“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
– MARCUS AURELIUS
Spending most of my time working alone from home is not new to me. It’s not a pandemic thing, a 2020 thing, it’s a career thing! It’s working as a specialist in digital marketing.
While this makes for an extremely productive environment, the truth is that it can get lonely. Most of my communication with clients and peers happens through a screen, and while I embrace technology to stay hyperconnected, I’ve always lectured at the universities and spoken at events saying there’s no substitute for the real thing and nothing is more powerful. When all of your work and communication is virtual, things can start to feel pretty isolated. Well 2020 and 2021 are allowing the majority of the population to share this space.
So why am I suggesting mini retreats in a ‘pandemic’ world that is enforcing us to stay indoors as much as possible.
So how can we find retreats in the home? Particularly in winter in the dark, wet and the cold.. when we all don’t have the beauty of views like this one of Ravello in Italy below.
As I sit day dreaming of Boschendal and focus on building a business that will allow us to relocate to the idyllic Cape Town that is heaven on earth. I remind myself to live in the now, be where my feet are and return my wandering mind to the question, how to make mini retreats at home, during a pandemic in winter!
Top Tips to create mini retreats at home, in winter, in lockdown
- Detox from social media, remove the apps from your phone. It is too easy to go down a rabbit hole and waste your precious time. We block our ability to find abundance and joy by comparing. Did you know that comparing is a form of judgement. Judgement brings with it low vibrational energy. All social media apps give us constant opportunities to compare. Your inner voice of comparison likes to stop you claiming what you desire. That fear based voice wants you to keep playing small and minimise risk but you lose your power to attract when you compare. You become a super attractor when you live in the feelings of faith, peace, love and joy. When you compare you focus on lack, what you don’t have. Energy goes where attention flows. Take a holiday from social media. You will be amazed at how good you feel for it, how much time you win back, what you can do with your days and what incredible doors open for you in unexpected ways. You don’t need validation outside yourself to feel good, start a 2021 folder on your phone and save the photos you were going to post and content. Or if you are looking to break a habit do a 1 sec a everday video diary using the app.
- Goal setting , use a powerful goal setting workbook and brain dump what it is you want to focus on. See this as travel as adventure as growth. If you want a goal setting workbook I can send you one for free just email [email protected]
- Is it a special birthday coming up? Why not change each room in your house to a different location you want to travel with fun decor, games, drinks, party food and fun facts, you can tour the world in your own home, If you look at air bnb experiences you can add in meditation with a monk in india to making sushi with a chef in japan. (Anything is possible when you refuse to see the box)
- Walks in nature, explore the least travelled paths, in 2020 we all became explorers finding new streets we didn’t know existed gorgeous new parks, new cafes, duck ponds, waterfalls, find the beauty and hidden gems on your doorstep, find weekly walks socially distanced with friends. Embrace your internal flâneur walk the city to get both lost and found, by an observer of modern life, architecture. Flaneur is a French noun referring to a person, literally meaning ‘stroller’, ‘lounger’, ‘saunterer’, or ‘loafer’, but with some nuanced additional meanings (including as a loanword into English). Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations. A near-synonym of the noun is boulevardier. Traditionally depicted as male, a flâneur is an ambivalent figure of urban affluence and modernity, representing the ability to wander detached from society with no other purpose than to be an acute observer of industrialized, contemporary life.
- Meditation can act as a circuit breaker for this non-stop lifestyle, giving both the mind and the body a chance to recharge. Meditation is a powerful natural antidote to stress. It’s a simple mental technique used by people from all over, including some of the world’s most successful people. Use peace as your base rate. Meditation can help you travel inward which is the most important journey and retreat of all.
- Use Mindly to mind map your universe, put you in the centre, draw out circles for family, friends, hobbies, career, businesses and think carefully about the areas you want to clean up, invest more time and energy in. Look to explore your own universe and water the plants where they need nourishment.
- Declutter your circles. People can be divided into two groups radiators (those that radiate positive energy and motivate you) and drains (those that weigh you down with heavy , negative, blocking, passive aggressive, toxic energy or small thinking) Remember no-one is better than anyone else , they all teach us things. However you do not need to put your energy in places that no longer serve you or do not make you feel good. Respect the rejection as redirection always to better things and alignment. The trick in life is to care about everyone while not caring what they think. To allow space and to be unapologetic with your moves on the chess board.
- Self care rituals are retreats in themselves write down your self care ritual and routine and enhance it. Look at best practice in terms of self care and allow this for yourself, prioritise this. Be that a day in bed, bubble baths, books, your favourite foods, exercise that makes you feel great, reading new books, painting. Use joy as your sat nav and if you have lost sight of what makes you feel good, close your eyes and think about how you really want to feel. Let your mind go to a place when you have felt like that and see the images that come up and hold onto that. Look at how you can recreate that in your life.
- Spark joy weekly – re-embrace your own hobbies things you loved as a teenager around the time of puberty, these things unlock your love of life again, Look to re-embrace them. Be self accepting that it is imperative to find your joy and put yourself first. That way when your cup overpowers with joy when you help others the energy you are passing around is all good. It’s light you should always pass the torch lit!
- Get lost in a good book, be that reading or audio, plug in headphones when you are walking or running and enjoy the escapism.
- Journalling embrace the diary as if you were a teenage girl and enjoy the journey. I love 6 minute journal to get you started, to find peace yogic path journal and to brain dump just a locked notepad will work. For photo journals you can use good notes.
- Schedule your first appointment of each day with your own CEO you and fill this time with meditation, journalling and movement and see how starting the day intentionally and with a high vibration makes everything align.
- Declutter your home, move furniture around, bring in plants, change the space regularly in exciting ways. Explore Pinterest for ideas.
Remember use joy as your sat nav and peace as your base rate.
No time spent maintaining either is ever wasted.
Lose the lie that busy or struggle means success and stay aligned.
There’s probably many more ways to escape we can add here… but for now I hope these help.
Be Well and Follow JOY in 2021
You can find me on Instagram at @siangunney
If this has helped you let me know!