Wednesday, April 17, 2024

WHY Is It So Hard to Give Ourselves Permission to Rest, Relax & Indulge? Can a Solo Staycation Really Make a Difference?

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To celebrate the new QT staycation options of wild, mild and solo, Alice bids her family farewell for a staycation for one – where she doesn’t leave the room: she doesn’t want to, and heck, she doesn’t need to!

This story is proudly brought to you with the support of  QT Auckland  

It’s crunch time at home. That (often chaotic?) window of time where everyone needs to be fed, bathed, have their PJs on, teeth brushed, bedtime stories read and be drifting off to sleep.

Except… I’m not there.

I’m nowhere to be found. No, instead I am on the complete other side of town, propped up in an impossibly large bed, a hearty eye-fillet in my lap, a red wine to my right and am surrounded by the delicious sound of… silence.

See, when Kelly, Emma and I – the co-founders of Capsule – had a chat about QT Auckland’s wonderful staycation options: Wild, Mild and Solo, and which one might suit us each, there was only one (ha!) that really sang to me. I obviously love my family dearly, but the idea of staying somewhere alone, with no fear of a little voice calling out for me in the night, sounded like… heaven?

And after this solo staycation I realised just how much I had needed it. Even just reflecting back on my thoughts before my one night away, I could see they were the thoughts of a slightly unhinged woman.

See, it was a weekday evening so I figured I’d get to the hotel late afternoon and get some work done. Maybe even A LOT done. ‘Oh man, a whole evening where I can’t be interrupted! I’m going to get through so much work! Maybe I can get through a bunch of wedding planning! Maybe I’ll write my vows! It’s just a shame I can’t take a pile of laundry to fold’


I clearly needed to relax more than I even realised.

I was a little behind my schedule when I arrived in the city – QT has parking available, but for some reason autopilot kicked in and I parked in the downtown car park by Commercial Bay. Seeing as I was right there, maybe I should go have a browse? So for the next ten minutes I walked at high speed around the mall, looking for nothing in particular, but doing it at a breakneck speed. Until suddenly a little thought popped into my head: ‘Um, what is the emergency? Why the rush?’

And so I slowed down. I tried on a new top. I bought a face mask from Mecca. I stopped at the pharmacy for Epsom salts and a bath bomb.

Now ready to ‘knuckle down’ and do some work, I walked up the road to the QT where I was given the keys to my ridiculously divine junior suite. As I mentioned, the bed is huge – plus there’s a giant bath IN the room. It’s also beautifully lit in there – all cosy and dim and inviting. I started trying to plan my evening: Ok, maybe I’ll do my emails, and then order dinner, do more work, then have a bath and go to bed.

I was five emails in, when that little voice popped up again. ‘Um, what are you doing? It’s 5.30pm. Maybe you could watch TV? Have a wine? A bath? Do NOTHING? Try relaxing!?’

And so I closed my laptop. I put it back in my bag and zipped it shut. I discovered the plushest little robe and slippers and put them on. Then, I threw my ‘schedule’ out the window and had my first of three baths in 24 hours. I turned on the TV and discovered a new season of The Bachelor. Perfection.

I flicked through the room service menu – it’s on the TV and on an easy to download app – but then decided to just go old school and call up. I’m gluten- and dairy-free, so it’s often the easiest way to work out what I can actually eat (while I cross my fingers that I might be able to have more than a bowl of warm olives).

“What would you like to order?” says the lovely man on the other end of the phone. “Um, I’m not too sure what I can eat because I’m annoyingly gluten- and dairy-free!” I tell him. “That’s no problem,” he replies. “You just tell me what you might like to eat and I can see what we can do to it so you can eat it.”


I look at the menu and figure the most ridiculous thing to eat in bed would be the Savannah Grass-Fed Eye Fillet with a Peppercorn Sauce and Roasted Garlic. “That’s no problem at all,” he says. “That IS already GF and DF. Anything else?” I ask him if I can also have the Duck Fat Chips with Ketchup & Aioli (“You must,” he says – and they’re also GF/DF) plus a glass of Rockburn Pinot Noir (“Now we’re talking,” he says).

Less than half an hour later, I’m in bed, in heaven, wondering why it can be so hard to give ourselves permission to just relax, but how important it really is to indulge ourselves every now and then and really recharge those batteries.

I’m vowing to return again soon!

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