The 7 Benefits of Going on a Retreat
A retreat is defined by the dictionary as ‘a quiet or secluded place where one can rest or relax’. But is this description too simple? There are so many benefits to be gained from going on retreat – much more than just ‘quiet’ and ‘relaxation’. These benefits can be discovered within the stillness, offering personal nourishment, time for reflection, a spark inspiration or even nurturing or empowerment, which are the true gifts of retreat.
1.Stress Burn Out: A retreat is a type of radical self-care comes from a true need to be able to find that ultimate balance in life, to have time and space alone to breathe, develop creatively, to decompress from stress and to feel grounded, centred – to escape the constant buzz of everyday life.
2.Restorative Eating: When you’re taken away from your natural habitat and eating habits, and offered a more wholesome, holistic diet, you will be able to think more clearly, feel more intensely, sleep better and have improved mental health. The nutrient and vitamin-rich brain foods that are offered on retreat are undeniably beneficial.
3.Disconnecting from Social Media: In our connected society, there is more noise than ever; more things to be filtered, more demands on our attention and because of this growing cacophony, it is even more important than ever to be able to ‘switch off’ – not just to metaphorically disconnect from the demands of work and home life, but to actually, really physically ‘unplug’ from our technology, get back to basics, to nature and to give ourselves permission to just be.
4.Rediscover/Reinvent Yourself: Having time to reflect on what is important in your life is something that everyone truly needs. A retreat offers the chance to rethink and remind ourselves of what we value and how we might change our approach to our own lives and work – to press the ‘reset’ button, to feel nourished, improve our resilience and to reconnect with ourselves.
5.No Responsibility/No Planning: Another simple yet effective benefit of a retreat is the fact that you are voluntarily letting go. Of many things. You are letting go of the control you usually have over your itinerary, your ‘to do’ list (which usually seems never ending) and you are letting go of hang-ups, worries, anxieties, past trauma, and allowing someone else to protect you, lead you, nurture you and allow you to flourish. This benefit is probably the most valuable.
6.Access to Professional Guidance: Retreats can come in all shapes and sizes. Some are focused on a specific purpose, such as developing a skill or with a focus on physical health, others are more for general well being, self-care and a chance to spend time with like-minded people who are seeking the same calm and centered state. There are physical, creative or mindfulness activities that retreats can offer which, until now, have been undervalued in today’s society. The benefits of taking part in these activities with professional experts and mentors are so important for us to be able to find joy, which in turn improves our well being; activities like yoga, mindfulness, journaling, cooking, painting, crafts, and walking are all things that are massively important to being able to feel balanced, to express and create and to feel rewarded within our lives.
7.Economical Benefits: Unlike a traditional ‘holiday’, this break from the norm offers you permission to leave your daily routine, and to feel at home in clean air and calm surroundings. Events are pre-planned and pre-paid – you won’t overindulge or overspend. Much more restful than a traditional holiday, it will probably be the first time you have been in a protective ‘bubble’ since you were in your Mother’s womb. Think about that.
We spend so much time managing, worrying, caring for, nurturing and working for others that we care for and love with all our hearts. This is because we are loving caring creatures with so much to give.
But what about making sure that we are cared for? That we are loved? What about looking after ourselves?
Take some time out. Isn’t that what you deserve?