The best (and most difficult) part of this past year for me has been the opportunity to spend more time with my children. Lockdown turned our home into an office, a homeschool, and a recreation center. Now that the world is “opening up” again, it’s time to reclaim ourselves. Moms, we need some time alone…no deadlines, no dishes, no kids tugging on our pants. Recently, I planned my own solo retreat and it was the best decision ever. If you follow me on IG you saw some of the highlights of the trip, it was a well-thought out break that gave me clarity on a lot of the things I’ve had swirling around me. In case you want to plan your own solo retreat, I thought I’d share some tips on the planning process… Face Reality First 1. Determine how much time you have
What responsibilities are you leaving behind? How long before you worry about home/kids/etc. do you hve enough time off work? Any big projects you’ll need to complete before/after?
2. Respect your budget
How much money can you spend without throwing your expenses off course? The key here is not to make spending choices that will bite you later. That would completely reverse any relaxation you got from being away.
3. Find somewhere to go
Personally, I enjoy long drives alone so I chose something 3 hours away. Close enough to not worry, far enough to truly be unavailable.
Make sure the location will cater to your goals. If you’re looking for relaxation maybe skip the family-friendly hotels and go for an AirBnB (like this one I used which was a yoga retreat house!) or do a Google search for retreat centers near you.
Make sure you can tap into what makes you happy. Do you enjoy being near the ocean? On a mountain? In a city? Pick a spot that’ll have activities for you to enjoy. The most relaxed and spiritual moments for me are outdoors in nature so I chose a place with a local state park and offered yoga sessions. That might look different for you, just make sure you focus on your interests and cater to that.
Remind yourself that this trip is all about you. Create your dream scenario by answering the questions below. 4. Set a Personal goal
What are you trying to accomplish? i.e. health, relaxation, sleep, planning, working
5. Plan a loose schedule around that goal.
Make it your mission and hold yourself accountable to it. Click here to see what my solo retreat schedule looked like.
Coordinate the activities based on your wants and needs.This retreat should cater directly to YOU. 6. Wake up early and go to sleep early
Taking advantage of your time alone is so important. Even if you aren’t a morning person, waking up early can really jumpstart your experience. On the flipside, going to bed early is a treat b/c you’ve got no dinner to cook or clean you can just rest.
7. Eat well
Light breakfasts will give you a boost of energy to do something physical with your body and will begin to train you for a healthy experience.
On the flipside, eat whatever you want for dinner! There’s no one else to consider. No one else to share with. And hopefully you’ve budgeted for a fancy dinner on at least one of the nights…you deserve it!
8. Pack yourself a spa day.
Take the time to care for your skin, your face, your feet, your hair. You don’t always have the time at home so now is your chance for that face mask and deep conditioner. Light a candle (here’s a link to my favs!) and treat yourself!
Click here to see my suggestions and plan ahead for that two-day shipping! The best thing you can do for yourself is reflect on your retreat before and after. I used my time on the drive home to do this. You might choose to arrive home when nobody will be there, or maybe stop at a park near your house for a few moments to transition and reflect. Before retreat, consider what you hope to gain from the experience. What do you want to feel when the retreat is over? If you’re spiritual, you can use this prayer for clarity. During retreat, you should plan to have a journal with guided prompts or Google some prompts online before you go. I chose to incorporate a virtual retreat that was already happening so I used those sessions as the themes to reflect on each day. After retreat, think about how will you make sure you don’t diminish your relaxation immediately upon returning home. Think about ways you can maintain your sanity throughout the week. Maybe an activity you did on retreat can continue at home. If you’re spiritual, you can use this prayer for patience and guidance.
If you’ve done it right, issues will arise during retreat…maybe an epiphany about your professional goals or a problem you want to fix in your personal life.You should be prepared to share those things with your partner or support system…allowing them to hold you accountable to make the changes you need to make on your journey toward happiness. Retreats are opportunities for relaxation but they’re also pivot points, forks in the road meant to give you a chance to change for the better. Use the time wisely. If you need help planning the retreat schedule, click here for what my days looked like.