It’s not easy for many caregivers to be away from home to attend a carer retreat, so let’s explore ways to bring the retreat experience into your home environment.

Think of it like a ‘staycation’. Instead of going elsewhere for the experience, you bring the feelings associated with a vacation (aka. holiday) to the place you call home. Sounds pleasant enough, but this means everyone else in the family is there with you, unless you have a support network who can help to free your space for a couple days.

INTENTION

Set an intention for your retreat from home.  Be mindful that ‘intentions’ are not the same as goals. It’s more like drawing a map of where you wish to go, what experience do you wish to have? For example, my intention is to create a one-night/ two-day retreat experience from home which allows me to take care of myself, so I feel recharged and nourished.

Now that you’ve set your intention, you’ve set the energy in motion for creation. Brilliant!

COMMUNICATION

Communicate with other members of the household your intention. Let them know what you want to create and why and ask for their support. Perhaps that support means the kids head over to grandparents house for the weekend, planned respite is arranged or a paid carer is engaged. If it’s not possible to have the space to yourself, communicate ways others can support you to create the experience. Perhaps they cook for you or entertain themselves while you switch off from responsibilities, phone calls and a to-do list for a couple days.

PREPARE YOUR SPACE

In the week leading up to your retreat from home, clean the house and remove the clutter from your space as much as you can. You might consider hiring a cleaner to assist. A clean and tidy home will improve the energy of your space to anchor in tranquility. Invite mother nature into your home to help nourish you. Consider fresh air, flowers, plants, sounds and fragrances.

Stock up on filtered water and fresh, seasonal produce. If you’ll be preparing food for yourself, consider cooking in advance. You might like to prepare meals suitable for freezing, such as curries and soup.

Have entertainment on hand, such as books, magazines or a craft project to avoid distractions and keep you focused on relaxation.

PLANNING ACTIVITIES

Consider your intention for the retreat from home and explore relevant activities. For example, if your intention is to recharge and nourish, you might include activities such as meditation, yoga nidra and a magnesium salt bath. How about a walk to a local park and stop at a café for a leisurely coffee and treat. No pressure. No responsibilities. Just enjoying a state of presence and time to yourself.

Identify your boundaries before your retreat. Will you be switching off the phone? Are you limiting time on social media? Have you communicated your boundaries, like minimising interruptions?

When it comes to planning your retreat from home, it can be as structured or as flexible as you like. Remember that it’s YOUR experience, so it’s important to honour what you need at this time to support your wellbeing.

Even a one-day retreat from home can have a supportive effect on your wellbeing, giving the physical body a break, and the mind time to slow down. We often look for support outside of ourselves (which can be valuable), but how often do we ask the question, what am I doing to support ME?

Access a brief planning template to help you get started.

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