Faced with burnout, the most urgent thing we need to do is to preserve ourselves. Take time to rest, mentally and physically, is important. To do this, we can cut down working time, find solutions for childcare, and find a quiet place for a retreat. A retreat, even short of a few days, is of great benefit for a person in exhaustion. When considering a retreat, what are the most common misconceptions you should be aware of?
1. Expensive and luxury retreats are equivalent to burnout healing
I have a friend who was in burnout and depression. First time traveling alone, she booked a very expensive place to ensure the best results. “I came back more empty than ever”, she said. It was the first time she realized that money was not equivalent to healing. “Money was not curing my soul”.
I did at the same time a spiritual retreat that cost me almost nothing. I met like-minded people, felt embraced in love and compassion, and had the opportunity to reflect profoundly my existence up to that time.
I personally believe that burnout is a life event that brings us an opportunity to evolve. Joining a retreat is not only to relax and to cure our tired body. It’s also to cure our soul. In such a reflection, choosing a retreat with spiritual value is of great help. It is different from a luxurious hotel or retreat which is empty of such reflection. A luxurious retreat is therefore not always equivalent to burnout healing.
2. All yoga retreats are appropriate for burnout recovery
Among popular burnout retreats, yoga is one. Yoga is known for its benefits to body and mind. A great choice for a burnout retreat. And yet, not all yoga retreats are appropriate for burnout recovery.
There are several types of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, Yin yoga, or Vinyasa yoga. Some of them are quite demanding physically. For example, Vinyasa yoga has often a repeating series of poses (flow) and involves increasing body heat — and sweat — and building strength. It requires lots of energy and muscular efforts. In a state of exhaustion, these yoga exercises are not always the best choice. There is also a kind of “yoga and surf” retreats (very popular for example in Portugal). In these retreats, yoga classes are designed for sportive surfers. It is definitely not a choice for burnout folks. Opt more for Yin yoga retreat, or “yoga and silent retreats”, or “meditation silent retreat” where yoga practices are more relaxing and alternated with meditation and resting time.
3. Meditation retreats are religious and not appropriate for atheist burnout folks
If you are considering a meditation retreat, but feel hesitant because of its Buddhist religious character, then think twice. “Meditation has its roots date back to Hinduism and is an integral part of the Buddhist religion. But it has been practiced, in one form or another, in virtually every religion in recorded history” (Universal class). Meditation is a spiritual practice, regardless of your religious belief or atheism.
There are different degrees of spiritual rituals in meditation retreats. Opt, for example, for mindfulness meditation retreats for less religious colors if you see yourself more comfortable so.
4. You are alone in a solo burnout retreat
Maybe you are used to traveling with your partner and family. And going on a burnout retreat alone might not be a comfortable idea. But most of silent yoga or meditation retreats are organized in a group program. There is a possibility for the person to face him/ herself in silence while being accompanied by a group. For example, I went to a retreat with the Kanshoji monastery and Plum Village in France. We ate, meditate and participated in all activities in a relaxed and silent ambiance. I never felt alone, while having a real opportunity to face my inner silence and heal from the inside.
The level of accompanying is different from a type of retreat to another. In some retreats, you have a lot of free time, with one or two ateliers in the morning and evening. If you feel worried about being alone in a burnout retreat, choose a full-program retreat. You will be accompanied during the entire time while being able to face your inner silence and boundaries.
5. The retreat place is the most important for burnout healing
This is the last and the most important thing I would like you to think about before leaving for a burnout retreat.
Without yourself being mentally ready to heal yourself, no one can. So if you go for a retreat with the expectation that the retreat (and others) are responsible for your recovery, then you might be disappointed.
The retreat place is not the most important factor for burnout healing. It’s our attitude, our mental state that plays the most significant role. Certainly, the retreat place favors the process. Don’t you think so?
Above are the 5 common misconceptions when we consider a burnout retreat. For sure, a retreat is of great benefit for a person in exhaustion & burnout. Choose them with the right considerations. Tell me, where do you think you’ll go for your next retreat?