Guest post by Yobecca
I was tired, exhausted really. For five weeks I had gone at 90 miles an hour. Always having something new coming up, always having a new business meeting or client, always having another looming deadline or project due. And in between those looming deadlines and projects was heartache and disappointment on personal and professional fronts.
I managed to fit in small ways to take care of myself – a yoga class or meditation here, a journal exercise there. But it wasn’t enough anymore. It wasn’t sustaining me. I was simply beat!
All I could think was that I wanted to return to the beaches of Costa Rica and retreat. I wanted re-center and do two yoga classes a day. I needed to regroup. But there were a few problems – going to Costa Rica, or anywhere, wasn’t financially or physically possible for me and it’s the middle of winter in Colorado.
Then an idea hit – what if I created my own personal retreat at home? Even for just a weekend, even if it snowed the whole time? Surely it would help me feel a little better…and it did!
I suspect that we could all use an at-home retreat. So here are my tips for a DIY retreat:
Literally put the retreat on your calendar. Look at local yoga studio’s schedules (see “Create a Schedule” below) and plan out your days. Plan your meals. I made a special trip to Whole Food (a place where I almost never shop due to the expense so it felt like a special treat for my retreat). I bought healthy delicious meals, snacks and drinks I wanted to eat during my retreat.
The trip to Whole Foods in and of itself was fulfilling and each time I ate I thought about how I was truly taking care of myself for a few days. I also gathered journal prompts, art projects and books I wanted to read. I didn’t do or read them all but I had them, just in case I felt like I needed to “do” something.
Create a Schedule
Most retreats set a daily schedule of something like this: wake up, yoga or meditation, healthy breakfast, free time and lunch, yoga or meditation, dinner, relax and bed. Use your favorite local yoga studio’s schedule to put together something similar. I found one restorative class and one vigorous class to go to each day.
In between classes I read (just like I would have on the beach) and I sat and chatted with friends and family (just like I would have on the beach). I got myself to bed early, rising to meditate for a few moments each day.
Going to a remote island where your phone doesn’t work provides the opportunity to really tune in and tune out the noise that constantly chatters to us. But here’s the thing, you can do that same thing at home by simply turning off and unplugging your phone and other devices. I literally took Facebook, Instagram and other time suck apps off my devices (and so far, they haven’t gone back on!).
If you need to go a step further, put your laptop, phone, etc in a closet. If the TV has a gravitational pull for you, on the TV put a note of thing you can do besides veg out. My note includes: take a walk, visit a friend, go to yoga, read, journal, do an art project, call someone, and meditate.
Let People Know
Tell supportive families and friends what you are doing and ask for their support. I even told the staff at the yoga studio I frequented. Let the people around you support you in your journey. They’ll hold you accountable and they, hopefully, will understand and not pull you from the important experience.
Set up an out of office noticed on your email and voicemail, even if it’s just for a weekend. Here’s a great sample that a friend uses (and I stole and edited slightly):
You know what I get back from people when they get this message? “Good for you!” and/or “How did it go?” and/or “Can you help me do that?” No one was annoyed that I didn’t answer their email sooner. Everyone was supportive.
So take these tips, create your personal retreat on your calendar, set a schedule, tell those who will support you, unplug and create that personal retreat at home!
Author Bio: Rebecca has spent all her life dreaming big, creating adventures and living her big, bold dreams. As a yoga teacher and life vision coach, she’s helped people throughout the country live their biggest, boldest, healthiest lives possible. She’s a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance and is trained Therapeutic Yoga with the Prison Yoga Project. She currently offers private yoga in Denver, Co and life coaching sessions globally. She writes regularly for Retreat Place, Elephant Journal, and Some Talk of You and Me. She can be found on her website, Instagram and Facebook.