It is so important to carve out time to nurture yourself.
Yesterday I talked about why it’s important to retreat.
Today, I want to share some ways that you can create a retreat yourself, without spending a ton of time or money, and without even leaving your own home if you don’t want to.
To retreat is to find a place of privacy or safety.
So, how can you make this kind of a space for yourself?
The first thing is that you must create an intention for the retreat. Why are you retreating? What do you want to accomplish or create?
- Do you just want to relax, like fully let go and feel your body get rejuvenated?
- Do you want to get back in touch with your artistic and creative side?
- Do you want to feel empowered in your body?
- Do you want to reconnect to your spirituality or to God?
- Do you want to feel invigorated and energized?
- Something else? You know what you need.
It’s important to be clear WHY you want to retreat, that will help you design something that will make a difference.
How much time will you take for your retreat?
The longer you can get away, the better. It can take some time just to dis-engage from your everyday life. Especially for moms! You don’t want your whole retreat spent worrying how the kids are doing or if you husband is handling things without you. So, if you can take a whole weekend (or even a week), do it!
But, I know that getting away for that long is not always possible. You may only have a day, or even just an afternoon. That is okay!
Remember that it is the intention you create that matters most. An afternoon spent retreating is better than no time at all. So, take what works for you and your family.
Schedule when you will take your retreat.
Ask your husband or your mom to take the kids. Hire the babysitter. Take care of all the family details so you can make sure this time is just for you.
What to do on your retreat?
That really depends on your intention. Here are some ideas:
If you want to relax~
Schedule some time at the spa, or the hot springs, or a day next to the pool (or a week at the beach?). Set up something that has you totally let go. You have no kids to pay attention to, no cell phone ringing, no one who needs anything from you.
Maybe you can spend a weekend in a hotel, get a massage, sleep in, go for long relaxing walks.
If you want to get in touch with your creativity~
Get some art supplies and spend an entire afternoon, or weekend just making art – without the kids wanting to make stuff too! Break up the time with a walk through the art museum. Maybe part of your time can be spent taking an art class.
Take your art materials outside. Set up your art easle and paint in the park, wear a beret and pretend you are in Paris making art along the Seine.
Take your camera, your tripod and a notebook and go explore a part of your city, or the woods or somewhere you have never really explored and take pictures, journal, wander, see what you see.
If you want to feel empowered in your body~
Do something that really pushes you. Go on a weekend back packing trip, go hang gliding, climb a mountain, take a self defense course.
You could also explore nutrition and food. Take a class, go on a fast, learn to cook something new.
If you want to explore your spirituality~
Take a day of silence, meditate, do yoga, walk in the woods. Or maybe you can find a place to spend the weekend, like a monastery, a place designed for contemplation.
Another idea is to spend the day in the woods, journaling, just being, connecting to the beauty all around you.
If you want to feel invigorated and energized~
Go dancing, take a dance class, celebrate something, go to an event that is wildly inspiring and uplifting.
Do something that you know makes you feel good, something that you love and always leaves you feeling like, yes! this is it, I love my life.
Obviously, these are just ideas to get you thinking about things you could do. Don’t limit yourself to this list, think of what would have YOU fulfill your intention and do that.
Should you retreat alone, in a group, or with a friend?
That, is entirely up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages no matter what you decide.
For sure, doing your retreat alone will give you some good, quality, focused time without anyone else distracting you or influencing your experience.
However, I think having the support of others, who also want to reconnect and empower themselves is a great way to push yourself beyond your own limits.
The thing I would say about doing something like this with others, is to make sure they are really on board. That they, too, want to experience the power of retreats, that they are taking this on with their whole heart.
You don’t want to take a weekend away with a friend only to have it dissolve into just being social. Nothing wrong with being social and for sure a weekend away with a girl friend would be a blast.
But, if your intention is to retreat, to go within, to nurture yourself, and your friend just wants to party and shop, well, that will get in the way of you fulfilling YOUR intention.
Whether you schedule your retreat with one other person, or a small group of friends, make sure the purpose and the reason for you all getting together is clear.
And, if you do decide to retreat with a friend, or in a group, make sure you spend some time alone. It’s important that you have time to be with your own thoughts.
Retreating is easy, really it is.
You just need to take the time for it, and commit to making sure the time you take is valuable.
Still, many of us don’t do this. We say we need it, but do nothing to make sure we actually take a retreat. Which is crazy. The problem is giving yourself permission.
On Monday, I am going to talk about how to do that, how to give yourself permission to take this time. See you then.