How to Create a Relaxing Retreat at Home
Nisha Miller Lifestyle Editor | FamilyLivingToday.com
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Seaweed wraps, massages, and meditation—flyaway to a retreat and they’re normal fair. If your budget is tight or time itself is sparse, an at-home retreat can provide the same rejuvenating benefits. But it’s more than a matter of staying home and binge-watching your favorite series. A retreat is an escape from the every day to detox mind, body, and soul. That kind of rejuvenation doesn’t happen by accident, which means you have some planning to do.
Time has a funny way of filling itself even if it’s scrolling through social media or chatting in an online forum. Whatever calendaring system you use, write in your retreat so you can’t schedule anything else. Set a reminder a few days in advance to make sure you’ve made all your preparations.
Many retreats last a few days or a whole weekend. You can do that for your home retreat as well. If that’s more time than you have available, a 24-hour retreat or even a single evening can be almost as effective.
Plan Your Agenda
Create an agenda with a list and possible timetable for your activities. If you don’t, you might be tempted to pay bills or run an errand, pulling you back into your normal routine. An agenda can also prevent you from spending too much time on one activity and missing one you were looking forward to.
Plan and Prep Meals
A retreat is also a time to cleanse your body with wholesome foods of high nutritional value, but you don’t want to stop and have to think about food. Plan your meals well in advance so you’re fully stocked and ready to go before you begin. Prepare meals by cutting vegetables or even pre-cooking them so you have as little work to do as possible.
Too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. Pick a variety of activities to keep yourself engaged. Try to create a balance between physical activity and mindful rest. For example, a challenging hike can be counterbalanced with a long soak in the bathtub and meditation.
Create a Relaxation Space
At least some of your retreat should be spent in quiet meditation, yoga, and simply letting yourself think. Help yourself reach that calm relaxed state by preparing a relaxation area in your home. It could be a corner of your living room or a guest room transformed into a quiet space. This area should be simple but comfortable. Fill it with clean air, comfortable pillows, and neutral colors that don't overstimulate your eyes and mind.
Disconnect and Check Out
In today's world, you are always connected. For the duration of your retreat, turn off your electronic devices. Put away your smartphone, close the laptop, and separate yourself from outside distractions. It's good to disconnect from the normal information overload. Doing so may have unexpected benefits. Electronic devices can emit a bright light that suppresses sleep hormones. Putting them away for a while can get help your body sync with the Earth’s day/night pattern.
An at-home retreat can be just as effective as a weekend spent at a spa. It takes some extra planning but can rejuvenate your soul and save you some cash.