The Wellness Benefits of Checking Out
Updated: Jul 18, 2018
Some days, waking up is easy - you hop out of bed and get your workout in, feeling energized and ready to attack your day! But other times you feel sluggish and lack motivation to pursue your goals. This happens to everyone. But it doesn't mean that feeling this way everyday is normal.
I was in a rut for about 6 months where I wasn't feeling inspired, nothing really excited me, and I was tired all of the time. I was working full time, while finishing up my master's program and starting my own business. I didn't leave much room for myself to unwind. And my story isn't a unique one. In fact, the more I shared my feelings of blah-ness with my friends and peers, the more I realized that this has become essentially universal - especially with women in their 20s and 30s.
The problem with these feelings is that they come on gradually, so you don't notice them at first. It's sneaky like that. For me, the moment of realization dawned on me when I realized that I wasn't even excited to cook anymore. And creating in the kitchen is my burning, fiery passion, so this was a really big deal.
Instead of allowing this to continue, I decided to take my happiness into my own hands. The steps I took ultimately led me to finally have the confidence in myself to pursue Autumn Elle Nutrition full time while boosting my excitement for every aspect of life. My friends, family, and clients all immediately noticed a HUGE change in me. I kept on receiving compliments that I looked happier and that I radiated positive energy.
So today, I'm sharing my top tip for bringing that zest back into your life. And all it involves is taking some time to connect with yourself ~ I'm talking about creating your own D.I.Y. Wellness Retreat.
What is it??
You've probably seen those amazing, tropical yoga retreats on Instagram where people come back totally revitalized and on cloud 9 - but those are $$$$$$. Trust me. I looked into it. BUT - the concept of a Wellness Retreat where you take 2-5 days to focus on yourself and your own mental and physical well being is worth so much more than money.
I wanted to create the same experience without handing over my entire bank account. So I designed my own DIY Wellness Retreat. It took a lot of research finding out what needs to be incorporated (and why) - and I even created an itinerary for myself (yes, I did). Even just planning for this Wellness Retreat was already getting me excited again.
First thing to note... this is NOT a vacation
Vacations are where you go to hang out on a beach or in an incredible city, eat some naughty foods, and see amazing sites. I want to be clear that a Wellness Retreat is where you work on yourself. Done properly, you'll maintain that energizing after-glow much longer than you would a typical vacation.
General guidelines ~
1. Switch that phone to airplane mode the entire time. This is crucial as it will keep you in the present moment and allow you to stop comparing yourself to others.
2. Incorporate meditation, exercise, and long walks into your daily routine during the Retreat. I use the app Headspace. Aim to do 10-20 minutes per day of meditation. It's best if you can ease yourself into meditation by doing 5-10 minutes per day a few weeks leading up to your Retreat.
3. Being outside is one of the most important factors, so I recommend picking your Retreat dates when you know the weather will be warm. Studies show that even just 15 minutes of being outside in nature (parks count!) can reduce stress levels and increase feelings of happiness.
4. On the first day, write down your BHAG (aka: big, hairy, audacious goal). And don't be shy about it! Write down exactly what you want from life whether it be in your career, family, or love life. Then repeat this everyday of your Retreat out loud. This helps to instill in your brain that this goal is reachable and then it starts to align ways for you to get that goal.
5. Do something everyday that inspires you. For me, this was spending 2-3 hours in the kitchen, creating amazing meals.
6. Spend some time alone. At least the first half of the day should be focused on self healing. Working out, getting a long walk in, meditation, repeating your goals... those all should be done by yourself. Then, use your time in the evening to do whatever inspires you ~ and if this includes being with friends, then do that!
How long should it be?
This is where it's up to you to design what will work best for your own needs. I took 5 days off and scheduled out each day to maximize the healing potential. I definitely recommend at least 2 days. If you're able to rent an Air BnB or hotel during your Retreat, that's best, but not required.
Life is meant to be enjoyed, first and foremost. It breaks my heart when I see those who are stuck in this similar rut that I was in, because I know just how draining it can be. I highly, highly recommend that you take some time for yourself and design your own Wellness Retreat. I now have my DIY Wellness Retreats slotted for 2x per year to help reboot and center myself. It isn't selfish. It's self care. You only have your one body, so taking care of it is your #1 priority.
Are you planning your own Wellness Retreat? Let me know in the comments below!