Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sleepcation, anyone?

Durn, I thought I coined a new term. Sleepcation. I googled it and found lots of results. Funny thing, I also found others who were disappointed to learn that they hadn't themselves created the new word either. But yet they were excited as I was that they were on to something.

It seems lack of sleep is a trend on the rise. There's just so much fun stuff to do in this world, we're not taking enough time to sleep.

So maybe the idea of taking a sleepcation is relatively new, but we all know that "staycation" has become a well-used term, as downturns in the economy have left folks fearful to spend money and happier to stay home when they have time off.

Nowadays, no one bats an eye when anyone declares a staycation to use cherished time off from work to take day trips to local wonders, work on the house or even just relax and read in their own backyard.

Although I'm always up for adventure and travel, I'm happy to say that I've taken my share of staycations and have enjoyed them. The promise of a week ahead when you really have no commitments and can do whatever you want is appealing. Your mind races as you imagine all that you can get done.

Wait! You're not supposed to be doing too much, but, alas, that's not how it usually works out for me.

Sure, you'd think these stay-at-home vacations would be quite relaxing, but I somehow manage to turn a staycation into a housework-cation. Hey, I say, it's a perfect time to get stuff done that there's never enough time for! "Working my fingers to the bones-ville" is many times the destination for my staycation.

By the end of the housework-cation with all that manual labor, I'm absolutely ready to go back to my desk job in the office. This is a theme I hear frequently from co-workers, so I know I'm not alone.

So after two staycations this past July and August, I took a well-deserved spa-cation in early September. Spa-cation. What's that? Another new word with many search results. This one hasn't made Merriam-Webster yet, though.

What comes to mind when you think of a spa? Pampering? Rejuvenation? Wellness? Relaxation?

When friends hear I frequently go to a spa for a week, most imagine a posh resort where I'll drink champagne by a pool, get a mani and a pedi, and chill out on a massage table. I throw my head back and laugh. Haha!

The massage part is true, but the rest is not the spa experience I usually choose, not that I don't appreciate some good champagne and a nice mani/pedi. My preference, though, is to work my butt off at the spa...literally. How do I spell "spa"? B-O-O-T-C-A-M-P. And I love it.

At most spas, you can choose to do as much or as little as you please, but for me, I can't help but partake in all the activities at hand. It's in my DNA to try it all.

My favorite spa destination, Deerfield Spa, one of the most affordable destination spas in the U.S., does pamper me anyway. Although I definitely appreciate the delicious and healthy meals served on a covered table with china and crystal, along with the relaxing massages throughout my stay, the lure for me at the spa is certainly the lineup of classes and activities.

A spa-goer since 2006, I look forward to receiving my fresh copy of the daily activity schedule at check-in. That piece of paper is the promise of all that the week can hold for me. The first night, I'll circle everything I want to do during my stay.

And I want to do it all. Every type of exercise class you can imagine, pool aerobics, lectures, cooking demonstrations, and my favorite of all, half-day or all-day, naturalist-guided hikes in the area. I do it all.

I work hard at my play, so I thrive on the business of my chosen spa schedule. Surprisingly, despite my full agenda, I come home from the spa relaxed and rejuvenated. I did what I wanted to do and I'm pleased with the results. Feeling healthy, toned, and losing a few LBs...who wouldn't be?

I am happy, though, for friends who choose to sit at the pool all day and meet up with me at meals. I believe everyone should do what makes them happy.

Even though I tend to jam-pack my spa week, I still relish here and there a catnap in a hammock or a rock on the front porch. There's nothing like thinking of nothing, drifting off to the sounds of nature, and feeling the warmth of the sun and the breezy, fresh air across my face.

Those wonderful sleeps get me thinking about the idea of a sleepcation. Hey, back to the cool, but not so unique, idea I started this post with!

As noted earlier, everyone's thinking the same thing. Apparently, lack of sleep is a widespread problem in our fast-paced, nonstop society. Who knew?

Hotels are seeing opportunities to market sleepcations for weary workers and exhausted new parents. The sleep-deprived are easily enticed with the prospect of an escape to a resort or even just a quiet local hotel to sleep and rest.

But then you may have to deal with noisy hall dwellers, room attendants, and even outside sounds. So I say hibernate in your own humble abode if you can. Why spend money when you'll be most comfy in your own bed and digs?

If it's not quiet on your homefront, do what you've got to do to make it so. Plan your sleepcation like you plan your vacation.

This sleepcation idea is definitely on my radar. I know I may have to work hard at doing nothing, but when I have a goal, I am motivated. Maybe I can manage my sleepcation like I manage a project. Task-based.

Now I'm just being silly. But how does this look?

My Sleepcation

 1.  Sleep late.
 2.  Wake up.
 3.  Enjoy some breakfast goodies.
 4.  Tuck in the blankets.
 5.  Read some.
 6.  Take a break from reading and nap.
 7.  Roll out of bed and stretch.
 8.  Nosh on a light lunch.
 9.  Curl up in favorite chair and read some more.
10. Drift off into la-la land.
11. Slowly come back to consciousness.
12. Grab a bite to eat.
13. Brush teeth.
14. Change into fresh PJs.
15. Read drowsily on the sofa under favorite cozy throw.
16. Snooze some more.
17. Move to bed.
18. Grab forty more winks.
19. Dream pleasant dreams.
20. Wake up refreshed.
21. Start all over again.

So what do you think? It's a tough schedule, but I'm sure I can handle it. (Notice I didn't forgo food. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.) I'll be glad to take a napfest for the team.

I like having a goal. And I like to schedule vacations so I have something to look forward to. So maybe I'm thinking I'll use some of my time off the end of this year to try a sleepcation.

In the meantime, I'll make do, tuck under a blanket, and take a siesta here and there when I can.

How about you? Tell me about your favorite napping adventures.

Catch some extra Zs when you can.
Until next time, yours in pleasant dreams...Therese

P.S. I've scheduled this post in advance. So while you're reading this, I'll be sleeping. Wink, wink.

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