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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

How to Stay in the Smart Zone During Your Spring Break "Staycation"

Spring Break is coming up and I know many of you will be working during Spring Break or taking a "Staycation." A "Staycation," where you stay at home during a vacation, can be more relaxing and is definitely easier on the wallet.

Like any vacation, planning out what you'll do ahead of time will help you stay in the Smart Zone. If you have children, involve them in what you plan to do during your Spring Break Staycation. Write down your plans and discuss what sounds fun. This way both you and your kids can look forward to a fun week! If you missed my tips on "What to do During Your Family Staycation" on FOX 4 Good Day last week click here to watch it. Feel free to watch this short behind-the-scenes video we did just for fun while at the FOX studio. Even if you will be at work over Spring Break there are things you can do to take a break and many fun things can be done with your kids after you get home from work. Here are a few Smart Moves to keep you working in the Smart Zone during your Spring Break Staycation:

  • Turn off your phone and computer. I am tempted many times to stay up late catching up on emails. Take a break from this during your Staycation and spend time with your kids or reading a book in the evenings. This will help you leave work stress behind. Recently I was interviewed about ways to handle work stress. Click here to watch it.

  • Kids plan dinner night. Let your kids be in charge of dinner one night. Let them be involved all they way from planning the menu, making the grocery list, going to the grocery store with you, preparing the meal, setting the table - and cleaning up!

  • Play "hometown tourist." Visit fun things to do in your town - like a museum (several are free), aquarium, putt-putt golf, zoo, roller or ice skating rink, etc. Don't forget about the botanic gardens and nature trails. The fun thing about visiting hometown spots is that you can relive the memories when you pass by these places after your staycation is over.

  • Game or Spa Day. Let your kids invite friends over for a game day (I have boys) complete with a tournament, rules and prizes. Or girls may enjoy getting together for a spa day - with mani-pedis, hair-dos and a fashion show.

  • Spend the night at a local family-friendly hotel. Let your kids swim and enjoy eating out.

  • Plan theme nights. Movie night, ice cream sundae night, game night, pizza night and American Idol night are just a few ideas. Throw out some ideas and let your kids decide how the theme will be carried out.

  • Camp out in the backyard. Put up the tent, roll out your sleeping bags, eat smores and tell ghost stories - but with the convenience of your own bathroom!

  • Organize a craft. I like paper mache projects and collages that can be framed. And you can find really inexpensive craft kits at Hobby Lobby and Michaels that your kids will love.

  • Volunteer with your kids. This will take some pre-planning but it can be as easy as buying and taking food to the local food bank or picking up trash in your neighborhood. Find a place that can use volunteers like your church, the animal shelter, nursing home or library and schedule a few hours for you and your children to help out. Other ideas are going through old books and donating them to the library, taking clothes to a homeless shelter or donating your old toys.

Happy Spring Break!

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