Have you ever felt like you want to disappear to a cabin somewhere and have your own personal retreat?
I’ve felt a lot like that this year. If you’re reading this, I know you can relate.
The online and offline world in 2020 is overwhelmingly loud and the first 6 months felt way too stressful for me to handle alone. I felt like I couldn’t cope and I was beginning to have tension headaches. There was nowhere I could go and escape it all. There was nowhere to go in lockdown (except Aldi), and it was affecting me massively. My worries disrupted my sleep, my appetite had faded and I was craving human connection. Overwhelm was high and time to myself became even rarer than before. I knew social media wasn’t helping, but I didn’t want to come off it because it was my only connection with other adults.
Plans help me feel more grounded and in control of my life. I needed a new plan, so I thought about what I could do within my own home. I still had a job to do (so grateful to be able to work from home) and children to take care of. But my renewed focus was to prioritise my emotional and mental wellbeing, so I could take care of everything else.
It’s all about trial and error, right?
In the beginning, I’d put together a new routine for the three of us and was just following the calendar. I’d gotten into a bit of a rut, which is so easy to do in lockdown. But I just wasn’t feeling happy anymore. And I totally get it; it’s a time where we all have heightened anxiety and endless worries. But I wanted to do whatever was in my power to take care of me. I know that when I take care of myself, I’m in a better position to take care of my children in the way they deserve.
I decided to give myself my own retreat, a bit of a light break from socials, and dedicated time for my self-care. It didn’t need to be anything transformational or over the top. I wanted it to be a series of steps I followed for at least a week. And it worked! It made such a difference and got my mind feeling like it belonged to me again.
I want to share it with you here in case you’ve been feeling the same. Maybe you too are looking at ways to bring a little peace into your lockdown life.
Creating a personal retreat really doesn’t have to cost you money.
Here’s my Personal Retreat
High Vibe Music – Picked a song to play on Alexa before I got out of bed. I picked Didn’t Mean to Turn You On by Mariah Carey
Mind dump – wrote constantly in my journal, not only before bed but throughout the day. Helped my busy mind calm down. Felt like I had an outlet.
Listen and Learn – Found new podcasts and audiobook to listen to. In particular, I listened to:
Atmosphere – I was introduced to incense by Natasha Benjamin a few years ago. I’ve tried just a few different scents. I love Jasmine so I just lit it at least twice a day. I buy them in bulk so no fear of running out. Also lit candles at bedtime when I was writing in my journal.
Feed the mind – Spent more time reading, physically reading books. In particular, I finished reading and started reading
Self Love Shower – I wish I had a bath! But I have a shower so I showered in the dark, listening to a shower meditation. My friend Rachel, from A Bridge to Tranquility, recommended I use a salt scrub and visualise scrubbing away the shitty feelings and feeling renewed afterward. This was amazing!
Sleep – I set myself a bedtime of 10 pm every night. This meant putting my phone on airplane mode, incense burning, and having some fantastic sleep.
Repeat – Doing this as a one-off is not enough. Make this an ongoing commitment to yourself, a regular activity, something you build into your daily routine. When you know something works, don’t just wait until you’re burned out until you use it.
It really is the little things, you know?
Life feels a little unpredictable right now. There are so many external things out of our control but also making a big impact on our existence.
You need to create your own personal retreat.
It’s so easy to feel like you’re drowning from all your anxiety. But if you can take care of yourself in a small way, maybe you’ll become the lifeboat that you’ve been waiting for.
You’ve got this x