It's booked, it's paid for. What to do next...
In Part 1 I talked about how to go about choosing your location, duration and deciding what you want to get out of your retreat. You don't want to let all that god intention go to waste so heres how to stay on track...
A BESPOKE RETREAT
It really depends on what you're aims for the retreat are. Be realistic. Don’t cause stress by making ridiculous demands of yourself and then beat yourself up about not doing it all. That defeats the object. But it is important to start on the day you land (unless it’s during the night) – start as you mean to go on. A quick rundown of what I did;
Moved every day
Yoga 1-2x daily
Swam in the sea
Spent some time getting some much needed Vitamin D
Fed & nourished my body
Created delicious and healthy meals
Took time and enjoyment over eating
Drank a vegetable juice/vegetable & fruit smoothie every day
Drank 2.5-3L of water daily (this includes the juice)
Slept 8-9 hours every night
Bed before 10pm
Woke with the sun
Allocated & limited technology time
Took a notepad to jot down any thoughts, feelings and aims for when I returned home
WHAT TO TAKE
I took hand luggage and hold luggage and regretted it the minute I joined the hour long queue at bag drop off. Annoyingly, I could have so easily got away with hand luggage only – hindsight n’all. Below is a list of what I found to be the essentials, which would all fit snugly into a hand luggage case;
- Yoga mat. A more traditional type, like a small rug/Turkish towel (which can then double up as a beach towel), will take up far less room in your suitcase. Or just do without if you prefer to practice yoga that way.
- Yoga App. I live by mine and have raved about it before.
- Stick blender and fine mesh sieve/nut bag. To make juices, smoothies and nut milks.
- Silicon ice pop moulds (check my Instagram for pics). I bought 4 for £5 and they are genius. Use blended fruit/veg to make tasty ice lollies.
- 1 Tupperware for packed lunches. For space saving purposes, pack smaller things inside it.
- Specialty foods. The stuff you’re pretty sure you won’t be able to get out there but would really miss if you didn’t have it. Transfer what you will use into a zip lock bag (and store inside the Tupperware whilst travelling).
- Any supplements/medication you might need.
- A book.
- Trainers/walking shoes.
- 1 pair of sandals/flip flops. A universal colour will go with everything.
- 2 bikinis/swimsuits.
- 2-3 pairs of shorts/skirts/dresses.
- A few light tops.
- A wide brimmed hat (especially if you don't use suncream, like me).
- A cardi/hoodie/pashmina.
- All the other essentials such as underwear, a toothbrush, toothpaste etc.
- I didn’t take sun cream (more about that another time) but add it to your list if you want.
PACK PLANE SNACKS
Hydrating ones. Nourishing ones. Water rich fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber and melon. Chia seeds (to be dropped in water), nuts and seeds, a chamomile teabag or 2. If it’s a longer flight, make yourself a healthy packed lunch. Just don’t eat the plane food and remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight. Getting up to go to the loo often means you have to get up and stretch my legs, which will reduce the risk of cankles.
DAY 1 BEGINS ON THE PLANE
Flying really takes it out of you. It dehydrates you, makes you puffy and swollen, slows your digestion, makes you feel groggy and if you have an early flight, there’s the lack of sleep to deal with too. Combat the effects by…
- In flight movement
This gets your blood flowing and reduces swelling. I spent time at the back of the plane (out of sight of the passengers) stretching, lunging and all sorts.
- Sleep on the flight
Bring an eye mask and some earplugs and try to get in a good 40 winks.
I always buy the biggest bottle (or two) once I have passed through security. Aim to drink it all before you land (saving a little in case there’s no shop the other end) and ask for a hot water (to add your teabag to) during your flight.
And once you're back...
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
Continue with your efforts and changes once your home and back into a routine – in fact, create a new routine. The first week is deadly – it’s so easy to do a long day in the office on the first day back. Well don’t – it’s about time you put yourself first. Get home, ‘move’, cook a lovely dinner and get an early bedtime.
Whilst this isn’t the colonic irrigation giving, nothing but wheatgrass juice drinking kind of retreat, it was exactly what I needed. And I think it could be exactly what you need, too...
I'd love to hear about your DIY Retreats...
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