Yesterday I came across CNN’s 10 Calming Wellness Retreats. I was excited to read their suggestions and see what I could incorporate into my life. Instead I was shocked to realize that they were listing world-class luxury vacations and not retreats.
According to Merriam-Webster a retreat is “a place of privacy or safety” or “a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director.” It is not a $4500 luxury vacation that most of us cannot afford. It’s a process of connecting to your core and learning about yourself. It’s a chance to discover (or rediscover) what you like about yourself and even what you’re less thrilled with. It’s an opportunity to reflect on where you are in life and where you want to be. Wellness retreats do not need to be about purchasing a vacation, a juicer, or a masseuse. It doesn’t require money or things. A true retreat just requires you.
Here are five ways to create your own retreat without breaking the bank or taking days off from work:
- Determine the length of your retreat. Do you want it to be an hour-long retreat? A weekend retreat? A 7-day retreat? If it is multiple days, decide how many minutes or hours of each day will be dedicated to the retreat.
- Will your retreat be shared or solitary? If shared you might chose a friend or a partner to share the retreat with. Or search online for guided meditations or prayers that are compelling to you.
- Create or find a quiet space where you can be uninterrupted. This may be your bedroom, a nature trail, library, or religious building.
- Schedule time for the retreat and hold that time sacred. Don’t allow for interruptions during your retreat time. Disconnect from all electronics, alarms, and responsibilities.
- This final step is unique and personal to each of us. What will you do during the retreat? Will you pray or meditate? Does this take the form of talking aloud? Chanting? Is it journaling or writing whatever thoughts come to your mind? Is it sitting and breathing? Whatever this may be for you consider an option that is quiet and allows you to slip into your own thoughts and emotions.
An at-home retreat is an opportunity to provide yourself with time, reflection, quiet, and growth. Unlike luxury vacations the effects of a retreat don’t end when you return.
What do you need for an at-home retreat? What would you add to the list or do differently?