Written by Amy Scalia

We’ve spent a lot of time at home over the past couple years. And while we might be itching to see new sights and explore again, winter still has us stuck inside for a couple more months. Might as well make the most of it and turn it into a staycation filled with new enrichment, movement and nourishment. Here are a few tips:

Refresh Your Sanctuary
First, let’s breathe some new life into your home. As a hub for work, entertainment, exercise, rest and everything in between — it’s seen it all over the past two years. Burn some sage or rearrange your furniture, whatever feels right for you to refresh and reawaken your space. Change the look and feel of each room by switching out accessories like pillows, throws and bedspreads. Scent is also a powerful way to renew the ambiance of your space, so be sure to switch up scents throughout the year.

Explore Your Mind
Whether you want to document the day, clear the chaos, or focus on gratitude, consider journaling, or make some time each day for meditation or creative mindfulness. These practices can help you focus on the present and positivity in your life. Reaching for a different type of book or TV genre than usual can also get your wheels turning in new ways. They can even teach news skills. Explore your interests one page at a time, whether it’s wine or cocktails, cooking or pairings, astrology or adventuring, gardening, music or art.

Travel from Home
Have to cancel a big vacation due to COVID? Bring the trip to you! Say you had to sideline a bucket list trip to Italy. Or imagine you did!. Play some authentic Italian music, watch a movie or show based in Italy, find some recipes for Italian food to make, and open a nice bottle of Italian wine to enjoy. You can even opt to spend some of that trip money to import goods straight from Italy. Wherever you were planning to go, enjoying as much of it as you can from home now not only brightens today, but it can also help you appreciate the real deal later when you do get to go.

Movement is Medicine
When we’re at home, it’s easy to stay cozy on the couch, but every system in the body relies on us moving. Mental health and cognitive function, heart and lungs, muscles and joints, digestive health and gut microbiome, hormones and mood, metabolism and blood pressure - you name it, it needs us to move frequently and purposefully to be healthy. So, rediscover that home gym, venture out for a walk or run, discover a new trail. Your body will thank you.

For many, getting a good night’s rest has been a long-fought struggle. And while the pandemic allowed for more time at home for sleep, all the stress, anxiety and disruptions led to even worse sleep patterns. To catch more quality Zs, here are a few ideal conditions necessary for improved and more consistent, quality sleep:

1. Create a restful environment: Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet.

2. Journal: The act of journaling allows you to offload any concerns weighing on your mind, instead of mentally unpacking them later in bed.

3. Pay attention to what you eat and drink: Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed, as the discomfort might keep you awake. Check nutrition labels for hidden caffeine and sugar that could keep you up. And while alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

4. Take a warm bath or shower: As you step out, your body temperature drops, mimicking the natural temperature decreases that occur before falling asleep, promoting sleepiness.

5. Find a bedtime routine: A series of quiet, calming activities performed in the same way and at the same time every night leading up to bedtime can lead to improved, quality sleep.

6. Stick to a sleep schedule: Try to get up and go to bed around the same time every night. More consistency helps reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle.

While you try out some of these ideas to make the same four walls feel like new again, remember: progress not perfection. If you try too hard to do anything perfectly, you set yourself up for disappointment and miss out on the fun of living and learning. The very definition of progress is that it’s “an expedition,” “journey,” a “forward and onward movement,” a “gradual betterment.” All things that feel like they’ve been on hold for a while. So, here’s to bettering ourselves, learning and growing from home a little longer. Now that is perfect.