Most of us have spent a lot more time at home recently. Lockdowns have turned our lives upside down and changed our relationships with the places we live.
Being confined indoors for much of the day can make it difficult to appreciate our personal space. It’s no longer the home you return to for rest. Over the course of the pandemic it may have become the place where you work, socialise, exercise, and everything in between.
If you live alone, this shift in your experience of home might have been more dramatic. Studies have started to show that isolation is causing widespread anxiety and symptoms of depression.
Equally, if you’re a key worker and you’ve been under more professional pressure as a result of the pandemic, your home may have become more of a sanctuary than before. Or maybe it hasn’t, and you now find it hard to switch off when you walk through the door. Maybe you feel a need to make it a more restorative place. To balance the stresses of life beyond your front door.
So how about this: Why not turn a day at home into your own rejuvenating retreat?
You could do this on your own, with a partner, relative or housemate - or even with your kids! It’s the perfect way to make your space a positive place to be again. It’s time to combat stress and anxiety by prioritising self-care.
Not sure how to get started? Here’s our guide to creating your own at-home day retreat.
1. Schedule it in
One of the best things about any retreat is the simple pleasure of looking forward to it. It’s a time just for you, for rest, to reconnect with yourself, and to feel calm and replenished. So: put your retreat day in your diary. Count down the days.
Even in the middle of a stressful day, you’ll know there is that restorative time on the horizon.
We recommend choosing a Friday for your day retreat. It’s a classic end-of-week treat. We’ll tell you why a little later.
2. Set the scene
When your retreat day arrives, the first thing to do is create a relaxing, feel-good space for yourself. Depending on your home set-up, that might mean choosing a retreat room where you won’t be disturbed. Or laying out everything you’ll need for the day in one place.
Make your retreat space feel soothing and uplifting by diffusing essential oils. It’ll serve the dual purpose of purifying the air and dispersing the health-supportive, mood-boosting properties of your chosen oils.
- Our Essential Oil and Diffuser bundle includes frankincense to support the immune system, lavender for healthy skin and good quality sleep, and bergamot to soothe tension and anxiety.
3. Cleanse and relax
Treat yourself to an indulgent bath. You’ll feel cleansed, fresh, and blissfully relaxed. First, massage a little Herbal Hair Oil into your locks. It’s full of plant-based goodness to clean and hydrate your hair and add volume and shine - which helps all of us feel a little more of a glow.
Then move your essential oil diffuser into the bathroom, light a candle or two, and run yourself a bath with our Movement Bath Salts. This unique blend includes herbs and spices such as meadowsweet and ginger, chosen to help muscles and joints relax.
And stay in that bath as long as you like. Just top up with hot water as needed, and breathe.
4. Indulge in a massage
Select your oil of choice, and gently massage it into your skin in a circular motion. Work from your feet all the way up to your neck and face, using your fingertips and the palms of the hands to gently ease out tension in your muscles, and make your skin feel supple and nourished.
- Jojoba oil if you have sensitive or dry, flakey skin
- Almond oil if you have oily skin, or if you’re prone to eczema
- Avocado oil if your skin feels rough, itchy, or inflamed
Of course, if you’ve got a partner handy who is willing to help with this step, great!
5. Rest and read with a perfect cup of tea
Reading a book, not for work, and not because you feel like you should read it - but just because it’s a book you’d like to read - is a great way to escape from the stresses of life and feel more hopeful.
Try a feel-good novel, an inspiring book of short stories or poems (you know we’re thinking of Amanda Gorman right now), or a personal growth title to motivate you on your self-care journey.
Choose a comfy chair and brew yourself a Detox Tea to accompany your unhurried reading hour. The book will give your mind a chance to focus on something that lifts your mood, and the tea (with a blend of roots including burdock, dandelion, and barberry) will help your organs to function smoothly, and energise your body with vitamins and minerals.
6. Take time to reflect and meditate
Towards the end of the day, set aside time for self-reflection and meditation. Write a few brief notes about how you’ve felt during your personal day retreat, and the effects it has had on your state of mind and body.
Do you feel calmer? More comfortable in your own skin? More confident that you can handle tomorrow with steadiness and clarity?
And then settle into a simple meditation practice. You could do this on your own using basic mindful techniques, like breath awareness:
Sit, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breath as you inhale and exhale. Your mind will wander - and that’s OK. Notice the thoughts that come, and then allow them to move on, and bring your awareness back to the breath.
Or, we mentioned that we recommend scheduling your retreat on a Friday. Because every Friday at 5pm we run an online meditation class, and we’d love for you to include it in your day. It’s Pay-What-You-Can (from £0-12), and you’ll be guided through meditation techniques to help you slow down, find calm, and feel at ease.
Tell us about your day retreat…
Entirely optional, but we’re always happy to hear when our tips have struck a chord. So if you do enjoy your own retreat at home, take a picture and tag our Instagram to tell us how it went.
We hope your day makes you feel replenished and peaceful.