By Samantha Clayton
Does social distancing have you worried about your summer plans? For many, summertime is the time many plan their family vacations. The kids are out of school, the weather is fantastic, and the days are longer—allowing optimal time to venture to new places, catch some sun and spend more time with our friends and families.
While many have already been spending a lot more time with their families then they ever imagined during the coronavirus outbreak, whether you love it or have grown tired of it, you’ve likely run into problems of keeping your family entertained. Between, possibly working from home, managing your kids schoolwork and maintaining a functioning household, this time probably hasn’t felt much like a vacation…
With social distancing guidelines likely to remain in effect in many cities during the summer, activities and entertainment options, lodging, dining will be extremely limited. The truth is, you really don’t have to totally give up on enjoying the summer at home with your family. Here are some tips to make your local staycation feel exciting for the whole family.
Fit Focused Days.
Plan local hiking trips or long walks or bike rides close to home. Enjoy the local parks and embrace the architecture in the neighborhood. A quick Google search of interesting facts can help you to plan what you want to go and see. Being a tourist in your own city will help you have a greater appreciation for your hometown. If you have kids, try setting up a challenge for them to identify certain plants, landmarks or wildlife when you’re out walking. It will make the walks more engaging. Having prizes ready for them helps with the motivation, too. Additionally, backyard games are a blast—sprinklers, hula-hoops and jump rope are things kids love.
Embrace the farmers markets.
Heading out for a trip to the local farmers market is such a treat, and also a great way to shop locally. At this point, many of them have adopted social distancing guidelines, which means it’s also a safe bet for a family outing. The market usually has beautiful fresh, and seasonal options to explore, maybe there are some fascinating new fruits and vegetables you can’t find at your usual grocery store. Also, getting the kids involved in selecting ingredients for your meals may help spark their interest in healthier eating (an added bonus!). Breaking your usual grocery shopping routine by browsing the stalls in beautiful weather will help spark that holiday vibe.
Create your own at-home retreats.
With a little planning, you can make your own backyard or home feel like a perfect vacation spot. All you need to do is set a theme. For a spa weekend, buy or make your favorite products, and set up time to relax and treat yourself. Turn-off or put away all of your tech distractions, set up a space outside or in a quiet room for a peaceful setting. You can even make spa water but cutting up some cucumber or fruit to add some flavoring to your water. Want to create your own yoga retreat? Turn to your favorite online trainer, set up your mat in a designated space, light some candles or incense, and be sure to practice daily, with relaxing music. It’s all about being creative.
Travel with your cooking.
With travel on the back burner, consider themed cooking nights to help transport your taste buds to any destination. It can be really fun to make drinks, shakes and meals with ingredients from places that are on your future travel list. Enjoy a nice Italian wine with your pasta one night, try cooking a beautiful curry meal or ordering take-out from a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Take it a step further and print out some fun-facts online or rent a movie about the particular culture you’ll be indulging that night—the possibilities are endless and it’s a great opportunity to learn about other cultures through food.
Finally, take time to plan out your staycation in the same way you would with a vacation. Having an itinerary of what you want to do helps to prevent the lazy, do-nothing blues from taking over. A vacation is about rest, relaxation, discovery and recreation– all of those things can be accomplished right where you are. Studies have shown a positive correlation between associates taking vacation time and an overall better wellbeing, so no matter what’s on your itinerary, make sure to thoroughly enjoy yourself!
About Samantha Clayton
Samantha Clayton is the vice president of Sports Performance and Fitness Education at Herbalife Nutrition. She has direct responsibility for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors and employees and leads a team that designs nutrition protocols for elite athletes.
Clayton is a certified personal trainer with specialty certifications in group fitness, youth fitness programming, senior fitness and athletic conditioning. Through group training sessions, fitness educational tools and the Herbalife Nutrition-sponsored blogs I Am Herbalife Nutrition, Clayton ensures that consumers understand the vital role exercise plays in living a healthier and happier lifestyle.
She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the Company’s corporate wellness program.
Having performed at the highest athletic level, Clayton represented Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Before the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials–a silver medal for the 200m and bronze for the 100m–as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997.
Samantha Clayton is also a mother of four, and lives in Los Angeles with her family.