Whether you’ve been on a retreat in Costa Rica or somewhere closer to home, you know the rejuvenating effects that time away from the rest of the world has on your psyche and body.
Lots of people are doing at-home retreats to save time and money - and you can do it easily too.
Here are seven steps to creating a DIY retreat of your dreams.
1. Clarify your intention.
There are so many types of retreats you can build for yourself, depending on your needs: writing, mindfulness and meditation, creativity, and spirituality, just to name a few.
If you’re on the cusp of a major life decision like changing jobs or moving, you might set up a meditation-focused retreat.
Or, if you’re a writer or artist with a day job and want to pen the first chapter of your new book or work on some sculpting, focus your retreat on your craft.
2. Choose your dates.
Yes, we all have lives (and jobs, spouses, kids, elderly parents and pets) - so a big must here is carving out “white space” in your schedule for your retreat.
Whether your retreat is a half-day, a full day or a weekend, be proactive.
Choose the dates and then tell your boss you’re taking vacation days.
Make childcare or pet care arrangements.
Enlist your significant other or other family members to help out with what might need to be done in your household while you’re on retreat.
And, don’t be afraid to ask for help to create this time for yourself.
3. Create your agenda.
Schedule what time you’ll wake up, activities including journaling or walks, meals and your downtime (drop in some shut-eye time as well).
Depending on the type of retreat you’ve planned, select the types of practices you’ll do and for how long.
These practices could include yoga, or sitting, standing or walking meditation. Prayer. Making art or writing. Journaling. Dancing or other physical activities. Studying. Spending time in nature. Conversing mindfully with others.
Plan out your meals too - and grocery shop and meal prep as much as possible before your retreat (you get bonus points for planning healthy meals).
If you want to be uber-prepped, set aside your clothes, journal and other items you’d bring on a retreat, so you don’t need to worry about them during your retreat time. Print out your agenda for easy reference and post it where you can see it.
4. Set up your space.
Create your retreat (or “sacred”) space and make it personal to you.
Light a candle or incense, if scents invigorate you.
Bring in some fresh flowers.
Display images or photos that inspire you.
Choose music that energizes or calms you.
Roll out your yoga mat or place some comfy pillows on the floor.
As much as you can, turn off your phone and disconnect from social media, emails and TV.
5. Invite friends.
If you don’t want to go retreating alone, the awesome news is that you don’t have to: Invite friends.
Whether you gather at your home or rent a beach house for the weekend, when you share the same intention, you’ll benefit from each other’s company.
6. Plan your next one.
When your at-home or close-to-home retreat is over and you’re still basking in the benefits, choose the dates for your next one and get it on your calendar.
7. Take daily retreat time.
No matter how often you engage in longer retreats during the year, it’s a great idea to set aside daily mini-retreat time - whether it’s a 10-minute walk or a three-minute guided meditation using an app like Insight Timer.