Listen to the podcast version of this article! It has a lot more details and even includes some secrets for feeling less guilty!! LOL. Enjoy!
Retreats Make A Huge Impact
If I had to I pinpoint the exact day that changed my life as a working Mom, I’d pick the day I went on my first week-long retreat
The retreat started a spiral that made everything change — for the good!
The reason for the change wasn’t because I finally had a break and could actually breathe and sleep (though that was nice).
Rather, it was because the retreat helped me to redefine myself.
I was no longer someone whose entire life was to sacrifice herself for her family. Instead, I was a person. I was also important. It was okay for me to spend time, money, and resources on myself.
I also rediscovered who I was. For so many years, I was just a working Mom. I worked from before the sun was up till well after it went down. It had been years since I connected with myself on a deep level. The retreat helped me see myself for the person I’ve become— and I really liked her!
Where I Went
On my first retreat, I went to a non-profit retreat center called the Omega Institute, which is in upper state NY. I took a week-long class on self-compassion. During the week I also took dance classes, meditation classes, and evening workshops. I didn’t overdo it, though. Most evenings outside of the class I relaxed and enjoyed the environment (and the quiet!). This type of retreat was pure bliss for me.
The type of retreat you choose may be very different since you need to do what works for you.
How You Can Go on A Retreat
I know your life is busy and you’re wondering how you can go on retreat. I have some suggestions that will help you go on retreat, no matter what your life circumstance is right now.
1. Go for A Short Retreat. A great way to ease into going on your first retreat is to make it so short, it actually feels doable for you.
For example, you could go away for just one night. Or if that feels impossible, what about for a few hours? You could perhaps put your children in day care for the day or have a family member watch them. You could then create your own retreat experience, even if it’s only for a few hours. Doesn’t that sound delicious?
2. Go for an inexpensive retreat. You’d be surprised how inexpensive some retreats can be. For example, the place I went to, the Omega Institute, even has scholarships. They also have different housing situations. You can sleep in a tent rather than a cabin and save a ton!
You could also create your own retreat at home and pay for a few yoga classes and lunch out.
One retreat that I did that was very inexpensive was I flew to a friend’s house. From there, a few of us got together and created our own “quilt retreat” for no cost! It was such fun and hard to believe that it was free!
The key is to not think inside the box when it comes to a retreat. Anything that works for you counts.
I have a freebie printable for you with lots of ideas you can do for your retreats. For the password, sign up on the form at the end of this post or click here.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Go visit a family member! My sister does this since she lives far away from us. It’s great fun for the whole family when she comes to visit us for her yearly retreat! We love to spoil her and take her out for meals, go shopping with her, and do fun things. It’s a win-win retreat!
- Do something related to your hobby! If you enjoy any type of hobby, chances are there’s a retreat for it. My husband has even gone on whiskey retreats! Combining your hobby (even if you haven’t done it for a while) with a retreat is super fun.
How to Get Started
1. Brainstorm. To get started, I’d recommend doing some brainstorming. Write down some ideas for different types of retreats that appeal to you.
2. Decide how you want to feel. The key to planning a successful retreat is to decide how you want to FEEL. Do you want to feel relaxed or invigorated? Do you want to be alone or with a bestie? If you start with how you want to feel during your retreat, you can’t go wrong.
3. Think about a budget. How much can you spend? Knowing this will help you pick where to go and for how long.
4. Your ideal time to go. Although it’s never convenient to be away, there may be some weeks or weekends that may be easier for you to be away than others. It’s helpful to discuss the ideal time with your kid’s caretaker. In my family, it’s easiest if I go during the school year since the kids are on a schedule.
5. Book it! Once you take the plunge and put down your deposit, it’ll start to feel like it’s really happening. Don’t wait to book your trip since otherwise, you may talk yourself out of it!
Wishing you so much joy on your retreat! I hope it’s as life-changing for you as it is for me. May you feel nourished and come home refreshed and invigorated!