“Staycation” Tips for Brain Injury Survivors & Caregivers

We recently did a post on vacation tips for survivors (here), so today, we’re offering some “staycation” tips for those who need or want to stay close to home.

While going away for a few days to a week in the summer can be a wonderful opportunity for survivors and caregivers to get away and relax, it’s not feasible for some. Many survivors and caregivers don’t want to be far from home or are simply unable to leave a loved one alone or in the care of a family member or friend. If you’re looking to do something special this summer and need to relax and recharge your batteries, but don’t want a lot of hassle, consider planning a staycation.

Staycations became especially popular during the economic downturn, but nowadays, even as the economy improves little by little, they’re just as popular as ever. Consider these tips as you plan your staycation.

1. Take at least a week off. Whether you’re a survivor or caregiver who works part-time, full-time or even just volunteers on an as needed basis, plan to take a week off. You don’t have to be going away for a beach vacation to take some time off and take care of YOU.

2. Plan day trips you wouldn’t normally take. During the year, your schedule is likely full of doctors appointments, rehabilitation and other tasks, so appreciate a full week of fun trips and activities you wouldn’t normally participate in. Go to the zoo, aquarium, visit a sleepy beach town for the day or go to a museum. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s relaxing for you and/or the survivor or caregiver in your life.

3. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings. Although you’re thinking of having a staycation, it’s important to be mindful of what certain locations might bring. If you’re planning a trip as a survivor or with a survivor, keep in mind that there may be too much stimulation and noise at an amusement park, for example, but a museum will likely be quieter and more enjoyable. Talk to the survivor in your life to see what he or she thinks. Also, make sure to plan breaks throughout the day to avoid fatigue.

4. Relax. Don’t plan appointments, classes or other mundane tasks during your staycation. On days you don’t plan any activities, RELAX. Read that book you’ve been dying to read or try out a new relaxing activity like yoga or meditation. Appreciate days without any required activities and simply enjoy a time that is quiet and peaceful.

5. Treat yourself. During the rest of the year we try to exercise, eat healthy, get an adequate amount of sleep and do our best to be as health conscious as possible. During your staycation, treat yourself a bit. Have a dessert you might not normally indulge in (as most people do when they’re on vacation), sleep in, take a bubble bath or go get a massage. Treat yourself to something you might not normally any other day.

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