Retreats Revive Mind, Body, and Spirit
From taking a spiritual retreat to unplugging at home, escaping from everyday distractions can help restore balance to your life.
DIY Retreats: Strategies for Taking Time Out at Home
Many people seek out mind-body retreats to jump-start a “personal retreat”
program they can incorporate into their everyday lives at home. Do-it-yourself
retreats range from self-care and yoga, to meditation and aromatherapy,
breathwork, journaling, and mindful living.
For the time-pressed, learning to "unitask" vs. multitask might
represent a retreat. For the uber-connected, unplugging electrical devices can
provide renewal. For the office-bound, spending time outside is replenishing.
For those who usually eat on the run, a meal prepared with fresh ingredients,
served on beautiful china and consumed at leisure, could provide a much-needed
respite. For harried office workers who sit in front of a computer all day, a
cooling eye mask and headphones to listen to a favorite aria is a sensory
“Many people use a retreat as a springboard to make permanent changes in
terms of getting balance back into their lives,” Shamir tells WebMD. “Part of
going somewhere is going somewhere without distractions, to think, to focus on
a goal, whether it is to make a big decision -- many people are at a crossroads
-- or get some rest.”
But how can you sustain the wisdom gained at a retreat -- even after the
day-to-day craziness of life has crept back in?
“When we get ahead of ourselves, we burn out and can’t sustain,” Shamir
says. “We rush to yoga to relax! You have to decipher what is practical for
The secret, experts say, is having a sense of purpose. It’s about slowing
down. Successful retreats, whether you fly off for a weekend or take 15 minutes
out of your day, is about being, not doing. Retreat is all about intent and
“You can create a sense of retreat in your everyday space by having little
rituals that work for you,” Shamir suggests. “Light a candle. If you are a
mother, take an undisturbed bath. Go to a movie where you don’t have to do
anything. Drink a cup of tea slowly and read a book. My expert advice is to
find these stolen moments in your every day instead of trying to block out time
on the weekend.”