Ah, to go on a retreat… so luxurious! To get away for a week (or more) and focus just on you – maybe it’s silent meditation, yoga in the woods, or even heart-pumping adventure. But what if you don’t want to spend the money or time? Or maybe it’s Wednesday and you realize you need a retreat, like, now! No problem. Here are some tips on how to plan your own retreat.
Step 1: Vision
What do you most need? For example…
Treat my inner artist by playing & creating art – without purpose or “productivity.”
Practice my spirituality through reflection, quiet meditation, and yoga in nature.
Relieve stress with napping, doing nothing, and sensory treats like self-massage.
Find a sentence or phrase that makes you smile.
Step 2: Plan
When will you retreat? You could start with a few hours on a Sunday morning or plan a 3-day weekend.
Who will you be with? I recommend being alone. You might invite a furry friend.
Where will you retreat? You could hang at home in a peaceful room, at a public park, or at a home rented from Airbnb.
What won’t you do? Think about the boundaries you want to give yourself. Consider no phone, TV, Internet, alcohol, and chores. Maybe even no speaking?
What will you do? With your vision and plan in mind, think about what you’d like to do. Consider activities from these self-care categories: creative (paint, write), emotional (laugh, journal), mastery (bake, read), physical (walk, meditate), sensory (sip hot cocoa, take a bath).
Step 3: Prep
The day before, do a little prep so that you can fully relax during your DIY retreat.
Spread the word. Tell roommates or family as needed.
Prepare your space. Tidy up distracting clutter. Knock out any pressing chores.
Prepare meals, unless cooking is part of your retreat. (Maybe you’ll check that you have ingredients for breakfast smoothies, chop vegetables for lunch time salads, and prepare a slow cooker bean soup for dinners.)
Gather things needed for the activities you’re planning. If you’ll be avoiding the Internet, you may need to print some things.
Step 4: Chill
Enjoy this lovely treat you’ve created for yourself!
A note on mindfulness… Unexpected emotions may come up during your retreat. That’s ok! Just notice your feelings without judgment. For tips, Leo Babauta wrote a lovely post on being present.