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How to go on a personal retreat 

Let’s get real. We all live in an over scheduled world with endless to do lists, and an overload of technology.

Our brains have had it with trying to deal with the pandemic and adapt over and over again.

If you find yourself like most people, you’re wired and tired. And you may even feel like what’s the point?

That’s when you know that it’s time to take a personal retreat.

What the heck is a personal retreat?

It’s the time you take to step away from your ordinary life and just be with yourself so that you can reset and come back refreshed and be a better version of yourself.

The benefits of a personal retreat

The outcomes of being on a solo getaway personal retreat are numerous.

Even though you think, I don’t have time to stop, this is the very moment to get away.

"The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. " Sydney J. Harris

Learn more about the benefits of going on a personal retreat and my story of how I went on retreat right here on the blog.

Steps to guiding yourself on a personal retreat:

Plan your retreat

Decide where, when, and how long you want to be on retreat.

Choose a place you love. If beauty is as important to you as it is for me, decide on a place that really nourishes you. Is it the ocean? Perhaps the mountains?

Listen to your heart on this. Don’t hold back. Wherever you want to be that’s replenishing your soul is exactly where you need to be.

Set your intentions

Decide how you’d like to feel, especially when you return to your life. Peaceful, rested, energetic, inspired, creative, rejuvenated?

Write these intentions in your journal.

Let everyone know

Put everyone in your life on notice.

Tell your family, your work, all the people who know you and depend on you that you're going away and you're taking time for yourself.

Let them know you won’t be answering emails or phone calls, that you’re taking time just for yourself, without distractions.

When you’re your best self, rested and radiant, you’ll be able to give even more to the people you love.

While on your personal retreat

Rest

Allow your body to go into a deep restful time. Let yourself be free of commitments and switch off. If you feel like sleeping all day, do that.

This is your time to do the things you love...sleep in, go for a hike/walk on the beach, have a massage.

Listen to your body and what is it’s saying.

Deep rest is needed when your brain is tired and when your body is overworked.

Take a break from the digital world

Let go of technology - emails, texts, social media, the news.

See what happens when you’re not on the screen, scrolling mindlessly. It’s a distraction and we all know it. Plus we’re all addicted! Don’t let technology distract you from YOU.

Eat healthy

Find nourishing food everywhere you go or make delicious snacks and meals you bring from home. Make it easy. Don’t stress over packing, getting ready for your retreat. Let it be easy.

Journal

Your journal is your best friend on this retreat. Write about what you’re feeling, thinking, dreaming about, letting go of. If you need tips on journaling, read this post.

Listen deeply

You might find that you don’t want to do anything except walk or hike. You could discover that you hate your life and don’t know how to change it.

You might fall in love with yourself or you might realize (and I hope you will) that you’re a badass from all that you’ve accomplished.

Savor all of it, because it’s you!

Coming home

Allow yourself to ease back into your normal life. If you’ve been gone for a few days or a week or so, it can be jarring to whip back into all the things you think you have to do.

Ask yourself some questions:

Do I really need to do xyz? Is there someone else who can do that?

Commit to not overscheduling.

Make a policy that you won’t work after a certain time or that you will say no when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do.

Write in your journal what you loved about your retreat, what you wouldn’t do again, and what you’re bringing forward now into your life.

Write it down where you can see it every day so that you don’t go right back into old patterns of being overworked and run by the things in your life that don’t really matter.

Resistance

So, I get it. I know that taking time just for yourself can be extremely scary and feel as if it’s impossible.  I think I can hear some of these thoughts running through your mind.

“I don't have the time or the money right now to go on a retreat”

How much money will it cost you if you get sick if you can't work or if you're too burned out?

Who will take care of your children, your parents, your pets, the projects at work?

What would be the cost to all those people if you're not able to give to them?

How much will that cost you? And what is the cost to them?

I don’t like being alone

It’s very scary if you’ve never gone anywhere by yourself.

And it’s true that sometimes when we’re still and quiet, negative thoughts about ourselves and our lives can emerge.

But you know what?

They’re just thoughts and feelings. You’re the one in charge, not the feelings.

You can choose to deal with the feelings, the thoughts, embrace them, and thank them for showing you the way to being able to make changes…if you decide. You’re the boss here.

Find a way

Whatever your reason for not taking time for yourself is, find a way.

Do this for yourself.

There is always a way.

Ask a friend who is going away on vacation if you can stay at their house. People are always asking for pet sitters while they're away or to care for their garden.  

Think outside the box if money is an issue.

You are the only one who can give yourself permission to go on retreat and the rewards are so worth it.

Support

Get support from your best friend to encourage you to go on retreat.

Giving yourself permission to do this for yourself can be hard.  

In my work, I'm constantly encouraging women to do for themselves what they do for others...pamper themselves, give to themselves.

Taking time for yourself is not a luxury. It’s absolutely necessary.  

No one really encourages us to take time for ourselves, and yet what can be more important than taking a break, getting away from all the distractions, and just getting back in touch with ourselves?

Especially when there is so much coming at us on so many levels.

Over to you:

When will you go on a personal retreat? I encourage you to make plans today and make it happen. What are you waiting for?

Go here to your copy of my free "Guide to How to Take a Personal Retreat."

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Women's Special Fall Online Weekend Retreat

Friday 25 September - Sunday 27 September

Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.