Scheduling a weekend away, just for yourself, might seem indulgent. Life is busy and sometimes the “to do” list seems endless. Taking time out can seem like the last thing that makes sense amidst the email pile up, messy house and non-stop demands of work or family life. The truth is, taking time out is one of the most valuable, important and efficient things you can do. In fact, it can actually make you better. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider indulging in a weekend retreat:
Unplugging Creates Mindfulness.
Most of us live by our tech devices. I heard a report on the radio today that most Americans would give up just about anything and everything in order to have WiFi: tv, coffee, a glass of wine, you name it, as long as WiFi was available. We have become so attached to our phones and the internet that we often do not realize how much of our time and energy they drain. We automatically jump when the phone buzzes or grab it instantly to check the weather, traffic or emails, 50 times per day. Being connected has become autopilot. Removing yourself for just a couple of days can be like hitting the reset button. Once we separate from the need to constantly be online or in touch, we afford ourselves a moment (or many moments) to connect with ourselves. We can literally slow down, check in with our own thoughts, feelings and desires. This gives us a chance for perspective. This gives us time to remember what matters most to us and to reprioritize our busy lives. We can be more mindful of our activities, commitments and way of living, on a daily basis. Unplugging renews us and creates more self awareness.
Lack of sleep and down-time has become an epidemic in our society. With constant pressure to fill the schedule, complete the endless “to do” list and keep up a nonstop pace, many of us survive on too little sleep. Our nervous systems are paying the price. Way too often we live in sympathetic nervous system mode, AKA fight or flight. What we really need is some serious rest and relaxation, so the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) can take over. Getting away from home where daily demands are absent, allows us to rest. There are no dishes to do while on retreat, no meals to prepare, and no commuting, other than the quiet, peaceful walk from your cabin to the dining hall or yoga room! How about an afternoon nap? That is the perfect “task” while on retreat. Getting away allows you to deeply rest.
Time in Nature
Modern life has many of us removed from our connection to nature. Getting outside and away from constant noise and stimulation literally fills us up. Spending time outside used to be a daily and necessary fact of life. That is no longer true. According to Ayurveda, an ancient healing system from India which translates as “science of life”, time spent in nature builds ojas. Ojas is our essential energy and translates as “vigor”. When we feel depleted, we lack ojas. So often, we just continue to function depleted. Daily time outside restores our natural energy and builds vigor. Going on retreat places you in the heart of nature, with immediate access to natural beauty and the opportunity to restore energy.
In summary, taking time away truly can make you better. Consider putting a few projects on hold, carving out a couple of days away from your regular routine and immersing yourself in a retreat. A rested, energized and more present YOU will make you better at everything you do.
Check out this weekend yoga retreat: