Whether it is a full-fledged vacation or just a quick weekend get-away, we all need to separate ourselves from the day-to-day rhythm of life and do something different. It’s healthy to change things up, see some new scenery, go out to eat someplace unfamiliar and sample something you’ve never tasted before! Change is good!
This is particularly true if you’re a caregiver. If that’s the case for you, you may have a life that reminds you of the movie, “Groundhog Day” in which the key character Phil the weatherman (played by Bill Murray) relives a particular day over and over again. Life can begin to feel endlessly repetitive.
For Phil, this becomes the cumulative opportunity to change himself – to learn new skills, to practice fresh approaches to relationship-building, and to reshape his own character as a much less judgmental and abrasive human being. Phil used HIS Groundhog Day as a way to grow and change. For most of us, the “Groundhog Day Effect” may be less rejuvenating and more tiresome because our life routines feel both endless and immutable.
For me, escaping the “Groundhog Day Effect” means finding a way to carve out some time for myself that will let me approach my daily routines differently. My time away may not be the same as it might for other people, but last week, I gave myself a gift that will (hopefully) have a lasting effect on my mood and my business for the foreseeable future. I took a retreat day!
What’s a Retreat Day? For me, it was just a 5-hour-long mid-day event where I spent my day at a spa-like yoga studio and had a quiet room all to myself. For an hour, when I first arrived, I participated in a yoga class. Then, I moved to the quiet space where I could stretch out with my journal, my calendar, some reading materials and a whole lot of quiet! My plan was to concentrate on the coming year (both personally & professionally) without the distractions of my own house & responsibilities to pull me away from this important work.
At the last minute, I almost abandoned my plan for my Retreat Day. My nagging self-talk reminded me of my endless to-do list of chores back at home. My office needs cleaning, my paper-work could use some sorting, my personal space could use some attention, etc. But I didn’t give in to those voices that would shame me for taking some quiet time (away) for myself. I kept my date with myself and had a wonderful block of time, simply being alone with my thoughts, my priorities, my core values and a little lunch I bought at the local grocery store. It was fantastic!
I wish I could tell you that I do this regularly (what a good habit that would be!) but, alas, while I’d love to do this for myself at least once a quarter, I’m lucky if I build it into my schedule twice each year. Hopefully I’ll do better in the year ahead, given this lovely start! It was a very valuable day!
What would you put into a Retreat Day? Would you increase your time for self-care? Would there be an excellent meal or a yoga class? Would you want to be by yourself (alone) or would you to be with other people who would brighten your mood or sharpen your focus? Would there be music or a pod-cast to add to your day? What would you include in your Retreat Day?
We all need time to refocus, to shake up our routines and to breathe more deeply, perhaps in a different space than the rooms we occupy every day. For me, this Retreat Day was an ideal way to commit to some self-care time and to let my mind drift to new ideas both for my personal and professional life. It was awesome!
Once in a while, we all need a break… Consider what kind of “break” you need to change your usual rhythms and routines. What would get you into a new groove, personally or professionally? What would allow you the time, space and opportunity to re-frame your thinking, renew your commitments to yourself and reimagine how you want to invest your time, your energy and your other precious resources?
I wish for you the opportunity to sneak away somewhere (even if it is just for a few hours) and find refreshment & renewal for your body, soul and spirit. I wish for you the chance to commit to some self-care time that affords you the gift of solace, the wonder of freedom from the day-to-day grind, and some moments of clarity that are very hard to find when we’re caught up in our everyday habits and routines.
If you’re wondering how to create this “break” for yourself, be in touch! I’m happy to help you reimagine your own space and time so that you too can find a way to invent a Retreat Day that will be exactly what YOU need to refresh your spirit!