Let this sink in…74% of people consider self-care to mean taking care of their bodies, while 57% of people think it means taking a mental break. And although the stats show that we are definitely on the right path, only 32% of women (and 39% of men) actually make self-care part of their daily or weekly routines. They say that self-care isn’t selfish yet two in three people do not currently practice any type of wellness regime, so if you ask me, it looks like we have some work to do...
Keeping up with the pace of life may sometimes feel impossible; let's face it we are overworked, over-connected, our “to-do” lists feel endless, and all too often we are worn out by the end of the week. But it doesn't have to be this way, taking some time for yourself is the first step in working towards adopting self-care practices. People are embracing self-care as they work toward transforming their “work heavy” life by refocusing and learning to make life choices that promote wellbeing.
By definition, self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. And while there are many simple pleasures we can work into our day; writing in a journal, a massage and even taking a walk, sometimes we need to take it one step further. For those of us that really need to put ourselves on a path of personal recovery, we highly recommend planning a self-care retreat.
What is a "Self-Care Retreat"?
A self-care retreat is all about renewing and regenerating you; a vacation that allows you to do something relaxing. Some self-care retreats are focused on yoga and meditation. Others are spa weekends where you are pampered and handed cucumber water at every turn. Whatever you decide, the goal of the weekend should be that you feel refreshed, inspired and motivated to care for yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. A successful wellness trip creates an atmosphere of change and clarity for what comes next.
How Do I Get The Best From My Self-Care Retreat?
Step 1: Alone Time
The first step in getting the most out of your self-care retreat is to figure out your goal and do what you need to disconnect from the world. We highly recommend going alone; we know that may seem daunting and a little bit scary, but in order to re-discover yourself, you really need to focus on you and only you. Throughout your retreat you want to make sure you take time to rest, eat healthy and be open to the services offered, even if it is out of your realm.
Step 2: Where will your journey take you?
Getting out of town is therapeutic in itself, but choosing your destination carefully is conducive to feeling relaxed and blissful. Whether you decide to journey to a retreat tucked away in the mountains or prefer to have your senses stimulated by the crashing waves and smell of salt air; finding a place surrounded by the kind of nature you want to connect with is the ultimate step in finding success on your self-care journey.
Step 3: Digital Detox
Saying no to screens is another hard but significant step to achieving your retreat goals. A digital detox is a must when it comes to self-care. Being unplugged will help you immerse yourself in whatever your retreat has to offer, there will be time later to check your social media accounts and answer emails. We spend too much time glued to our screens, imagine the power in shutting down for a weekend.
Step 4: Find What’s Right for You
A self-care retreat is different from a jam-packed vacation in that we do not want to be even more tired than we were before we left. Choosing the right retreat means searching for someplace that offers something you enjoy. Look for places that offer options for self-care practices such as meditation, yoga, soothing spa services, healthy food, and getting outdoors to enjoy nature. Save the sight-seeing and roller coasters for another time, self-care is about relaxing and regenerating, not pulling all-nighters and the thrill of a wild ride.
Self-Care Retreating at Home
Unfortunately for some of us, sneaking away for a weekend all about ourselves, is just not in the cards. Perhaps we have little ones at home, or money is tight, or we have other commitments that demand our time. In reality, the best self-care retreat would be away from your normal environment, but that doesn't mean we have to forget the idea altogether. Believe it or not, it is possible to create a DIY self-care retreat right in your own home.
The first step is to choose your date and stick with it, even if it is just for a few hours make sure you can find a nice quiet spot with no distractions...screens, children, significant others and pets alike. Once you have a date, time and place decide on what physical, mental, emotional and spiritual practices you would like to incorporate into your day. Plan out your schedule (just like you would have if you were away from your home) and stick with it. If you want to spend the day meditating, journaling and enjoying nature, then make sure you schedule that into your day. Break up your activities with inspirational readings, healthy food, lots of water and rest. Some of our must haves for an at home retreat include; healthy food (think spinach salad with strawberries), water, a bathrobe, face masks (not the COVID kind), hot baths, mediation and nature.
Ultimately, we want our self-care retreat to bring us a step closer to learning the importance in connecting with ourselves and embracing this for the future. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on our business, or our job or our family or maybe even all of the above, that taking time and stepping away from it all is just the medicine we need. The goal of a self-care retreat, no matter miles away or in the comfort of your own home, is to begin to adopt practices that will help pave the way for a life that is more centered on you. It is so easy to get caught up in life and even easier to forget about caring for yourself that sometimes the best reminder is to free yourself from your daily demands and have some “me time”. So, take a break, kick your feet up and relax; it will be worth it in the long run.
Self-Care Retreats We Love! (P.S. you don’t even have to leave the US)
● New Life Hiking Spa, Vermont: Perfect for those that love nature and outdoors.
● Sunrise Springs, New Mexico: This spot is perfect for someone who is not exactly sure what they need for self-care, it offers a little bit of everything.
● The Golden Door, California: If you are looking for posh and high end self-care, this is the place for you!
● Hawaii Island Retreat, Hawaii: Just the word Hawaii is enough to relax you, but this spot offers a boutique hotel with a wellness center at your fingertips.
● Wanderlust, various locations in the US: This is a yoga centered festival; think the Woodstock of Self-care.
● Big Sky Yoga Retreat, Montana: This is the perfect place for horse lovers.
By Melanie Akerberg
People Happiness Manager
Bliss Virtual Services