Did you ever have one of those days when you just want to get away from it all? Just walk away for a few hours, or a few days? To escape from the nonstop “incoming” and yell: RETREAT!
Of course you have - we all have.
Here’s the good news: You can. You CAN find time and space to take a retreat. If you can’t manage a full day away right now, take a retreat in segments. For example, use your lunch hour every Tuesday for two months. Or take an hour every day for a week during the kids’ naptime or TV time, or take two hours every Saturday for a month while Dad, a friend or a sitter take the kids to the park. Or use your lunch hour every Tuesday for two months.
The key to making this work is to actually use the time for retreat – no laundry or dishes allowed. Not even “I’ll just start this load and then I’ll start my retreat.” Not even “I’ll just respond to this one e-mail/call/text, and then I'll start my retreat.” You know how one task often leads to another. This is YOUR time. Use it to recharge yourself.
Does that sound selfish? Look at it this way: if you don’t do what you need to do to care for yourself, you’re less equipped to take care of anyone else. You know how short-tempered you get when you’re feeling trapped by your responsibilities (even though you wouldn’t trade them for the world)? You know how you start to feel like you can't even hear yourself think? How much more patient, creative, and yes, productive could you be if you could just have a few minutes to yourself once in a while??
You know the truth of this – now ACT on it.
Schedule at least one-half hour (preferably an hour) on at least two days in the coming week. Use that time to do something that nurtures or energizes you.
Here are some ideas to get you going:
• Do something physical – be it yoga or kickboxing or Zumba - as long as it is something that energizes you, and not just a task to tick off your to-do list.
• Do something spiritual – read something inspirational, meditate, pray or journal.
• Do something creative – and work on it for an hour without interruption (bliss!).
• Do some high quality “thinking” about an issue that has been weighing you down – whether it is your preschooler’s eating habits, your relationship with your spouse , or prioritizing and planning your work projects for the next three months. (Yes, Virginia, you can use a retreat for work-related things, as long as that is truly what would nurture you most right now.) A half-hour of quality thinking, reflection and brainstorming is worth more than weeks of fretting and stewing.
• Do nothing. Take a nap, or take a long bath or shower. Let the water cleanse your body, wash away negativity, and hydrate you, body, mind and spirit.
What to watch out for: getting distracted by mindless “relaxing” activities, like paging idly through a magazine. Use your precious retreat time to do something that will make a real difference in your life, right now.
Go ahead. Do it. Make time for a retreat. And start reaping the rewards, today!
For more tips for a successful One Hour Retreat, get my free guide - just enter your e-mail address in the box in the sidebar.