by Melissa Chichester
If you’re feeling inspired by learning all about self-care and want to take it beyond an afternoon yoga session, consider something bigger and better: a retreat. If you can’t justify the costs of travel or simply don’t have time to get away, there is an easier way to make a self-care retreat happen: do it yourself! It is an affordable way to rest, recharge, and relax; however, it is a lot different than lounging around in sweatpants with ice cream while binging on the latest Netflix series. Instead, you will renew your commitment to personal care without the distractions of daily life. During your self-care retreat, you will practice unwinding with intention and emerge with a renewed sense of energy.
Here are 5 steps to make it happen!
Schedule a self-care retreat just like you would an important work meeting, vacation, or after-school activity. Tell friends and family that you’re busy, and make arrangements for the kids to stay with friends or relatives if necessary. Reserve time Friday evening until Sunday morning exclusively for you. If that time frame doesn’t work, find one that fits into your personal schedule.
Some of us don’t know what to do when we don’t have someone to take care of or a chore to do. What makes you happy spiritually, creatively, and physically? Activities can be both energizing and relaxing depending on your personal goals. Start the morning with quiet meditation, yoga, or a brisk walk. Read a book, take a nap, knit a hat, go for a swim, attend a lecture, visit a museum, listen to your favorite music, or write in a journal. Maybe you simply want to sit outside and listen to the birds. Maybe you want to do nothing at all. Do whatever it is you want to do that doesn’t revolve around a screen, and write it down. If you don’t get to one of the activities on your list, that’s okay, too!
For some, this will be the hardest part of the retreat: no screens. No phone, no email, no text messages, no TV, no computer. Everything will be there when you return, so you will have plenty of time to share your experience on Instagram and Facebook.
Clutter and incomplete chores can lead to stress, so it is important to tidy up the space of your designated retreat. No, you don’t have to repaint the kitchen beforehand, but putting clean sheets on the bed, finishing laundry, and clearing visible piles of clutter will create a more soothing environment. Use candles and aromatherapy diffusers with your favorite scents to uplift and refresh your space even more. Consider citrus fruits like orange and lemon to create an energizing environment during the day, and soothing scents like lavender and ylang ylang to unwind at night.
Meal planning takes away the stress of figuring out last minute meals in our daily lives, and it will do the same during your retreat. Create a nourishing meal plan and prepare it in advance so you don’t have to worry about coming up with a meal on the spot. Smoothies and crockpot meals are easy to prepare ahead of time, but if you want to eat breakfast foods for EVERY meal, just plan it!