For our July blog, we examine the importance of taking time off during the COVID-19 pandemic, why it’s so difficult to do, the need to do it, and ideas for doing something closer to home in Ozaukee County.
Right about now, just about everyone likely feels like they could use a vacation. Working from home where the lines between work and home life consistently overlap, long hours and stress abound. Taking time off is an important part of self-care to stay healthy. Unfortunately, traveling far to a new and interesting place right now is not an optimal choice, with health and safety guidelines strongly suggesting to stay as close to home as possible. That being said, Ozaukee County has a lot to offer for a staycation, with the bonus of helping to support your local economy.
Burnout looms large
The lines are blurred between work and personal life, as many who recently started working from home for the first time are struggling to preserve healthy boundaries between work and home. You’ve done all the things the blogs and think pieces suggest to work remotely, such as creating a workspace, setting boundaries with family members, developing a routine for your workday, and if you have kids, their school day as well. Maintaining productivity amid all these factors is draining as well. The atmosphere is such that finding time to disengage and unplug from computers, cell phones and Zoom meetings to rejuvenate is not a particularly easy endeavor. Stress from worrying about uncertainty can cause emotional reactions from anxiety to anger and depression. What all of this means is that taking time off is necessary for a mental and physical break.
In the recent past, a staycation has meant a relaxed vacation where you visit local destinations with limited planning and expenses. This year, a staycation can be even more if you take a little time to plan. Ozaukee County is a great place to have a family vacation to rediscover the area, all while supporting the local economy.
Focusing on some of the area’s outdoor destinations is a perfect way to stay close to home and shop local. The Ozaukee Interurban Trail offers a scenic way to see many of the communities that make up Ozaukee County. The paved 30-mile trail that spans the length of the county allows visitors to walk, bike, and run through Belgium, Port Washington, Grafton, Cedarburg, Thiensville, and Mequon. The Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is a great place to hike, bird watch, picnic, and fish, on an undeveloped bluff on the Lake Michigan shoreline, stretching from Mequon to Port Washington. Ozaukee County has great waterways to canoe or kayak, with the open water of Lake Michigan, or the rivers and creeks of the area, with options to rent too.
If a desire for a bit of retail therapy is in order, shopping at some of the many unique specialty and gift shops in Cedarburg is another option to try. Keep in mind that shopping at retail businesses may come with limitations to help control the spread of the coronavirus – such as a limited number of customers in a store, requests to wear masks, social distancing, etc.
Having another cook for you is often a key element during vacation. During these times, there are still options for you – if you are open, many of our great restaurants have opened their patios providing a nice option while still socially distancing. If you are still not ready for that, how about takeout? Most establishments are offering takeout, curbside carry out, and full meals to take home for a family.
Finding downtime while working from home in this time of COVID-19 is unquestionably important for wellness, and you can be sure to find a fulfilling break to unplug and clear your head in Ozaukee County this summer.
Following public health guidelines when visiting any of these locations is imperative to public health. More information regarding this can be found on the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department website.