9 Steps to Creating Your Own Retreat
Do you feel like the holiday decorations have taken over your home? Are you side-stepping boxes, rolls of wrapping paper, and high strung kids? Is your living room so busy and crowded that it is the last place you want to go to try and relax? If so, it’s time to create a space just for you so you can unwind and center yourself. Having a spot in your home that you can turn into a retreat for the times you need to recharge your battery will not only help refocus you, but it will allow you to find some serenity in an otherwise busy environment.
Here are nine steps to take to create a space just for yourself:
- If the holiday commotion centers in your living room, choose another spot in the house that can be your go-to place for the next few weeks. Maybe it’s a spare bedroom, your bedroom, or even the back porch.
- Clear away any clutter in the place you choose. Put extra items out of sight so your spot is not visually over-stimulating.
- Choose one or two things that remind you of the peace of mind and relaxation you desire. Maybe it’s a picture of a beautiful, sun swept, private beach, or a scented candle you enjoy. Place just those items near where you will sit.
- Have a comfy chair or other soft spot so you can stretch out and relax.
- Look closely at the items you choose to put near you, and think about how they make you feel. What is it that appeals to your inner peace when you look at them? Hold those thoughts for a few minutes.
- Close your eyes and do some deep, cleansing breaths. Breathe deeply from within your belly so that your lungs expand. As you hold the breath begin scanning your body, starting with your head. Notice what you are feeling, then let the thought go as you slowly release the breath. On the next intake of breath, focus on your neck, followed by your shoulders, chest, and so on, all the way down to your feet.
- If any parts of your body feel tense, imagine the tension leaving with each breath you exhale. Try picturing each muscle loosening and the stress leaving your body upon release of air.
- If you find your thoughts wandering while you do this, simply acknowledge the thought and let it pass. Picture it being blown out as you exhale.
- Do this for whatever amount of time feels right to you. Just the act of breathing deeply releases stress and promotes relaxation and peace.
Having a quiet place to go to is a great way to take care of yourself. Pay attention to how you are feeling over the next few weeks, and if you need a break, take one. Know that the more you practice self-care and take the time you need, the more you will be fully present in the things you do with others. Taking care of your mind and body is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Next time we will talk about the holiday mindset, and take a look at how to reframe your thoughts around the holidays.