If you’re feeling any (or all) of the above, a retreat could be your ticket to happiness and renewal.
We’ve all been there. Overloaded with duties at work and home; we find ourselves running in multiple directions. In our busy daily life, much of which is on auto-pilot, it’s important to give ourselves a significant break. Not just a morning yoga class, afternoon nap or a weekend away, but real time to disconnect from everyday responsibilities. We must reconnect with our inner self.
A wellness retreat will offer a new perspective, expand your horizons and bring positive energy into your body, mind and soul. I’ve been a participant as well as a leader of numerous retreats in the last 15 years. I remember in 2007, my mom was very ill. I was completely exhausted (physically and emotionally) from care-giving as well as trying to keep my business and personal life running. It was really difficult to tell my parents I needed a break but I knew I was on the edge of becoming depressed and useless.
So, off I went to take care of myself. During that glorious week of my retreat, I refilled my energy tank and truly returned a new person. I felt renewed and rejuvenated, which allowed me to care for my sweet mom with strength and courage. It was a life saver for me.
There are times I’ve gone on retreats and shared “my story.” Other times, I decided to leave behind how I identify myself, which was extremely liberating. Of course, taking a break from constant phone and internet access allows you to be present with yourself, the beautiful environs and new experiences.
When you let go of daily responsibilities for work, companions, kids and parents, you can give yourself the gift of self-care and love. You’ll get off the fast track and re-discover your own rhythm. You’ll also have precious time to reflect on what you want to manifest upon your return home.
There are retreats that focus on every kind of positive life skill in countries all over the world. I’ve been on hiking, yoga, meditation, creativity and chanting retreats to name a few. Sometimes I’ve gone by myself and other times with my sister, a friend or my husband...and every one provided the exact nourishment I needed at the time.
Here are 7 ways a Wellness Retreat can rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.
1. It's an opportunity to push your reset button.
Disconnecting from daily responsibilities and immersing yourself in the present moment allows you to re-fill your energy tank. Having time and space gives you the opportunity to re-think your priorities.
2. You'll bask in a beautiful location & eat delicious food.
Many retreats are held in stunning exotic locations all over the world. Accommodations are typically built in the local style of architecture and design. Since food is such an important part of daily enjoyment, meals will be yummy and use local ingredients. (Vegetarian and vegan options are usually available too!)
3. You'll learn something new or hone skills you’re passionate about.
There are retreats that focus on any type of skill or hobby. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, art, biking, writing, photography or feng shui, you’ll be able to find it! Think about what you’d like to focus on during your retreat.
4. Relaxate, rejuvenate and make time for yourself.
Most retreats offer the classes and daily excursions as optional so you can participate as much or as little as you wish. If you need alone time, take a day for yourself. Most venues will offer spa treatments and massage or find a place for you to be pampered nearby. It is your retreat so never “should” yourself.
5. Become inspired by new sights and experiences.
Usually, there is time to explore the local city and nearby towns. You can go out to eat, sight-see, shop and partake in the cultural or traditional activities. Classes for cooking, surfing, pottery, drumming etc may be available. Research the kind of activities and spiritual rituals you may be able to participate in. (When I led my last two Morocco retreats, we went to a Berber women’s argan oil cooperative, enjoyed a Moroccan cooking class and hiked/lunched in the Atlas mountains)
6. You'll connect with like-minded new friends.
One of the best parts of going on a retreat is the people you will meet. They'll come from all over the world so you’ll learn a lot chatting with them during meals and group activities. You might find you have a lot in common since you were attracted to the same retreat.
7. You'll take home life-enhancing skills & positive memories.
By the end of the retreat, you will have learned something special which you can bring back into your life at home. Every time you practice or use that skill, it anchors you to the positive retreat experience. Memories are the best gift of any vacation. Your photos will transport back in time. I’ve made photo books of my retreats so I can re-experience all the good feelings and memories.
So, think about where you’d like to go, who you’d like to learn from and what would make your heart happy. You can search by country, skill or by the retreat leader. Make sure your passport it up-to-date so you can be spontaneous.
When the time is right, I hope you find yourself a wellness retreat to uplift and rejuvenation your body, mind and spirit. They have been so helpful and inspiring to me, I hope they will be for you too! If you’ve been dreaming of Italy like I have, check out my Tuscany Rejuvenation Retreat in September.