to not have to worry about dress codes, uniforms or formalities. Get comfy and be you!
6. Make Time For Your Hobbies
We work so hard, so many days of the year, and sometimes our passions in life, like our hobbies, well, they get neglected. My hobby is writing. It is therapy for me! Typically I have to sneak it into my schedule or rush through it in between chores and responsibilities. Sometimes enjoying our hobby can make us feel guilty and that is sad.
7. Treat Yourself / Children
Make time for that much needed pedicure or manicure or schedule an appointment to get in with your stylist. Or, if you have a little one or ones, like me, take the time to schedule a date or a special activity. Baby Lo and I scheduled a lunch date to Chick-fil-A. While that may not seem like much, let me tell you, being able to spend time with her, during a day and time, that I would typically be engrossed with work projects, was such a treat!
When you ask someone who looks fabulous in their 50’s and 60’s “What is your secret?” Among water and sunscreen, the third magic word is “sleep.” While I am not saying sleep in until 10 am, if you can, do it, but for me and many other parents, sometimes a Vacation Day at home means you can turn the alarm clock off and you can capture an extra 30 minutes in the morning. Or, gasp, take a mid-day nap with the kids. Oh, who knew becoming an adult and parent would be so exciting? But, let me tell you something. On the random days I get a nap or an extra half hour, I am like giddy kid!
9. Explore Your Local Town / Neighborhood
Because we are so busy our family does one of two things – we either get away, away or we are home enjoying the same ol’ favorites. If you force yourself to take a day off and stay home, it is a great excuse to explore local parks and forests, find great activity centers for kids or even try a new restaurant.
10. Give Your Brain A Break
Turn off your phone and turn your back to email. Focus on you, your family and your comfort place. Your brain needs a break!
So, that is my stance folks! Sometimes money is tight and timing is off and a vacation in the tropics with your toes in the sand, may only happen once a year. Therefore, use those Vacation Days! They are there as a benefit and they are yours. Taking a break, unplugging and stepping away is healthy and necessary. While I would not turn down hearing crashing waves, I know sometimes the best Vacation Day I can take is one at home, especially with my Lo.