Attending a Retreat Reminds Us to Value Ourselves
Revitalise yourself by attending a health and wellness retreat. Spending time in a retreat allows us to spend quality time in self care activities such as yoga, meditation and self reflection. Using this time to dedicate our attention on our own needs reminds us to value ourselves. We recognise that we are valuable enough to take time out of our busy schedules to refresh and revitalise ourselves. We can’t care for others if our own cup is empty.
I thought I was getting enough time for self care this year. It feels like the whole year has been devoted to self care. But I didn’t realise that I still had room for improvement in this area. Having spent the morning at the health and wellness retreat, I have discovered that there are some areas of my life that I need to concentrate on.
The Health and Wellness Retreat
The Health and Wellness Retreat was a yoga and self care retreat organised by Carol Wedenberg of Harmony and Healthy Yoga, and Sue Loncaric of Women Living Well After 50. It was a wonderful way to spend a morning. I finally got to meet Sue who I’ve known through blogging for the last year or so. Sue took the self care component of the retreat and it was very worthwhile.
Numala is a blissfully serene studio in the middle of the Gold Coast rainforest with only the sound of birds and a wind-chime to break the silence. All the equipment was good quality and clean. It was easy to feel relaxed and calm in this beautiful setting.
The group of ladies who were there were all on a similar path – trying to carve time out in their busy schedules for self care. We really felt supported to participate in the group sessions and we could relate to what the other ladies were saying. It is a testimony to Sue and Carol that they could inspire such warm connections within a group of people who were mostly strangers, in such a short period of time.
Creating a Self Care Plan
Sue’s Self Care session helped me to revisit those activities I once loved, that I no longer take time to do. Using those activities we then could create a self care plan to revitalise those activities in our daily schedule. There was an emphasis on creating a self care plan because we need to schedule time for ourselves just like all the other tasks we need to complete in a day.
One glaringly obvious area I have been neglecting is my creative side. That may seem strange when I spend much of my day writing my blog and creating infographics and images for it. But even though that is creative in a way, I’ve focused much of my blog on raising awareness of medical issues like breast cancer. Because of what I’ve gone through this year with my own health, I’ve begun to lose the joy of just writing, not with a mission in mind, but just for the creative release.
My Self Care Plan is About Revitalising My Creative Side
When we were children, mum encouraged our creative side through drawing, cartooning, writing and music. We were lucky to have such a creative and art-filled life. I’ve always loved being creative and expressing myself through writing. I feel that I need to return to my roots and write for pleasure again. I’ve signed up to a creative writing challenge during November to get those juices flowing again. I feel that if I start being creative again then my other writing will be more enjoyable as well.
Using the activities provided by Sue, I have created a self care plan that incorporates time to be creative. The insight and inspiration that I gained at the retreat helped me to focus on this area of myself that I have been neglecting. Making time in my schedule to be creative will now be a priority.
Yoga For Our Health and Wellness
My surgeon wants me to prepare my body for work again. My recovery from bilateral mastectomies has been very slow, but I’m now at the tail end of the recovery phase. One of the best things to happen this week was that my surgeon finally approved yoga. I’ve really missed it and I know that yoga will help strengthen my upper body again. His approval to recommence yoga practice came just in time.
Carol led us in two wonderful yoga sessions and a daily altar session at the health and wellness retreat. The yoga was challenging but she was very supportive of those of us who weren’t up to doing all the poses, while incorporating enough for the experienced yogis. It feels amazing to be able to do yoga again. Yoga is holistic and not only strengthens our bodies, it also strengthens our minds as it requires some concentration.
I normally do my yoga at home using a YouTube subscription as I find that works well for me. Knowing how out of shape I am I started right back at the beginning with beginners’ yoga. I’m waking up muscles that haven’t been used in a long time. My body is really feeling it – sore shoulders and neck, increased swelling in my chest and pain in my chest muscles. I know it will help and I’ve got to take it slowly and gradually work up my strength and stamina. Attending the retreat has inspired me to continue to build up my strength using yoga.
The Daily Altar
The daily altar was new to me and reminded me of being mindful – connecting to the natural environment and really seeing things we usually take for granted like leaves, coal, flowers and stones. I created my mandala with yellow leaves, black coal and purple flowers. They reminded me of how my year has been – like rising out of the ashes phoenix-like, and buds blooming into flowers.
Carol led us on a guided meditation to conclude the retreat. With only the sound of birds in the trees and the occasional soft sound from the wind-chime, we were lulled into a restful state. The meditation was blissful and the atmosphere was definitely enhanced by the setting.
Future Health and Wellness Retreats
I will definitely be signing up for any further retreats as I gained so much out of this one. It just goes to show you, we all could do with a reminder to spend time in self care activity. I received a lovely journal because I signed up as an early bird. I love it! The prompts are great and will really help me to get back into journaling again. When you write a lot for business (my blog) you don’t write for pleasure and I feel I need to do that again as I really miss it.
Sue and Carol plan to continue organising retreats, including online sessions for those who don’t live near the Gold Coast of Australia. Their websites are:
Harmony and Healthy Yoga – Carol Wedenberg. There are on-line yoga classes available.
Women Living Well After 50 – Sue Loncaric. There are many resources for living a healthy lifestyle, including podcasts and YouTube videos.
The Retreat information is at this link.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read:
- Prioritising Self Care
- Journalling as a Self Care Activity
- My YouTube Debut – an Interview for Women Living Well After 50