You're burned out, but you have no money for a vacation.
That's no reason not to use your much-needed vacation days, however. "Staycations" are becoming increasingly popular as employees use their vacation time to recharge at home. For many people who are overworked, relaxing at home can actually be more invigorating than heading to the coast for a week. It's because you won't have to replace your work stress with travel stress.
There are rules, though, that must be followed if you want to make the most of your staycation and return to work ready to dive back in with renewed vigor.
1. Don't work
Studies have shown that most people continue to work while they are on vacation. Smartphones and laptops have made it easier than ever to stay connected 24/7, but you won't be able to recover from burnout or work stress if you're still thinking about work every day. Tell your co-workers that you will only be available if it's an emergency and leave your work email alone.
2. Indulge in your favorite hobbies
Remember that book that's been sitting on your nightstand collecting dust for six months? Or those Pinterest recipes you've been itching to try? Whatever it is you wish you had more time to do, now is the time to allow yourself to get lost doing something you love to do that you don't get to do very often. Create something with your own hands, or enjoy the creations of others. This is a great way to reconnect with yourself after being stretched too thin for too long.
3. Spend some quality time with your family
I'd harbor a guess that one reason you're taking time off is that you want to spend some time with family. Without work driving your schedule, you have limitless opportunities to take advantage of special moments with your spouse and children, so don't let them pass you by.
You may have a lot of activities planned for your time off, but don't forget to rest up, too. Your body needs to recharge just as much as your mind does.
5. Go on a local field trip
Do you live near a museum or any good hiking trails? Is there a movie that has just come out that you want to see? There's no reason to stay cooped up at home through the duration of your staycation. Get out of the house and enjoy some local flavor, free from the manacles of work.
You may not accomplish everything you want during your time off. You may even get bored with all your extra time. This is completely fine. Once the novelty of so much extra free time wears off, you will hopefully be more fit to work when it's time to go back. Only this time you won't be distracted by thoughts like, "If only I could stay home and read all day."
You work hard to provide for your family. You owe it to yourself to have an enjoyable staycation.