When time, money or whatever stands in your way and jet setting off somewhere fabulous for some much needed soul therapy is just not possible, why not create a personal retreat of your very own? Feeling a bit burnt out, I recently dived to my own rescue and offered to house sit for a friend, so I could create a personal retreat which would leave me feeling relaxed, revived and ready to face the world again. Here are 8 steps to create your very own personal retreat…
If you are feeling like you need some time out, it would be beneficial if you could think about why you feel that way, and then set the intention to fulfill your needs over the course of the retreat. If you are feeling stressed out, then center everything around being relaxed and calm. If you are confused about a decision, or you feel overwhelmed, then take time to investigate your feelings and reflect on where you are at. Go into your retreat with the intention of coming out feeling better off and completely satisfied; that will infuse everything you do with good intentions and focus.
In order to create a personal retreat it is vital that you have your own space. Whether you do as I did and jump on the chance to stay at a friend’s whilst she’s away, or you ask your boyfriend to visit his folks for the weekend, make sure you have accommodation which will be exclusively yours for the duration of your retreat. Even if it’s an afternoon, you don’t want any interruptions or to be worried by thoughts of people disturbing you whilst you are rolling around naked in aromatherapy oils (if that’s what you’re into that is).
3. Stock up
Before you begin your retreat, make sure you have all the supplies you need. If you need herbal teas, fruit, vegetables, bath salts or anything else, make sure you have it all so you know that you do not have to leave your ‘haven’ for anything. There’s nothing like having to nip up to the off license for milk in your seaweed face pack to kill the mood.
4. Have No Commitments at All
Clear your diary, send out all necessary emails and make sure there is nothing you have to do or no-one you have to contact whilst you are on your retreat. One of the key attributes to being on a retreat is feeling as though you have ‘gotten away from it all’ if only just for a wee while. Although you may physically be very much still in the thick of it, you can create a feeling of disconnection by shutting out the outside world and concentrating solely on your well being.
When was the last time you heard of a retreat which entailed watching cable all day, surfing the net and texting loved ones all afternoon? To really create your own retreat, you must unplug, turn off and put away any and all technology. By all means, gorge on TV if you are hungover or upset and need to numb out, but not if you want to reconnect with yourself and nurture your system.
6. Cut out the Crap
Same as above, have you ever been to a health retreat in which they handed you beer and offered you a cigarette on upon arrival? If you have any nasty habits leave them at your door. The purpose of a retreat is to get back to basics and if only for a short time, give your body and mind a chance to be free of toxins and nasty substances which upset its natural harmony.
7. Pre-prepare Food
Last weekend I partook in my own retreat, and on the Friday night I made a lovely broccoli soup to see me through the weekend. During the day I snacked on fresh fruit when I was hungry, which is easy to prepare and then I had broccoli soup for tea. You shouldn't be slaving away in the kitchen during your retreat, so prepare a meal or two beforehand so you have delicious, nutritious food at the ready.
8. Just Be
If you can’t watch TV, surf the net or spend hours cooking, you might be wondering what on earth you should be doing then? The answer is whatever you want. If you want to take a three hour bath, followed by a long nap; then do. If you want to close the curtains, light candles and have a go at meditating; then do. If you wish write in your journal, lay down staring out the window or walk about the house singing to yourself; then go for it. The key is to listen to yourself, be kind to yourself and take the opportunity to relish in the time you have with yourself.
I had never considered creating my own retreat until I recently felt it a necessity that I have some time to myself. Not only did I finish my time alone feeling so much more in touch with myself and rejuvenated, but it proved to me that you can don’t need to book in somewhere fancy to nurture and give yourself some much needed TLC. Does anyone else have any tips for creating your very own retreat or has anyone had a similar experience?