Welcome back January from January Wellness. January has such an awesome perspective on health, wellness, nutrition and adventure — I love having her insight as a contributor! Last month she shared with us 3 “Healthy” Foods that are hiding more sugar than you think. But Nutrition isn’t her only jam. She’s also a wellness retreat leader and takes folks to beautiful, far and away lands to help them discover better versions of themselves. For those of us who can’t make the adventure a reality just yet, I asked her to share her tips to turn our own homes into temporary wellness retreats. I can’t wait to take mine this weekend! Bon Voyage!
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
One of the reasons we love to travel is that it changes our perspective. Literally, we step into a different world, and see a multitude of brand new things. But more subtly & importantly, when we travel we take on the role of an observer. Without the long to-do list of our everyday lives, we slow down. And when we slow down, we often just feel better!
One theme for the wellness retreats I host in Fiji is slowing down. To the Fijian people it’s just called Fiji Time, which means, “no rush at all… anytime you get around to it.” As our guests arrive from the buzz of freeways, long airport lines and jet planes that brought across the Pacific Ocean, all of the rushing comes to a screeching halt. They’re handed a fresh coconut to drink, they put their phones down, the warm tropical air wraps them up, and soon they sink into the slower pace of Fiji Time.
It’s definitely easier to relax into a slower pace when you’ve landed on a tropical island… but we can’t always pack up and leave when we need that perspective shift.
The good news is you don’t need to travel internationally to create the blissful effects of a retreat! With a little planning you can create a Mini Wellness Retreat for yourself at home. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
1. Clear your schedule
Begin planning your retreat a few days in advance. Clear your schedule for a few hours. (Or if you can, make it the whole day!) If you have a roommate or partner, find a time when you’ll be alone, or let them know your plans, so they can give you some space & quiet. Write your mini-retreat on your calendar and hold yourself to it – you deserve this!
2. Create an agenda and a theme
A clear schedule is important to keep you from distraction while in your home and everyday surroundings. Create an agenda with the hourly details of your mini-retreat. You can even schedule “free time,” but write it down! To help you build your schedule, decide on a purpose, theme, intention, or even just a “vibe” for your retreat.
- Nurturing your body?
- Clearing your mind?
- Releasing something?
Whatever it may be, have a focus.
3. Put on your retreat “glasses”
Starting very first thing in the morning (or whenever you begin your mini-retreat) imagine you’ve put on special retreat glasses – a set of lenses that invites you to see everything as if it’s new to you.
- What’s the feel of the carpet like under your feet as you step out of bed?
- What items on your walls and around your house can you notice like they’re brand new?
- Slow down as you get dressed, brush your teeth, pour a glass of water, inhale and exhale deeply. Become an observer.
Disconnect ALL electronics. No computers, phone, social media especially. This is a must! Hold fast to this rule. You will thank yourself. (DO prepare in advance if you’d like to play music or will need a podcast to guide you through yoga or meditation – and have that ready so you won’t be distracted by other things on the device you’ll play from.)
Plan a meal or even just tea-time for yourself with nourishment and enjoyment in mind. This can be as simple as picking up a new herbal tea, or as elaborate as preparing a new recipe using beautiful ingredients. My favorites for a mini-retreat: a fresh tropical fruit plate, mint tea and a few squares of decadent dark chocolate.
6. Incorporate nature
Plan some time on your mini-retreat to be outside, in nature. You can take your yoga mat outside for practice, or just do some simple stretches. Try sitting on your own porch and observe the nature that blooms around your house. Be observant to the sounds, sights, and smells. Bonus: take a barefoot walk, to create a feeling of grounding and earth connection.
7. An Activity
This can be anything that fits the vibe of your mini-retreat! Some ideas:
- Painting or drawing
- Writing in a journal
- An epsom salt bath or body scrub
- Yoga practice (if you need guidance, download an audio podcast. This can be your one “pass” on the electronics rule!)
- Sage/smudge your home, or burn incense or candles
- Practice a self-care ritual like skin brushing
- Go for a run or walk
- Take a nap
I hope you are inspired to carve out some space for rejuvenating yourself soon! I’d love to hear how it goes; post a comment, or check in with me at www.januarywellness.com to let us know how your mini-retreat goes!
January is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, nutrition educator, health coach, ocean aficionado, & Hawaii-born island-lover. She teaches classes, provides private coaching and hosts international wellness retreats. Her passion is helping people discover their healthiest, most radiant self through nourishing food, FUN fitness, and travel!
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