How you can take a holiday when you can't “take a holiday” (low to no cost ideas to rejuvenate your cells, wherever you are)
Mates. Those of you scrolling past all those luscious IG holiday images. Imaging you could be somewhere balmy, held in nature's warm embrace, relaxing under palms, lapped by turquoise waters and eating seasoned food in wonderful lighting, yet find yourself on your lumpy mattress, eating the same thing for dinner for the 6th day in a row, failing to brush your teeth until 5.23pm cause you have a deadline and your bank account is giving you the middle finger - - -
For i feel you!
Well, i feel this.
Sometimes, my friend, it’s simply not possible to get away and take a holiday.
Like simply impossible.
“See Nothing’s im-possible- see the ´i´ and the ´m´ spell i’m and that means ´i’m possible´ so you can”
To you, insensitive motivational speaker, i say, “be off with you!”. For sometimes, you can’t assume someone’s circumstances. I know in theory you can do anything you set your mind to, but really, it’s not completely true.
That’s a sad opening. But here’s the silver lining in the form of a storytime blog post.
To those of you who may feel stuck, a little resentful and unable to contain your eyerolls at people who have no idea what it’s like to live in the real world with real circumstances to deal with, i’ve got you.
I was that kid that grew up not going on family hols. I lie. I went to the Caribbean when i was six and even got taken out of school to go. I know i just completely wankered myself and you hate me for saying that. But i feel that one and only holiday of youth made up for all the non-goings.
I’m not selling this concept as someone who understands, am i?
I can’t make excuses about that particular trip being a family pre-move thing or whatnot, i still got to sun my six year old ass in a place that most folks would describe as paradise.
But i haven’t done it for a really really really long time since. Until February that is. Which is another story of sickness. But trust me, i know a thing or two about living with not a lot at all and making the most of what you have. I’d say i was well practiced. A professional of poverty. A connoisseur of cashlessness.
This isn't supposed to be funny, or making light of being poor. Cause it sure as hell isn't funny being broke af. It’s not an aesthetic to be co-opted. The council estate i grew up in isn’t your trendy photoshoot backdrop. But i digress. And i feel i can jest because i’ve been about that life. It's a part of me. And it taught me a lot about doing a lot with very little. Perhaps that’s another story…..
Let me break it down for the real ones.
So, you can’t get away on a break.
You might be self employed and unable to take your foot off the gas at the moment.
Or simply not able to afford going away no matter the hours you’re doing rn.
Struggling with finances is a very real situation.
Managing commitments that mean you have to be where you are right now is also a reality many of us face.
And sometimes, our health is a circumstance that calls for us to be where we are right now (and not leaving on a jet plane with a dozen world cup fans lagered on cheap lager heading somewhere within a three hour flight time. - Hold on, that’s not a dream, that’s an absolute nightmare. You get the drift though.)
Despite one, or all of the reasons above, or even some other very real reason that means you aren’t jetting away someplace for a much needed rest, i’ve collated some ideas for you that are ways to take a holiday when you can’t go on holiday.
These are low to no cost ideas to rejuvenate your cells, wherever you are.
And speaking as someone who is supposed to be on her pilgrimage back to the Greek islands of her yesteryear but is instead looking at pictures of Greece on Pinterest in her pants, i am very much practicing these with you.
Let’s grin and bear it together eh?
Oh and don’t forget to add your ideas in the comments eh?
Here we go!
1 - Go to the library
Yes! If like me, you sleep with books cause they are your best friends...hold on, whatchusay? Um, i mean, if you find solace and unconditional love via the pages of a musty novel, this idea could be right up your street. When was the last time you went to the library? 1992? Mate! The library is where it’s AT! Not only is it a brick box full of paper-porn to run your hands/eyes over, it’s a multimedia festival that ticks many holiday fantasies!
What about a film of summer holiday scenes (sans or avec Cliff, whatever your fancy)?
Want to go to the movies but can’t afford the extortionate ticket/hate hearing the sound of people eating next to you in dark public spaces? Rent a dvd!
Don’t have a dvd player? I can’t help you.
Perhaps peruse the music department! CDs galore (oh, same prob)::: ok, vinyl! Yes! Real records available! And sometimes tapes too! A dream. And some libraries (particularly all of them i’ve been to so far throughout Norway) have record players and equipment for you to lose your shit over.
✨ Book an afternoon of indulgence at the library emporium! ✨
Read the paper! - actually, i don’t recommend that tbh, escape the real world for a while... ... magaZINES! Find a good BOOK! Peruse the reference area and feel very grown up as you touch-dont-touch important documents.
Talk to characters from your local community! Yes! Or, do as i do, take your notebook and write for a while. It’s ever-inspiring.
Have i sold it to you yet?
Ok final tip is to head to older libraries if possible. Might just be my kink but for me, the older the better.
Give me and my nostrils aged must!
Give me forgotten stories etched into the walls!
Paperbacks that are almost disintegrating with time!
Chairs that have lost some stuffing!
Staff that have worked there for 40 years that know their beans!
And because of the nerd that i am, i’m always up for library recommendations for days out. I know. It’s terribly sad to some, but this is my natural habitat.
2 - Bodytalk with self massage
If budget is your bane, you can still get some great body work in with some self massage. I am into this on the regular tbh, to bring a little bit of luxury into the everyday. You can use all kinds of tools and props and get as creative as you dare. For example, tennis balls - an inspo video for you here. Or the FLOOR! Yes! Massage yourself using the floor! Or, traditionally, your hands. Here’s some more guidance for head and neck but i think the best kinds of massages are intuitive ones.
Get to know yourself a little better and give yourself what you need! You might prefer a “dry” massage, or, perhaps use some stuff you have laying around the house. Some kind of oil perhaps from the kitchen? Olive or coconut? Sesame too! Essential oils if you can afford or have some laying around? Remember to dilute them! Here’s what i use in the summertime.
3- Take yourself on a picnic
Oh mama, this is the one! There’s nothing that says “causal luxury” quite like a picnic, is there?
I mean, you can take any food (i think), eat it outside on some kind of bum padding and it luxes things up x 1000.
Am i wrong?
I might be, depending on your location of choice.
I recommend getting some nature moments in if possible, although i’ve done picnics in urban (and i don’t mean "urban" in an awkward musical category definition invented by white people who are too embarrassed to say “black” by the way) spaces and had a whale of a time.
The key is to plan well. Have the tools you need. So, if you’re taking food from home, remember your cutlery, for example. If you use it, that is. Bring napkins/tissues for cleanup. And if like me you want to always touch luxe wherever possible, bring your own glassware and crockery. A plate and something to drink out of that is. Who wants a plastic takeaway cup when you can take your ACTUAL mug out into the open to sip your tea? Hmm?! I get off on it. And the envious yet pleased looks that people give me, knowing they too will do the same one day.
Oh and you can make it work however you like! For example, one of my fave kinds of picnics is a breakfast one! Morning coffee on the green? Say i!
Perhaps take your picnic on your lunch break from work! Or at the end of the day, move dinner outside! The world is your oyster. Or kebab. Etc.
4 - Treat your home territory like a tourist
Think you know where you reside? I bet there’s a feast of places you haven’t been. Or explored in a while. One of my fave things to do is take an early evening walk and have no plan other than to be curious. Follow the curiosity. Get a bit lost. Discover fascinating things/people/cats. Learn more about where you live. And see it with fresh eyes. It’s a tired-ass cliche but really, i’m going to insert something cheesy and faux wise here about travel expanding the mind but you return home or something and see new things i really don't know.
There are a myriad of ways you can enhance this experience, depending on the infrastructure in your locale. For example, try out the rental bikes if you’re in a city big enough. Take public transport somewhere you’ve never been. Use your feet to make a new trail. The possibilities are endless. For bonus points, combine with your library visit and get some local history titillations to wet your whistle!
5 Take a day of luxe - A self care day, babes!
So, work might not be giving you the time off you so desperately need. Or perhaps time is limited. But your luxe time is sacred, necessary and it will GIVE you energy! But it's not supposed to make you feel more stressed. So make it an evening or an hour in your day if a day isn’t possible. And do that every day for two weeks. :)
Here’s some ideas of what you can do on your day of luxe.
Make a homemade face mask
Use the mask
Take a free yoga class - heres one i made for you whether you're traveling or not!
Get up late
Go to bed early
Go on an Artists Date
Listen to your fave podcast! Want to hear mine? in no way am i implying that's a fave. But find it here if you fancy!
Give yourself a foot massage
Make a self care box (online or offline!)
Do nothing at all
Meditate! Here you go -a free mediation from Ketil and i!
Take a class you've never tried before!
Find your nearest pool/lido for some watery funtimes!
Wear an outrageous outfit just because. I favour Ethel always, so here's some inspiration.
Make a music playlist and have a music festival. Want some vibes immediately?
Watch old films on youtube and make your own home film festival
Listen to an audio book (you can get a free trial on audible - not sponsored but feel i'm missing a trick the number of times i give them props - lol)
Try morning pages
Get some new ingredients and try a new recipe!
Do a selection of the activities above!
All this stuff is seemingly basic, but i find it’s a really powerful way to reset your brain. It gives it a break from what its doing most of the time to be open to something new. Kind of like what travel does, right?
Having new eyes?
And you can do that, wherever you are.
So, let me know what you think and if you have any ideas of how you can take a holiday, but can’t go on holiday.