How to Plan a Guilt-Free Wellness Weekend on your next Staycation
Updated: Sep 9
We staycation a lot in the UK, in fact we've relied on these trips more than ever during these strange times while being unable to travel abroad. Not only for a change of scene, but to take a rest from work; for many of us it's started to feel less like we work from home, and more like we live at work!
This summer, we were supposed to be hiking in the Rocky Mountains, Canada, but Covid put a spanner in those plans. Luckily, finding dream spots in the UK has become an enjoyable hobby of sorts. Being Wellness Director at Psychologies magazine, Ali gets invited to some of the most incredible retreats, hotels and resorts on press trips, but it is often the places we have searched and searched for, or recommendations we've had from friends, that become the most magical trips.
We managed to get booked into The Hide Cuckfied (@The_Hide_Cuckfield) this weekend; a gorgeous little shepherds hut placed magically on the edge of a lake, and it rivalled our trip to the Italian countryside a few weeks ago (take a look here for a sneak peek - it's beautiful). We both worked on a Friday, but we packed the car the night before with food, washbags and workout clothes. No hassle. No passport control, no foreign money exchange, no jet lag. From our front door in London to sitting at The Hide in Sussex, coffee in hand, in less than an hour.
So often, holidays = overindulgence. Ours used to center around all night parties and boozy, lavish dinners. The problem is, we'd come home feeling bloated, tired, and
unrested, needing a holiday to get over the holiday. Of course, a wellness weekend doesn't mean you can't have fun, and the Ibiza party days don't need to be over, just perhaps not so regular. We still enjoy a glass of wine over dinner and treat ourselves to ice cream and cakes when we fancy it, but we balance this with our usual home routine of rising early, moving our bodies daily and eating to nourish our bodies. All you really need is a stove to cook on, nature trails, a travel yoga mat, a good book, and the ocean.
If you want an easy wellness plan to follow and take away with you on your staycation, including a quick no equipment workout, 5 minute morning and evening meditation and meal and supplement guide, download our FREE One-Day Wellness Plan here.
5 easy tips for a guilt-free Wellness Weekend
1. Find the alternatives to the naughties.
Pack some alcohol free Prosecco & 0% beers. Choose 85% dark chocolate over sugar-laden milk chocolate for dessert. Pack unsalted nuts and seeds or yummy quinoa/lentil crisps for snacks, instead of high oil salted crisps. Allow yourself a few treats, but come prepared with enjoyable healthy options to balance them with too!
2. Move your body for minimum 20 minutes
Try and do this when your rise, to help you enjoy the rest of your day. A 20 minute run to explore the local area, or a HIIT session (try this one) before breakfast is always a no-hassle option, but planning your day around being active is a great way to ensure you go home feeling great. Plan a long walk or run in nature, climb a mountain, walk to a viewpoint and do some yoga, even go for a swim in the sea or hire a kayak. Have an adventure and get your body moving!
3. Binge on wellness
Really allow yourself to binge on wellness. Take naps, pack your supplements, bring everything you need for a DIY face mask, maybe even book a massage! Deep tissue massage can help release toxins/stress, increasing blood flow to the entire body and reducing inflammation brought on by exercise, stress and a bad diet. Plus, it feels amazing!
4. Maintain your healthy eating routine
Eating out doesn’t need to be unhealthy - every restaurant will have a healthy option. Commit to your wellness weekend by deciding (before you leave), to make every meal a healthy one. Aim for high protein and low carb. If a meal is heavy on carbs request to replace or adjust the unhealthier aspect with more veg!
5. Coffee and conversation
Coffee is a stimulant, just like alcohol, sugar, cigarettes etc., and too much of it can affect sleep and mental health. HOWEVER, the right amount at the right time (aim for between mid morning and lunchtime) can be very beneficial. A moderate amount can help increase focus and stimulates the central nervous system; boosting serotonin levels to elevate your mood. Brew up a cup and chew the fat over a long, sit down breakfast. “A problem shared is a problem halved” - chat with a friend or partner or call a loved one. Get deep, maybe a bit uncomfortable, but let it be positive/optimistic. So often being away from home can give us the perspective we need to make changes in our lives, and talking is therapy to help us work through problems or ideas. Open up and wait for the aha-moments to appear!