DIY Retreat on the Cheap

Posted on Apr 18, 2017

succulent plant

When is the last time you went on a retreat?

Ahh, just the word “retreat” brings to mind luxury. To get away from your everyday obligations and focus just on you. Maybe your dream retreat is a week of silent meditation, a weekend of goat yoga, heart-pumping adventure, or a shopping getaway to Chicago.

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. You can plan a rejuvenating staycation without spending a lot of time or money. 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 describes your vision for your next retreat, and that makes you smile.

Start with what you want. Keep searching until you spontaneously smile!

Step 2: Plan

Answer a few questions to get more clear about what your DIY retreat will look and feel like, tangibly.

When will you retreat? You could start with one hour 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.