One of my most favourite things about working in retreats was holding space for guests to heal. Though they may have been filled with so much gratitude for us and everyone else involved in their journey: the chefs, the massage therapists, the yoga teachers, the person who really did all the work was themselves. They were the ones who booked the retreat, who made the decision to take a week away from work, loved ones, family and sometimes small children for the very first time, in order to prioritise their self-care.
The journey was hard and often filled with tears, both of joy and sadness, but the remarkable transformations that guests experienced in just a week, all from listening to themselves and taking action, will always stay with me.
Whilst booking a luxury week long retreat in Central America or Ibiza might not be feasible for all of us! There are daily reflection and journaling tools that I have learnt that are integral to the path of self-care, and you can begin to implement right now!
1. Daily check in and ritual - I cannot stress enough the importance of a daily routine and check in ritual. Routine is not boring, but creates a sense of stability, safety, security and serenity. The beginning and end of the day are the easiest times to start implementing this routine. If you struggle getting on with your day I would suggest starting in the morning, if you have trouble getting to sleep you might like to try creating a calming bed time routine. Morning or night, try to take time away from screens where you can check-in with yourself and prepare/process the day. Using a reflective journal can help you recognise exactly how you are feeling and note any signs and patterns in your thought processes and behaviour.
2. Identify what in your life helps you feel your best! This might feel like a really daunting prospect at first so break it down: what activities make you feel alive? What people in your life make you feel happy? Are there people in your day to day life who don't make you happy? What in your life do you feel your deepest sense of connection to, be it an activity or person? Write them all down.
3. This then leads us on to discover when, where, why and how you feel deprived in your life? What do you need less of? What do you want right now? Get really specific here!
4. Create an integrity list. These are a set of life values that you decide for yourself, a rule book if you like! Write an absolute 'no!' list. e.g. no multi tasking, no emails after 9pm, and then a yes list .e.g. I will make time every day to be outdoors in nature for 10 minutes.
These are just a few ideas for you to get started with and that I will be building on in my upcoming "Self-Care Spring Cleanse", a two week online programme designed to give you all the tools you need to learn how to take care of yourself, like a retreat but from the comfort of your own home and with the nurturing support of an online community!
Spaces are limited so get in touch now to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot wait to share it with you!