Photos by Kate Fuss
Retreats. You see them everywhere nowadays and my guess is you’re extremely tempted to partake in one, but things get in the way like time, money and the energy to travel. While I’m a firm believer that everyone should treat themselves to a retreat at least once in their life, I also understand the challenges behind retreating, vacating and pressing “pause” on your life.
The immense benefits of treating yourself to a retreat include:
- resetting the mind, body and spirit
- recharging our internal battery
- inspiring creativity and motivation
- helping to manage and minimize stress
- improving clarity around situations and questions we may have
Check out the Spirit Sisters Retreat to see if it’s a right fit for you!
When it comes to finding a retreat close by, you’re in luck! The 2nd annual Spirit Sister Retreat is gearing up for this November. However, if you’re unable to attend this retreat or any others, here are seven ways you can gift yourself a retreat from the comfort of your very own home.
1. Plan it out
Just as with anything in life, it isn’t going to happen unless you carve out some white space in your schedule for it. Get clear on when you are going to have your retreat and how long it will last. While having a retreat at home is totally doable, you can also look for a relaxing location to book for your retreat. Remember, this is your retreat and you must do what your heart desires.
2. Tell friends & family
Once you carve out some space in your schedule for your retreat, get your family and friends on board. Give them a heads up that you will be unreachable during your retreat day(s). If you need to make daycare or pet care arrangements, be sure to do these a few weeks prior. If applicable to you, this is a great opportunity for family members to get time with your kids and for your spouse to spend time doing something they love or with friends. Basically, kick the family out of the house!
3. Decide the focus
Now that the date is set, all external arrangements are made and the people in your life are supportive of your retreat, it’s time to pick a focus. Perhaps it’s yoga, meditation, creation, intuition based, self-care or slowing down. Whatever makes your heart sing and comes to you first, go with that lead. There are so many retreat focuses and the great thing is that you get to pick what one you want.
Listen, the world will, and I repeat, WILL go on without you. The simple act of you disconnecting and not checking in on social media or responding to emails is not going to invoke chaos. Turn your email vacation responder on, shutdown your computer and your phone. If you have kids, try turning off any notifications on your phone and instruct whoever is taking care of them to only call if there is an emergency. This step is crucial. Allow this disconnection from the outer world to be a gift to yourself. I promise you will not be upset you did.
5. Prep time
Begin to set your house up for your retreat. In the days and weeks leading up to your retreat, get the necessary supplies and do any tasks that require your attention so you will not worry about them and be tempted to complete them during your retreat. That means get the house clean, wash clothes and sheets, prep any food you’d like to have. Treat yourself to some essential oils, a yoga mat, any figurines, perhaps a book or other supplies that you want during your retreat weekend or day. Also note, some people find cooking a healthy meal for just themselves, and not the entire family for a change, extremely therapeutic. If this is the case, have the groceries ready and stocked for your retreat day(s).
6. Create a schedule
Plan out what your retreat day(s) will look like. You can have as much structure or flexibility as you would like. Perhaps you allow yourself to wake up without an alarm clock. Instead of giving yourself specific times to do everything, try generalizing what you plan to do throughout your day and follow your intuition as you go through your day. Maybe you’re more of a planner and want to follow a set schedule, then put that together. Whatever you choose to do, ensure you print it out and have it hanging somewhere for easy reference. This will keep you from going online and then falling down the rabbit hole of the world wide web.
7. Set a intention for the retreat
I can guarantee that you are going to want to do something aside from what you have planned: the laundry, tidying up, organizing, watching TV, calling a friend. By setting an intention, you can come back to it and remember why you’re giving this to yourself as a gift. Perhaps your intention is to minimize stress, cultivate more creativity, awaken more joy and happiness or recenter and balance yourself. Whatever intention feels right for you, write it somewhere you can see it during your retreat. Revisit this intention throughout the day to stay on course.
Ideas for things to do during your retreat:
- Sleep in
- Do everything mindfully (drinking coffee, showering, making breakfast)
- Deep breathing exercises
- Take a walk or do a walking meditation
- Read a book
- Stretch or yoga
- Enjoy a glass of wine
- Cook a healthy meal full of colors
- Sit and just be
Hopefully you’re feeling inspired and ready to get set planning your at-home retreat. After you finish your retreat and are still on your retreat “high,” be sure to schedule the next one. This is a great way to show yourself love, care and compassion. Maybe you’ll even be ready to join a retreat outside of your house.