Remember: Make it your own. Take what resonates and leave the rest. Let yourself create an experience that resonates deeply for you. It doesn’t have to look exactly like mine or anyone else’s.
- First, take out your calendar and schedule a time chunk in the next month that is a self-care/retreat date just for you. Release any pressure you may be putting on yourself about how long it needs to be–for some of you it will be a whole weekend, and for others it will be just a few hours. (I do recommend giving yourself at least 2 hours so your nervous system can begin to unwind.) Regardless of how much time you’re able to set aside, you’ll be receiving enormous benefits simply from setting the intention for self-care through retreat.
- Once the date is on your calendar, prepare to take the time off by letting any family members, friends, or roommates know that you will be taking this time for yourself and will not be available. You will find immense value in minimizing any potential distractions so that you can receive the most out of your time.
- During your retreat, I highly recommend unplugging from devices and technology. Our nervous systems are over-stimulated and our adrenals are fatigued! We can experience a profound shift just by being unplugged for a few hours.
- Set an intention for your retreat time. Setting an intention connects you to your deep “why,” and reminds you of why it’s so essential to take this time and space for yourself. As you set your intention, think about how you want to feel as you experience your retreat time.
- Plan your retreat by deciding which practices feel most nourishing to you—those that you feel will allow you to re-align and soften into your being and your body. You can decide what you’ll do ahead of time or simply block off the retreat time and allow your body wisdom to guide you when the time arrives.
Some of my favorite practices include:
- Essential Silence — being in silence with yourself and disconnecting completely from technology
- Rolling out your yoga mat and doing a yoga video online or allowing your body to move organically on your mat without instruction
- Taking a bath with rose petals, Epsom salt, and essential oils
- Meditation of some kind to bring a moment of pause and reflection
- Journaling — simply allowing your thoughts to come onto the paper
- Being in nature and allowing your body to realign with the rhythms of the Earth
- Using mantras as a way of centering your mind
- Coloring or collaging
- Caring deeply for your body by making a nourishing meal and then savoring it, really tasting each bite and allowing yourself to receive the nourishment
- Reading an inspiring book or listening to an inspirational podcast
- Once you complete your retreat, take a moment to thank and appreciate yourself for taking the time to nurture your own being. Spend a few minutes journaling, bringing awareness to your bodily experience, and jotting down any discoveries you received in this sacred retreat time and space.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. As often as you’d like.