Retreating – the act of withdrawing from the battle- can be a tactical move to recover, rest, renew and revise strategies. I love the parallel between the military term and our professional careers and even personal lives.
You can have daily mini-retreats - time to yourself or with connections that are rejuvenating. Creating time and space to routinely reflect on what is swirling in our brains, sort through and prioritize our activities, gain perspective, feed our minds rich nutrients, and set goals and strategies is incredibly grounding and adaptive. It allows us to make our best plans and interact with others in gratifying ways. We are more efficient, effective, and present when we recharge our own batteries.
And yet, most of us put ourselves toward the bottom of the never-ending to-do list. If you knew your return on investment would be 10-fold, maybe you could make that effort and feel the discomfort of setting up time, space, and boundaries for yourself.
Every so often, it’s advantageous to take a longer period – to get away – retreat literally in which boundaries happen naturally through distance. It’s not easy to invest in ourselves in this manner. It costs time away from work and family, effort to cover your responsibilities, and money. However, when we take stock of the ROI, we see the dividends are well worth the investment.
I recently retreated with fifty women physicians to the Southern Utah mountains. It was brilliantly crafted. It was exactly what I needed. We began each day with strength training outdoors as the sun was rising. We were led by Dr. Ali Novitsky, who coached our mindset and drew parallels to the physical effort we were putting in.
Each day we had what seemed to be a luxurious amount of time for meals. Many great connections and reconnections were made. The food was delicious and healthy. The conversations were deep and meaningful.
We had speakers on key topics around well-being and fitness in the mornings. There was group coaching. We had free time for hiking, biking, lounging by the pool, splurging on massages or facials, and connecting more. One of the leaders even made us a Spotify playlist for the weekend.
We had a scavenger hunt that challenged us to do things unnatural for many of us – spend an hour alone, say no without explanation, and do something uncomfortable, among other things. These small things stretched us and showed us what’s possible. We prioritized sleep and rest.
We gained perspective. We set goals. We devised strategies for ‘re-entry.’ We left rejuvenated.
This blog is an invitation to you and for you. Where will you carve out time for yourself to be alone, reflect, and plan in your current schedule? How often? How will you prioritize and protect it?
Do you want a solo getaway retreat? Do you want to craft one for a few close friends? Do you want to join one preplanned with strangers who have no expectations of you? Or something in between? What’s your schedule looking like? Pick it up. Find a good date. Book it!
Take action now. Your future self will thank you!
Have a joy-filled day! Tonya
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