The 5 unexpected Benefits of going on a Day Retreat by Nikki Canfeild.
I’m a busy woman, aren’t we all! Like you are I’m juggling, work, kids, husband, family, friends, live.
So when I was gifted a Day Retreat at Puhoi Beauty and Spa I thought fantastic a day of pampering and Me Time, but it turns out the lessons I walked away with were deeper and longer-lasting than I could have imagined.
- Laughter and Connection with other Woman.
It’s amazing how quickly a group of women find common ground. Put them in a situation where there are no expectations and they aren’t sure of what to expect and somehow the egos and power play just falls away. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are older or younger, sporty or a cruiser, a corporate lawyer or a stay at home mum, everyone is there to have a shared experience. Once we realise, we aren’t going to be judged by others the walls start to come down. Of course, you have bigger personalities who speak up first and others who hold back, but without the competition factor that underpins so much of modern society, everyone seems to be ok with being themselves. There is usually one joker in the pack and they tend to be the catalysts for laughter. It’s infectious, a few jokes, some light-hearted banter, someone breaking wind in their downward-facing dog! Laughter breaks down the walls, allows us to be ok with being vulnerable, forges connection and is great medicine for the soul. It’s never offered up as Day Retreat fundamental and yet it’s the glue for the day.
- Being in Nature
We can be so busy just existing and getting things done that we tune out from our environment. Faced with traffic and roadworks and deadlines and people we can easily bypass Mother Nature. A Day Retreat gives you time to step away from the concrete jungle and a life lived in your car and step back into nature. It’s primal, it’s in our DNA, 200 years ago we would have been living by the rhythms of nature, we would have been in step with the seasons, being appreciative of the harvests, the medicinal plants, the natural world. So choosing a Day Retreat set in a natural environment allows you to tune back in, to reconnect with Nature. It’s subtle, not overly apparent at the start of the day, but by the time you leave, you will notice that your senses are picking up more. The sound of the crickets, the beauty of wildflowers, the breeze on your face, the smells of the land. You might find yourself watching a bird as it flits around the garden after bugs, you might watch a line of ants carry a leaf back to their nest. Having time to tune into the bigger picture of planet earth is very humbling and helps you put things into perspective.
Considering we do it every day you’d think we’d all be experts, but no, when was the last time you thought about breathing, let alone corrected your breathing. So many of us are shallow breathers, it goes with the territory of fast living. Who has got time to take 5 slow deep breathes? A good Day Retreat will incorporate some breath work, at Puhoi Beauty and Spa’s Day Retreat it was the first session of the day and really set the tone for the workshops that followed. So many women today live in Flight or Fight mode or a few steps away from it. Adrenal Fatigue and Overwhelm are words we hear all the time. So learning how to breathe slowly and deeply, connecting with the breath and allowing time for this simple essential function is so restorative. We practiced Diaphragmatic Breathing and our Day Retreat session coach gave us the scientific background and told us all about the Parasympathetic nervous system. I can’t’ remember all the science but I do know that is that it works! I felt immediately calmer and less stressed. Diaphragmatic breathing is a life tool I use all the time now.
- Nourishing Self Care Rituals
Before going on my Day Retreat taking a long bath, chucking in a bath bomb, lighting a scented candle was something I did once in a blue moon. Again, I was far too busy for self-care rituals. But throughout my Day Retreat, I was exposed to small self-care practices that really lightened my heart. These were very simple things like making a herbal tea from scratch, serving it in a pretty china cup and drinking it slowly. Spritzing a room spray and breathing in the perfume, holding a crystal and trying to connect to the energy, flipping over an affirmation card and delighting in the message, writing in a gratitude journal, enjoying a luxurious hand cream, sinking my feet into a pair of fluffy slippers. These were all little extras on our Day Retreat, but they made us feel special. Feeling special does not have to be a luxury, you deserve to feel special every day. Self-care rituals don’t have to be expensive or take up too much time, they are there to remind us to stop and fill up our own tanks.
- Understanding your Triggers
Every Day Retreat is different and will offer different options and workshop sessions, but all should allow a journey of self-discovery. A good Day Retreat has been designed to take you on a journey, morning activities to help you settle and decompress, workshops to help you relax and de-stress, rituals to allow you to feel special, a nourishing shared lunch to encourage connection with others. Everything tends to be leading up to mindset work that at my Day Retreat was the last session of the day. By the time you get to this point, you are ready to take a long hard look at yourself and be honest about your stress triggers. Our group was really connected by then and ready to share with each other and there is certainly power in an open and honest discussion in a safe space. We were lucky enough to work with Puhoi Beauty and Spas life coach, who provided us with good mindset tools and tips to help with resilience, better manage stress, our busy lives, our demanding schedules. A Day Retreat is a great opportunity to gain clarity and perspective, to open your mind to thinking about how you can change things for the better.
A Day Retreat isn’t just a pamper day, it’s about giving your self-permission to nourish your soul, refill your tank, restore some balance, gain some resilience tools and have a better understanding of the things that make you happy. If all the right elements are in place then you should leave your Day Retreat as I did feeling a slight shift in your universe.