How to create a DIY retreat experience
We’ve all been there; that point in time when life is asking (or demanding!) us to pause, rest and recharge our energy. Naturally, when you live so close to a retreat centre it doesn’t make sense to plan a stay at Happy Buddha… and sometimes a getaway is simply not on the cards. Enter: your own DIY retreat.
With some forward planning, self-care and boundary setting – you can create your own space for rejuvenation.
1. Clear your clutter
Clearing your schedule is the first step towards your DIY retreat. Whether this means finding a sitter or creating an out-of-office email – it’s important to consider all the ways that you could be pulled from your sanctuary.
One tip would be to set your phone to ‘do not disturb.’ Try and get your news/social fix on Friday evening, with the intention of staying offline until Sunday night. If loved ones are going to reach out, let them know in advance you’ll be offline for the weekend.
You may not be committing to a totally screen-free retreat (especially if you intend to do online meditations etc). However, by turning off notifications and removing those tempting apps, you’ll be able to mindfully use your tech for its more restorative offerings.
Clearing physical clutter before your DIY retreat is equally important. Spiritual schools have acknowledged the importance of clean and sacred space for thousands of years. There’s nothing less relaxing than seeing a pile of dirty dishes or dog hair all over your yoga mat!
This means it’s worth cleaning up anything and everything that dissolves your zen.
Tip: Add incense, crystals or any other beautiful items to the rooms where you’ll be most present. Keeping lights dim in the evening by using candles instead, will also work to calm and relax your nervous system.
2. Make space for me-time
While your DIY retreat could involve nourishing movies and books, be sure to dedicate some time to solely yourself; your mind, body and spirit.
We recommend meditation – either self-conducted, or by utilising one of the many apps available like Calm, or Insight Timer (there are also many meditation courses to choose from). Lately I’ve been loving the meditations of Lee Harris.
The yogis were certainly onto something when they discovered the restorative effects of savasana. You can gift yourself space by lying down in this posture, practicing the art of (mindfully) doing nothing, and listening to a peaceful spotify playlist like this one.
3. Pamper yourself
Pampering yourself in ways that feel good will take your DIY retreat and self-care journey to the next level.
You could always book in some physical nurturing, in the form of a massage or any other treatment which makes you feel relaxed and connected to your body. Suggestions here include: acupuncture, sauna visits, reiki, Kahuna massage, or cranio-sacral therapy. Some therapists will even visit your home.
If leaving the house isn’t your jam, you could always give yourself a facial, or draw a beautiful bath using essential oils.
Tip: Lately I’ve been loving the natural sheet face masks from Sukin – a little piece of luxury easily found at most supermarkets. Plus they’re bio-degradable.
Pampering yourself takes many forms, and could be something as simple as making a delicious, healthy and nourishing meal for yourself.
4. Stretch it out
One of the best ways to relieve body tension is with a yoga class.
Depending on your personal preferences, you could either join one locally or online. There are so many platforms and videos out there ~ and of course, you could book your practice with us!
5. Get out in nature
We’ve discussed the importance of connecting with nature and its wonderfully rejuvenating effects.
You don’t always have to go for a hike (but of course do so if that’s your thing!) to get some green into your day. Your DIY retreat can involve simply create a resting spot in your garden or going for a slow walk around a park.
Or why not take a beach trip? Even as head into chillier months, it’s always lovely to feel the earth with some sand between your toes.
Some of the most beautiful moments we can have as humans, are the ones where we’re collecting leaves and flowers – taking a moment to simply touch, feel, notice…. and connect with the senses.
By Nisha Prakash