27 Ideas for Your Stay-At-Home Holiday Weekend

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Sticking around for labor day? According to the American Express Spend and Save Tracker, 53% of us plan to get away during 2015’s summer holiday weekends, which means that about 47% of us plan to stay at home.

Staying home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the time off. In fact, it’s a wonderful opportunity to rest, reflect, and boost your creativity. By renewing your physical, mental, spiritual, and social/emotional states, your are “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have—you.” 1 That’s according to Stephen Covey in his popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Mr. Covey argued that your productivity is enhanced when you take the time to rest.

Here are 27 ideas you can use to boost your creativity (and productivity) on a stay-at-home holiday weekend:

1. Discover something new.

Staycations are all the rage these days. How fun is it to discover something new where you live? Take a look in the local paper, or do a search online. Is there a new restaurant nearby? What about a gallery or exhibit? Or, simply a new workshop at the local community college?

2. Get bored.

I know. This sounds, well, boring. But, sometimes doing nothing can be the best thing to do, as long as you are mindful about it. Enjoy the feeling of having no obligations—nothing on your to do list. This way, you can appreciate and acknowledge the present moment.

3. Read a book.

Try reading something that gives you new ideas. Check out my reading list for ideas.

4. Find an art project.

Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, recommends bringing art into your life frequently. Define art loosely—perhaps you would like to make a scrapbook of summer adventures, or refurbish worn furniture. Or, paint a picture. You choose.

5. Improve your home.

If you can find a project that relaxes you, this can be a win-win!

6. Hang out with friends.

Building relationships can be wonderful for the creative (and productive) process. And, reminding yourself of your social support can feel refreshing.

7. Cook something that takes a little extra time.

Cooking can be a relaxing. Sometimes, however, it can be a lengthy process. Take a holiday weekend to enjoy cooking something that takes a long time. And, if you make too much, you can always freeze the leftovers!

8. Reflect.

You can do this by being reflective, writing in a journal, or even writing thank you notes!

9. Get active.

Giving yourself more time to be active is a wonderful, win-win gift. You can maximize your time by playing an active game with family and friends, or by listening to an audiobook while you run, walk, cycle, or strengthen.

10. Get a massage.

Try using websites like Groupon or Living Social to find discounts. I also use Yelp to double check that the massage therapist has a good reputation.

11. Stretch, a lot.

Stress manifests itself in our muscles. Think about it—you tense your shoulders, back, and other areas when you are under stress. Take a minute to stretch. I use a 20-minute yoga podcast to give me great ideas. One of my favorite episodes is Episode 25, the shoulder opening session.

12. Find quality time with your romantic partner.

Give yourself time to catch up and enjoy each other’s company.

13. Learn something new about a family member.

Better yet, record a story for StoryCorps.

14. Volunteer in your community.

Helping others boosts your own happiness, longevity, and effectiveness. Check out resources to match your interests with the needs of others.

15. Do something you normally wouldn’t.

It’s refreshing and productive to try something that’s a little out of your comfort zone. It opens your eyes to new possibilities, and gives you a chance to see something in a new way.

16. Catch up on chores.

Ugh, I know. But for some people (like me), a clean environment is a creative environment. Maximize your time during chores—listen to a podcast or an audio book, or just sing along to the radio. And, use green cleaners for your health and the environment.

17. Catch a movie.

Now, I am not a supporter of screen time. But, if you don’t normally go to the movies, doing so every once in a while can be a treat.

18. Check out a local community event.

Check out your local farmer’s market or other event. Labor day gives communities lots of wonderful excuses to celebrate.

19. Play.

A great way to problem solve freely is to play. Whether it is playing a game in the backyard, or playing a board game in the house, it can give you new ideas, without major consequences.

20. Go to the park.

Getting outside contributes to healthy living, creative productivity, and purposeful growth. It gives you physical activity, time to reflect, and sometimes, you an learn something new.

21. Walk the dog.

Walking, or any type of moderate activity, gets your heart pumping (and therefore, brings more oxygen to the brain).

22. Chill out… Outside.

As long as you remember to Slip Slap Slop Seek and Slide, a cool drink (like a watermelon agua fresca) and a pretty view can really be relaxing.

23. Barbecue.

Grilling fish, chicken, fruits, and veggies can be a yummy (and relatively quick) way to celebrate summer. What can be better than cooking outside?

24. Take a day hike.

Use the Discover the Forest interactive map. You can type in your location, how far you’d like to travel, and also choose the activity in which you are most interested.

25. Window shop.

Gather ideas from artisans and designers by window shopping. Better yet, duck into an antique shop and enjoy trinkets of the past—you never know what will boost your creativity.

26. Make plans for the future.

Dreaming and brainstorming open your mind to new possibilities. My spouse and I like doing this so much, that we use flip charts to collect our ideas.

27. Get your garden ready for fall.

Getting your garden and lawn ready for cooler weather is great for your plants, and also gets you outside!

What do you plan to do for Labor Day Weekend? Let us know by commenting below!

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  1. Covey, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Free Press New York: 2004. p 288