Holiday at Home

Author: Charlotte Davies / Editor: Liz Herrieven / Codes: CC24, SLO1, SLO10, SLO11, SLO12, SLO2, SLO3, SLO4, SLO5, SLO6, SLO7, SLO8, SLO9 / Published: 09/02/2021

Lockdown. It’s looking likely to be extended for a while, and travel is looking less possible. Despite that, taking annual leave and having a rest is really important. But how can you occupy yourselves in this time, and make it feel like a holiday, especially if you live alone? If you live with company, especially children, try to change the routine, even if that’s sitting on an inflatable sofa whilst you binge on boxsets, and make everyone feel that you’re on holiday at home. You can even send some personalised postcards – apps like touchnote work well. 

Some of these examples may seem really obvious – and some omissions may also seem really obvious! Have a look at this page and add what you can. 

The wonder of emergency medicine is that everything we do is useful in emergency medicine. Eating is good for our wellbeing, and essential for life. Everything we learn makes us better EM doctors. Logic and board games all help us with flow. Everything helps. There’s introvert EM docs, extrovert EM docs. Skiing EM docs, swimming EM docs, reading EM docs, TV watching EM docs, singing EM docs, sleeping EM docs and more. 

Interpret all suggestions in accordance with current lockdown and isolation rules. 

Relax and Binge on a Box Set may seem like it’s not that different to you do now – but work does get in the way of spending >72 hours in bed with a box set. It’s absolutely OK to do nothing special or different.

We’d recommend:
The Americans (if you haven’t already seen it. No box set has been the same since)
The Fall, fab crime drama (with an actually decent resus scene)
The Alienist – psychiatry, crime and Victorian New York
The Sinner, Mind Hunter – both great psychological thrillers
Anne With An E, Virgin River, Outlander, Sweet Magnolias – pretty, romantic escapism
Homecoming – conspiracy theory
Umbrella Academy – family of flawed superheroes
The Man in the High Castle – alternate post-WW2 reality
The Marvellous Mrs Maisel – funny 50s America
Hunters – kooky Nazi hunting show
There She Goes – life with a child with additional needs (laugh/cry/laugh/cry – very true to life)
Stateless – set in an Australian refugee camp. Also touches on mental health.
Unbelievable – drama about rape and victims of rape
Its a Sin – about AIDS emergency in the 80s, a good watch although short (5 eps) plus a good 80s soundtrack.
Cobra Kai – a take on what happened to the karate kid – a bit cheesy but fun and a decent soundtrack
The Bridge – it’s subtitled, but the crime is interesting.
The Queen’s Gambit – a drama mini series about a chess prodigy
The Undoing – a psychological thriller with lots of suspense, drama and great acting
Ozark – crime drama and dark humour
The Serpent – a real life crime drama about a conman and serial killer
The Good Doctor – the communication difficulties of an autistic aspiring surgeon might make you chuckle, but it’s serious and compelling watching.
New Amsterdam isn’t realistic medicine, but the ideas and innovation of the new CEO of the hospital is phenomenal.

And of course if you want a “work” drama, you can catch up with Bramwell (early female doctor in a male world), Cardiac Arrest, Bodies, The Good Doctor, House, Scrubs and many other “medical” dramas. In fact, so many others, Wikipedia has a huge list including many I haven’t heard of.

Eat well – for me going on holiday is a chance to enjoy the local food, and eat really well. When I think of places I’ve travelled too, I think of the food rather than anything else. Recreate that experience at home – either by giving yourself a cooking challenge like making cheese , or getting some different gourmet meals delivered. Even if the food isn’t exotic, its a good chance for you to explore your local options, or even just produce made by small UK companies. I’ve discovered afternoon tea and local letterbox brownies – yum yum yum.

To “explore” Scotland – experience a tasty haggis. If you just fancy posh food – try Rick Stein (untested), Chapter One  (this is amazing but you should probably choose something more local to you), Home by Nico (looked good on Twitter but I haven’t tried it yet), or Cote at Home (lots of plastic packaging – I’d probably choose something simpler like Cook over this). I’d be surprised if you’re not salivating just looking at the website of honest burgers  – there are even plant based burgers available!  For something more long lasting, consider testing a recipe subscription service

Drink Well – For non alcoholic inspiration, think homemade fruit squashes – surprisingly easy. Treat yourself – it’s holiday! Acorn coffee? Quite fiddly. Lemon verbena or mint tea – so very easy. Pick a country, and find a drink! 

picture of three books - yellow tonics & teas Rachel de Temple, How to make your drinks Susy Atkins, Wild mocktails and healthy cocktails, artisan drinksby

If alcohol’s your thing, why not do a virtual wine tasting? There will be options near you – we love the mixture in this box that can be couriered to your house, with weekly facebook live tastings with smatterings of Welsh covering the wine and its history. It’ll give you a holiday feel, but don’t drink all the bottles at once. 

You could start flavouring some gin now! You could also try your hand at making your own tonic water – I need a lot more practice before I’m proficient at this – I found the flavour quite earthy and bitter. As this is a holiday treat, this could be an Advocaat themed holiday? Reminiscent for some, it was only this time last year I discovered a “Heisse Hex” or hot witch – Advocaat + hot frothed milk. Yummy. Especially when it’s homemade.

At Home Kits are great for things you might have done out before, but can now do at home. You’re bound to have loads of things locally available near you – I’ve got a chocolate making kit that even had my sister in law making truffles, and cinnamon buns that I haven’t tried yet. There’s a list of commercial providers here

Reading, Painting, Sewing, Knitting, Cooking and other creative pursuits are often started but not finished. Why not challenge yourself in your annual leave to finish some of them off or to set yourself a new target. A croquembouche? Bring the edible practice runs into work when you’re back – they’ll be eaten! Share any books with #rcembooks, and lets create a new set of other creative hashtags. #rcemcreative anyone? 

If you fancy “baking” but don’t want to be tempted into eating everything, you could consider home made dishwasher tablets  – I bet you’ve never had a dishwasher holiday before! 

If being creative isn’t for you, you can vicariously become a crafter by offering support to those who are crafty- just ask them how their quilt is going, or how the new recipe went – they’ll appreciate it, and enjoy the motivation. 

Education may seem a bit worky, but learning something different might be just the challenge you need. There are loads of (unreviewed) courses you can do in a day– and your annual leave will always be remembered not as the time you went to Barcelona, but the time you learnt how to Salsa at home, or the time you learnt Punjabi. For something more random with a holiday vibe – circus skills at home with homemade juggling balls or seamanship and navigation or coding a raspberry pi?  Or you could combine drink and education and learn about coffee. Focussing on a course will also stop you focussing on work work. 

If you’d like something directly allied to work, maybe it’s time to learn a complementary therapy? Aromatherapy , acupuncture and hypnosis might all be useful adjuncts in your medicinal armoury. When choosing a course, courses aimed at healthcare professionals will likely be more aligned to your expectations and needs. 

Of course, if your education is suitable, it might be a great contribution for RCEMLearning. That might be a bit “worky” but we’d be happy to have any contributions. 

Gardening might seem a privilege for some – but have a look at your communal space and see if you can create any community projects. Conwy have a great communal help yourself garden – is there somewhere nearby you can talk to the Council about planting up? 

Picture of a sign from Conwy incredible garden site with pictures of plants and comments.

If that seems a bit complicated and hard work, you could try growing some cress.  

Virtual Tours are a great way of visiting places from somewhere warm and dry. Visit London for the day? Why not – with a footprints of London tour. Fancy a more Northern trip? There’s plenty to do online in Hull. You only need to type “virtual museum tour” into a search engine to get a list of suggestions  – the Guardian and TimeOut have got excellent suggestions. No trip to “London” would be complete without a stage show from home – the most up to date list is bound to be found here

For a full immersive experience, have a look at a wildlife webcam! or a virtual airbourne tour. It might just remind you what you’re not missing out on!

Board Games are difficult if there’s just one of you, and Pandemic may still be a bit close to the bone for two of you. Sherlock Holmes detective games are ideal for one person – use the clues available to solve the case. Board game geek has a lot of suggestions for 1, 2 or more players. 

Decorating or spring cleaning the house might seem a tedious way of spending annual leave, but it gets it done. Really take some time to enjoy the planning, and contemplation, and then enjoy a perfect finish. Remember though-  we don’t want any ladder related injuries attending ED. 

Local Walks are old school – but why not explore somewhere new, or change the focus. Going on a tree walk can open your eyes to nature, and trees you didn’t know existed, as well as enjoying the local area. 

Spa at home – you can hire a hot tub or grab a foot spa . Light some candles and have a spa at home experience. Add a relaxing RCEMLearning podcast in the background to complete the holiday relaxation. Or blow the candles out (for safety), jump out of the hot tub, and lie back listening to some hypnosis or relaxation tracks

Other Inspirational Pages 

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