"Your soul knows the answer. you just have to be quiet enough to hear it, and patient enough to listen"
– Stacie Martin
Human beings need rest, but studies show that we rarely get all the rest we need. Most Americans are sleep deprived and over stressed, and it’s being reported at record breaking levels. When we talk about rest, we don’t just mean vegging out on the couch for an hour in the evening or taking a quick nap one afternoon. Rest isn’t a couple days off with the kids at a theme park. Real rest, the rest that recharges our body, mind, and spirit, and contributes to holistic health, takes time. It takes most people two full days for their body to catch up on sleep, and for their minds and endocrine system to let go of stress. Imagine, two days full days to revive, and yet we tell our bodies to make do with just a few hours of restless sleep because we have things we need to do.
This is why retreats matter. You need time and space, and the absence of expectations. A retreat is a way to practice loving and kindness for yourself. It is not a time to punish yourself, “catch up” on something you’ve neglected, or change your life overnight. A retreat is a gift, a commitment, an investment in YOU and your overall well-being.
When we feel spent, used up, burnt out and drained of life, getting away can be the restorative time we need to
get some balance and perspective back.
There are times when we need to be still for an extended time in order to hear the words our inner self is speaking to us. It’s then we realize we have been rushing and not hearing.
Whether it’s time with a few friends to laugh, fellowship and relax or just a few hours alone to get away from the demands of everyday life, time away can reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. Always a good thing!
So Why Don’t We Take Personal Retreats?
Tired? Stressed? Too damn distracted for a retreat (or much else?) You, my friend, need a retreat. The idea of taking a retreat, whether it’s to an away location or one that’s a self-retreat at home, can be a daunting one.
For many of us, taking time away from our busy calendar-filled life is hard enough, and it’s even more so to feel worthy of alone time for yourself. The main reasons you may feel why a retreat isn’t an option for you could be:
Our jam-packed schedules are so full that looking at our calendars leaves us overwhelmed with little to no free time.
This is a one of the bigger issues. The responsibilities of kids to care for and get to school, laundry, getting dinner ready, caregiving, and more.
We feel guilty for taking time for ourselves, of asking someone else like a spouse, a friend, or fellow caregiver, to help out so we can get away for a little awhile.
The first two, I totally get and understand. These are legitimate obstacles that have to be addressed. But I personally know for a fact that it can be done if you want it bad enough. The last one, guilt, is a harder one, because it is emotional and not logistical. While it’s not surprising if you feel it, it’s not a legitimate reason. It’s defeating. It becomes an unnecessary weight we carry around and becomes an excuse to not even try.
The reality is, your family, your job, your business can all survive without you for a few days. Taking this time to focus on becoming the best version of yourself, is not only beneficial to you, but to all of those in your life both personally and professionally.