Have you ever dreamed of taking a trip somewhere far away? Maybe renting out a cabin? Booking a beach rental? Perhaps even going abroad? That’s doable at some point. But what about right now? What can you do to give yourself the same care you show everyone else? I’ll tell you that it is possible to create a personal retreat in your local area or even in the comfort of your own home.
As an online college student, you’ve been working hard on your schoolwork, juggling a job, taking care of your loved ones, trying to have a social life, and everything else in between. You deserve a break. It can be hard to disconnect and even harder not to feel guilty for taking time for yourself. It is especially true if you enjoy what you’re studying at your college and doing at work, but making time to take care of yourself is vital to your success. You can start by creating a personal retreat that will give you the reset you need to feel better and do better in college, work, and your personal life.
What is a personal retreat?
The beautiful thing about creating your own personal retreat is that you decide what that is. Do you need complete solitude? A digital detox? Maybe you need to feel one with nature? A retreat is about what you need to restore the stressed, burnt-out, and exhausted parts of yourself. It’s about creating a space to breathe and restore your inner peace.
How to create a retreat you’ll love
Your retreat should include ways to rest all your senses and remove all the things increasing your anxiety and stress (at least as much as possible). Don’t deny yourself moments of self-care because you can’t make every moment perfect. It is about giving yourself grace while letting stillness be the center of your retreat.
1) Create a plan and write it down
It can be hard to stick to anything if you don’t make your plans concrete. Studies have shown you’ll follow through with plans when you write them down. Use this time to write down what you need during this time. Are you staying home or renting an Airbnb? Will you create an at-home spa day or book a massage appointment? Make a schedule and plan things in advance to look forward to your time away from it all. Stress even less by scheduling activities, prepping meals, and mapping out downtime.
2) Declutter your space
The best space to relax is a space without clutter. Whether it's your physical or digital space, decluttering can do wonders for your mental health to start your retreat on a clean slate. This can include cleaning your home, organizing everything with its own space, clearing out your inbox, and getting as much school or work done ahead of time as possible.
3) Unplug from the digital world
Your retreat is a time for you to get back in touch with your mental, physical, and spiritual health. You may need to be reached for emergencies or want to create a day where you reconnect with a friend or family member, but unplugging from social media can help restore sleep quality, reduce anxiety, and increase happiness.
4) Let people know you are unavailable
One of the most important aspects of a personal retreat is practicing healthy boundaries and letting those around you know you will be unavailable for a while. It will prevent them from reaching out and disrupting your time and remove the worry of checking your phone or email. The best way to enjoy your retreat is to respect your own time and space.
5) Prioritize rest
Now that you’ve done the work to prepare for your retreat, it’s time to actually enjoy it. Whether that means sleeping in, taking a nap, meditation, lying by a pool, or sitting in silence - whatever the method - make sure you prioritize rest. One of the most significant ways to restore your mental, physical, and emotional health is to get quality sleep. Rest is not just a reward - it is a necessity for your health and well-being. And remember, you deserve a break.
During your retreat, reflect on your life, learn to be alone with your thoughts, refresh your perspective, and enjoy your own company.