Mental Health Breaks and Mini-Staycations

Have you ever come back from a vacation and immediately felt like you needed another one? Or has it been a while since you’ve had one?

If you’re anything like me, you fall into habit during your non-vacationing life. Maybe you have a favourite coffee shop, or a park or a restaurant you love. Returning over and over again to places you enjoy is comforting, for sure. I do it a lot. But don’t underestimate the power of novelty for R&R.

Last weekend was my wedding anniversary. We took the opportunity to go on a mini-staycation, just the two of us. It was a lot of fun, and it wasn’t particularly expensive. We had dinner at a new-to-us steakhouse chain, went home instead of staying at a hotel, then the next morning, ventured into a trendy neighbourhood we don’t usually frequent, and wandered down the street and picked a restaurant for brunch at random (why yes, we are slightly addicted to Yelp, why do you ask?). Good choice, too – they had delicious house-smoked bacon!

That particular street was full of fancy/trendy furniture stores, so we poked around a few and drooled at all the gorgeous reclaimed wood and designer tables. We’re not even in the market for new furniture, and a lot of what we saw wouldn’t fit in our tiny rooms anyway (giant harvest table? uh, no), but window-shopping was fun! On our way back we picked up some bright yellow potted chrysanthemums to decorate our front steps for fall. We’re still admiring them every time we go in or out of the house.

(Oh, and we also spent a good chunk of time binge-watching Stranger Things and catching the opening weekend of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, then dissecting them from all angles. One might think we were writers or something.)

This coming weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada, I’m taking a few extra days off, and I’ll have family in town. It’s a vacation for them and a staycation for us. I expect we’ll do a mixture of sharing our favourite places with some of our favourite people and doing things in the city we don’t usually get to do. (Plus eating turkey, of course.)

I can’t wait.

How about you? When was the last time you had an adventure without leaving town?


  1. I need to do that more often. My vacations for the past few years have been camping. I have mentioned to the beloved that we should consider doing something different for one of them (we get two weeks a year).

    Sounds like a lovely time!

  2. The nice thing about staycations is they can be done on a regular weekend! But using vacation time is nice too. We did that a few years ago, took a week off and didn’t go anywhere. Spent it wandering around the city and doing all the things we don’t usually do because they’re too far away (long weekday commutes = not wanting to go far afield on the weekends). It was awesome. I’m still plotting to do that again when it’s just the two of us.

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