Please help me plan a productive and relaxing staycation.
November 17, 2018 8:22 AM   Subscribe

I have the opportunity to take some time off from work between 12/14-1/2, which amounts to 19 consecutive days off. This will be the longest “staycation” I think I have ever taken. I live in Southern California, so it’s likely the weather will be fine (probably high 60s during the day). Aside from a couple of day or quick overnight trips, I don’t want to travel. How can I make the most of this time, by being productive, but also allowing myself to feel refreshed and ready to work in January (I’ve been feeling a bit burned out lately).

I would like to partly use this time to really get in shape. In 2018 I lost just under 20 lbs, weight I had gained over the past 7 years due to quitting smoking and menopause, mostly. I did this by adjusting my diet, with very little exercise, except hiking here and there. I could stand to lose 10 more, but I would like 2019 to be the year I really get in shape, and build some muscle, improve my core and posture. What can I do during this “break” to see some real progress toward this goal? I’m contemplating yoga every day, hiring a trainer for two weeks, taking some kind of class… I don’t know. Money is not unlimited, but I could spend a couple of hundred dollars toward this goal. Ideas? What has helped you get on the path to being in good shape in the shortest amount of time?

Also, any ideas for short, out of the ordinary day trips or overnight trips in Southern California? Or even outside of Socal, but I don’t want to be gone long, I’ll be traveling over Thanksgiving.
Thanks in advance for any tips on how to make this time off productive and relaxing.
posted by parkerposey to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
In terms of productive AND relaxing AND slightly physical, my favorite staycations have involved podcasts and tackling a project like reorganizing the linen closet. Truly, I enjoy the pesky housecleaning projects that I otherwise have a hard time prioritizing. It actually feels indulgent, & the resulting tidiness feels great, too.
posted by little_dog_laughing at 8:49 AM on November 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

I don't know a thing about Southern California, but my sense of the combination of relaxing staycation and getting in shape is lots of long, long walks. In NYC, I'd pick unfamiliar areas of the city to prowl around, and cover a lot of ground. Short trips to your nearest walkable touristy area, buy a walking tour guidebook, and see the sights?
posted by LizardBreath at 9:04 AM on November 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

Collect all the trial class/2 weeks free/one month for only $20! Offers for different gyms and studios in your area, and find one you want to commit to for later.

Also see some movies, galleries, or shows and visit some coffee shops would be my pick.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:15 AM on November 17, 2018 [12 favorites]

I agree so much with little_dog_laughing: whenever I'm able to get my personal space squared away, I feel so much calmer and more relaxed. With that long span of time off, I'd set tiny goals for each day. Like 30 minutes or an hour, tops. Clean out your junk drawer, your closet, those cabinets you never look into.

I'd also pay good attention to the lists of "stuff happening this week/end" that are published weekly at and LAist. If you're a foodie, I'd factor in for food-related events.

I'd also look into the live performances happening at the Music Center, the Pantages, Soraya (at Cal State Northridge), Kirk Douglas Theater, etc.

And like warriorqueen says, every yoga studio in town has a "two weeks unlimited for $30" deal and I'd do that and go every single day.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:38 AM on November 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

Long massage / spa day
posted by 3FLryan at 10:02 AM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

See if classpass has studios near you (if you're in LA, there are many). Classpass usually runs discounts or free trials around the holidays and it is a good way to try a number of studios and classes to see what you like.

I have family in LA and every time I visit we go on a hike somewhere in the city. Trying out a number of different hikes would be a good way to both work out and get some relaxing outdoor time.
posted by Caz721 at 10:09 AM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Bookstores! You'll actually have the time to browse.
posted by crw at 11:01 AM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Here's what I would do:
First week: sleep in, do non-serious exercise, enjoy the time
The rest of the time: set an alarm, get up when it goes off and exercise right away. My thing is walking, so I just get up and take a walk. Have a manageable list of other projects you want to get done and put it somewhere you can see it so that you don't accidentally spend the whole day reading buzzfeed or something.

I'm not sure what your days are like while you're working, but if you can keep exercising right away in the morning that seems to stick better than other options.

signed, an unemployed person who is semi-successfully following this program.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:34 AM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you're in range of a beach, then start hanging out there. Run/bicycle/rollerblade/whatever.
posted by egypturnash at 10:14 PM on November 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

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