Long days spent at work. Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Preparing for school to be out for the summer. Chances are these things sound all too familiar. The solution for these daily stressors? A much needed vacation.
Often times, though, the time and expense it takes to plan a relaxing trip to some far off destination just isn’t doable. Enter staycations. This simple, yet refreshing idea is a great way to get all the perks of a vacation, without any of the hassle. On top of that, you can use your staycation as an excuse to discover new places and activities in your community.
When taking time off from work, it’s easy to get lulled into a vacation slump that may not leave you feeling refreshed. To ensure that your staycation gives you the health boost you need to look and feel your best, family medicine specialist, Rashmi Kulkarni, MD, a provider of Gwinnett Medical Group, shares 5 easy tips:
1. Get out of your comfort zone. While staycations are a great way to indulge in the comfort of being at home, don’t be afraid to try something new. Not only will a new activity leave you feeling invigorated, it may also provide some health perks, too.
In the Atlanta area, you don’t have to look far to find plenty of fun, yet active options. For instance, try stopping by Atlantic Stationfor stress-relieving yoga. Or go for a walk on the Atlanta Beltline, or maybe even go for a hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park, Kennesaw Mountain Trail, Stone Mountain, or many others. Don’t forget about the Atlanta Botanical Gardenswith over 30 acres of gardens to explore.
2. Channel your inner chef. Since you are on vacation, why not spoil yourself with some extra delicious food, right? Focus on planning meals that will not only taste good, but make you feel good, inside and out. And with extra time on your hands, you can finally try some of those tasty recipes you’ve been saving.
One of the best places to find fresh produce, or locally-made foods is your community’s farmer’s market. You can enjoy seasonal fruits and veggies, and oftentimes freshly made baked goods, honey and other local products. And if you’re interested in learning to cook something new, you can always sign up for a cooking class.
3. Get serious about relaxation. Arguably one of the best parts of vacation is relaxation. But instead of just zoning out, sleeping or watching TV to relieve stress, it’s time to take your relaxing to the next level. When you get serious about relaxing, you will enjoy several added health benefits, like improved sleep quality and more energy.
One of the most important ways to start relieving stress is to unplug. Yes—this means finally turning off your cellphone. When you remove yourself from the world of social media, emails and apps for just a few days, you’ll feel more grounded, more like yourself and more connected to the world around you. Another great way to feel pampered and truly relaxed is to book a spa treatment. Surprisingly, a massage can help to relieve anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches, insomnia and many other health conditions.
4. Rekindle your relationships. Just because you’re taking a vacation for a little you time doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your time alone. Use your free time to reach out to and reconnect with friends. However, if you feel like you do need some extra solo time, don’t forget to show yourself some love.
Self-love, or self-compassion, is when you show yourself appreciation and support which fosters physical, psychological and spiritual growth. It’s an important way to reflect, regroup and to be more mindful in the busyness of everyday life.
5. Invest in your health. When your daily schedule is already full, it’s hard to imagine squeezing in even one more thing. But with some extra time on your hands, a staycation is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your doctor’s appointments. Not only will seeing your providerhelp to ensure your overall health, it will also make you feel empowered and motivated to continue living healthfully.
So whether you just have a few health questions, are in need of preventative screenings, or are seeking expert care and treatment, the Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Careteam is equipped to thoroughly care for all of your health needs.