If this sounds totally contradictory to the spirit of a retreat, stay with me. I know we want to just relax and NOT think too much during a well-deserved retreat, but a little forethought can mean the difference between ho-hum and oh-wow. Here are three last areas of focus for planning your retreat:
Plan Your Meals
No matter your budget, you can plan nourishing and delicious meals for your retreat. I keep breakfast and lunch informal and easy, and fine-tune dinner. (Even though I’d like to one day make breakfast my main meal, I’m not there yet!) If you want to do a mental AND physical detox, you might choose the tastiest, healthiest smoothies or juices you can find, or blend up your own. Maybe a trip to the farmer’s market is all you need to set up delicious meal options.
You can pre-prepare your meals or have a plan for takeout or restaurant meals. I know one mom who keeps a short list of restaurants she likes, ones her family vetoes. When she gets a block of free time, she visits one of these restaurants and savors quiet time alone with a favorite entree.
My preference is to have a few snacks throughout the day and then have an early dinner that excites me. If I’m away from home, that means a restaurant. At home, believe it or not, I love to warm up a freezer meal. Easy to prep, no mess, and so delicious!
Be sure you choose foods that make you feel great. Avoid heartburn triggers or anything that leaves you sluggish.
Plan Your Pampering
Whether its homemade facial masks, a trip to the spa, or a lawnchair and a fantastic book, be intentional about your pampering. The FlyLady recommends keeping a totebag filled with self-care items like luxurious hand lotion, books and magazines, favorite packaged snacks, etc. If you have one of these but you’ve been too busy for too long, take a peek–you might have forgotten what delights you had in store for yourself!
Be creative with your budget and your preferences. You can find pay or DIY versions of pedicures, lazy afternoons at the pool, nature hikes and more. Do what relaxes you.
Plan Your Delights
Unless you absolutely need a day of NOTHING, I also suggest planning one activity that will be a memory-maker for you. Something delightful! Maybe a visit to a meaningful location? (This year, I found the rural village where, nearly two hundred years ago, my family’s ancestors settled.) Or waking up in the wee hours to watch a meteor shower. (It’s a humbling reminder to keep things in perspective.) Maybe what’s delightful for you is something mundane that you just haven’t had time to do for a while, like watching a movie at the theater or reading an anticipated book. Search your heart and make it happen.
I promise, if you take a few moments to make intentional plans and pay attention to details for your retreat, you’ll find your experience even more incredible. A little planning keeps your retreat exciting and refreshing. So get to it, and be sure to let me know how it goes!
NOW YOU: When traveling, which small details stood out to you? How can you incorporate those details into your personal retreat? If not the actual detail itself, can you recreate the feeling?