It's Time To Just Relax!
Relax. It’s a word that easily rolls of the tongue. But when it comes to
putting words into action – or, in this case perhaps, inaction – knowing
how to relax can be a challenge, especially if you live the rest of your
life at full throttle!
Remember, relaxation was one of the reasons you bought or rented your
seasonal cottage, right?
So, how exactly do you make your cottage season relaxing?
Whether you’re away for the weekend or the whole of summer, here are 7
important things you can do to make the most of your time in your cottage,
seasonal home, lake house, condo or other second home.
It sounds obvious, but the more time and effort you put into making sure
you have everything you need for your cottage vacation before you go, the
less stressed out you’ll be when you get there.
Don’t rely on your memory. Make a checklist, adding to it as you go along.
And don’t forget to pack maps and documentation, including insurance
You might find this packing list on HuffPost’s Canada Living site useful:
Get in the Mood
If you want to relax, you have to create the right cottage environment,
where comfort rules.
Forget about stylish, modern furniture, in favor of the cozy, rustic look
and soft carpets. Use subdued lighting, with table lamps and candles
instead of glaring overhead fittings.
(Ensure you follow safety rules with candles, including ensuring someone is
always in the room when they’re lit.)
Create a collection of relaxing background music and, if you have a
bathtub, equip and light it for long, warm soaking.
Providing you and your family/guests are not allergic, use aromatherapy
oils to create a soothing atmosphere.
Don’t be over-ambitious.
Planning to do too much and creating a tight schedule for yourself in your
second home is the fastest route to getting stressed out instead of
On the other hand, some people feel uneasy if they don’t have a plan for
That’s okay, but keep that schedule “loose” and flexible, with plenty of
time to change course or simply abandon it if you feel like it. If
traveling is involved, allow twice as much time as you think it will take,
so you never end up rushing.
It’s also important that you have buy-in from your family or other
companions on anything you do plan to do. There’s nothing worse for
ruffling feathers than insisting others do what you want to do – or even
going along with someone else’s plan that, deep-down, you don’t want to do.
Research suggests that mixing and doing things with other people is one of
the keys to personal contentment.
That doesn’t mean you need to be entertaining or partying every day. But it
does suggest you should make the effort to get to know your neighbors,
perhaps over a barbecued steak.
Again, don’t be over-ambitious by drawing up fancy menus or detailed plans.
Make the event as laid back as you want to feel.
The other advantage of getting to know your neighbors is that you have
someone to call on if you need help. And simply knowing that will
contribute to your sense of security.
Pursue your hobby.
If you’re like most of us, you don’t have enough time in your regular
schedule to enjoy your favorite pastime, whether that’s fishing, collecting
stamps, crafting of simply reading.
Relaxing in your second home should be full of opportunities to indulge
In some cases, that precise nature of your hobby may seem to make
impossible to pursue those hobbies.
So, give some time, before you leave for your cottage, to thinking exactly
how you might go about it – perhaps by bringing certain items with you,
reading up on your subject or “chatting” online with fellow enthusiasts.
The path to relaxation is as simple as this: focus on what you like to do
Make time for mindfulness
There’s a whole avalanche of evidence that mindfulness – the simple
practice of focusing on the ‘now’ – can lead to better physical and mental
health and contribute dramatically to your ability to relax.
Mindfulness is not about yoga, Buddhism or advanced meditation techniques –
though all of these activities may involve mindfulness.
It’s simple to learn and practice. And there’s surely no better time to
learn and try it out than in the tranquility of your cottage or lakeside
You don’t need to take lessons (although doing so might help). There are
plenty of books and online videos to explain the practice.
One of the best-selling books is Kim Niclol’s
Offering: The Great Power of Mindfulness to Awaken the Love, Calm and
Winder in Everyday Life.
Practicing mindfulness while you’re in your seasonal home will provide
benefits that will stay with you when your vacation season is long over.
Be Safe and Secure
Nothing unsettles the mind more than fear – fear of crime, fear of
accidents, fear of the unexpected and the unknown.
Reduce or eliminate those fears with the following steps:
- Ensure your second home is secure, with good locks, window and door
protection and alarms.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and replace batteries if
- Let people back home know where you are and how to contact you.
- Have a good safety kit, including flashlights, radio and cell phones,
plus a well-stocked first aid kit.
- Keep a handy list of emergency contact numbers.
Peace of Mind
Finally, of course, it’s vital for your seasonal home to be properly
protected with good cottage insurance so that, even if the unexpected does happen,
you’ll know you’re covered.
Here at Peake & McInnis LTD, we can provide home insurance for all types of
second homes – cottages, condos, lake houses and other seasonal homes.
You can arrange or check your coverage quickly and easily by just giving us
a call. 1-877-232-1671