Wellness staycations have come into their own over the last couple of years, with more and more people being mindful of the benefits of planned self-care. There is nothing like a wellness staycation to kick-start a new health regimen, celebrate your progress toward reaching your goals, or indulge in some serious pampering (or all of the above). Whether you choose to spend your staycation at home or luxuriating at a local spa, a self-care break is calling. Below, we reveal some of our favorite ideas for making the most of a wellness staycation.

Set Your Intentions

Experts recommend setting intentions for a wellness staycation. Why? As Ken Robbins, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison tells Health, when people don’t plan time off, “‘they answer the phone, they do an errand, people stop over, and before they know it, the week is over, and they’ve done what they usually do.’” Instead, try writing down a rough set of daily goals, physical and mental, for your staycation.

If you want to connect more with your partner, plan activities with them – anything from date night at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant downtown to getting a couples massage. If your hope for the wellness staycation is that you unplug and rejuvenate, consider creating blocks of time where you turn your phone’s notifications off and leave answering emails until after your meditation or Qi Gong session in the garden. Plan time in nature, schedule time to stretch, and block off time to do nothing more than reading a book or magazine while sipping your favorite Champagne. Setting your intentions now will help keep the week from getting away from you.

Book a 5-Star In-Town Hotel Stay

Is there a nearby boutique hotel that has been getting rave reviews? Is there a 5-star hotel that gives guests access to hot springs, sunrise Yoga, or luxury spa facilities? Are you 20 minutes (or less) away from a rejuvenating retreat that can help you unplug, refocus, and embark on a new health and wellness path? Now may be the perfect time to take advantage of these local treasures.

Wellness means something different to different people. For some, a wellness staycation at a luxury hotel is an opportunity to get away from routine, enjoy daily massages, indulge in room service, and get pampered before re-engaging with their regular hectic schedule. The experts at Southern Living suggest that just the act of “packing an overnight bag will give you the guise of a getaway, even if you’re just headed down the street.”

For others, a wellness staycation at a hotel can mean learning about new eating regimens, experiencing guided meditations, and having personal training sessions with noted professionals to help jump-start a healthier life plan. Wherever you fall on this self-care spectrum, know that taking this time for yourself can result in a more energized and engaged you.

Indulge at a Local Spa

Depending on where you live, a luxury, local spa experience can be yours and the perfect way to launch your wellness staycation. From getting papaya facials in Nob Hill to reparative caviar and oxygen quenching facials in Manhattan, dewier skin may just be an appointment away. Even simply spending the day taking a steam, getting a rejuvenating massage, enjoying sea salt scrubs, and scheduling aromatherapy sessions can make a difference to your body and mind.

Are you near Charleston? Book an energizing massage at The Estuary Spa. Martha Stewart Living adores the spa’s “Blue Eucalyptus Energizing Massage” for anyone wanting a holistic approach to rejuvenation. The Magazine reports: “The massage focuses on adrenal fatigue, starting with a steaming blue eucalyptus inhalation to boost immunity, then a deep tissue massage with ginger root oil to get rid of tension, stress, and rebalance the adrenal system.”

How about a geothermal hot springs soak? If you are lucky enough to be close to hot springs, you’ll love adding a soak to your staycation plans. For those who live in and around Napa, the Solage Spa in Calistoga offers a terrific way to wind down, release stress and enhance mental clarity: a guided, floating meditation at night with a view of the stars and the moon.

Luxuriate At Home

Martha Stewart Living opines that a successful wellness staycation may not be complete without at least one at-home evening of pampering. The Magazine recommends putting together “a self-care kit that includes essentials like a facial gua sha or a jade roller for glowing skin, a knotted silk headband, homemade bath salts, and a manicure kit with your favorite nail polish.” Travel + Leisure loves the idea of indulging in some decadent skincare products like “Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil” from Switzerland’s La Prairie. Using candles, soft music, and some light incense (or your favorite oil diffuser) also can go a long way toward creating the perfect environment for you to rid yourself of unwanted stress.

Sample New Food

Food tours can be terrific opportunities to enjoy new restaurants or cuisine. Travel + Leisure loves the notion of taking “a food tour of your city or somewhere nearby.” The Magazine applauds “[signing] up for a professionally organized trip with a guide if available, or arrange your own tour with multiple stops for small plates or single courses at a variety of restaurants you’ve always wanted to try.” You may even want to set up classes given by local chefs known for your favorite cuisine.

A new healthy dietary regimen may mean extra preparation, so make a plan early in your wellness staycation to gather fresh ingredients, create menus, and establish blocks of time for testing new recipes. If you are inspired to learn more, hire a personal chef to help you create a new plan to meet your healthy eating goals going forward.

Explore Your Home City

People can often feel stuck when they aren’t learning or trying new things. Work and family demands can make having new experiences challenging, but a wellness staycation is a perfect time to break the routine. InStyle suggests exploring your hometown; “Take a day to re-explore your city, from that charming new coffee shop to the most recent exhibit at the local museum.” You’ll be amazed at how good you feel after experiencing something new in a town that seems so familiar. Don’t be surprised if you are tempted to add hometown excursions to your weekends even after your staycation.

Take a Meditation Break

Take a meditation break if you find yourself struggling to unplug as your wellness staycation begins. Just the act of turning off your phone’s notifications and stepping away from work emails will help reset your self-care intentions. If you are a regular practitioner, make a plan to spend extra time each day in your meditation suite, nook, or garden, focusing on breathwork or music therapy. If you are new to the practice, start by choosing short, guided sessions on recommended apps, like SoundMind.

Get Moving

Turn off (or down) your devices and get moving. Experts tell Health that a wellness staycation “should include one active element every day,” but that doesn’t mean trekking to the fitness center or spending your days in front of your MIRROR smart gym (although you certainly can add those elements into your plan). Instead, Mike Munro, a fitness consultant in New York City, suggests to Health that people try “a new hiking trail, or combining a hike with a midday picnic.” You can even have decadent picnics with all your favorites catered by incredible local restaurants, so all you have to do is pick them up and get ready for fun.

Have you been tempted to train for a local charity event that aligns with your family’s philanthropic endeavors? Your wellness staycation may be the best time to start as Health reports that “several studies have demonstrated the link between volunteering and greater mental and physical health.” It’s a terrific way to feel connected to your world while advancing your healthier living plans.

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