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  • Writer's pictureNancy Schmidt

Tips for Creating a Self-Retreat at Home

Many of us are feeling the need to have a little more space for ourselves - a break from the demands of our families and jobs. While a day or two away from the house would be heavenly, we don't always have the time or money to get away to another location. One free and easy way to do something special for yourself is to create a self-retreat at home. My favorite things about creating my own retreat? I can customize it to fit my exact needs and I can be comfy in my Yoga pants all day long. Now, that is my type of day! Here are some tips and ideas for creating your very own free, self-retreat at home.

Arrange the Date and Time

Spend some time thinking about the day you want to have your retreat and the amount of time you will want. Will half a day be enough or do you want a full day to yourself? I prefer to have my retreats on the weekend and block out at least 6-8 hours to leave time for a walk or outing in nature. Discuss your day and time with anyone who may need to know and add it to the calendar. If you have children, you will want to make arrangements with your partner, family member, or friend to take the kids away for the day. You may even want to arrange for pets to be gone too. Be sure to treat it like a non-negotiable trip you are going on - if anyone asks, you are busy for the whole day!

Create Your Retreat Space

You can use your whole house or dedicate certain spaces for retreat activities, but the idea here is to create a relaxing and calming atmosphere. My suggestion is to make it simple and find a small area, like your bedroom, for your retreat space. Do some picking up before the retreat day (or if that feels overwhelming just move and cover any piles with sheets). You may want to add some special things you have around the house that make you smile. Items that represent the 4 earth elements and awaken your senses are wonderful for a retreat day. You can add candles, your favorite essential oil or scented lotion, a water fountain or music to play, and some greenery. I also love twinkle lights in my retreat space as well. Now, for the fun part - let's choose your activities!

Choose Your Activities

There are so many wonderful ideas out there but remember you don't want to cram your schedule full of back to back things you must do. This should be a time for you to take it easy and enjoy a few things that bring you happiness. I have only one rule - be sure to unplug for the day. Let people know you won't be available until after your retreat time, turn off notifications, and hide your electronics (out of sight, out of mind).

You might categorize these activities a bit differently than I do, but the idea here is to incorporate activities that will nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Also, be brave to try something new and be sure to have fun. Here is some inspiration.


Think about things that will help give your mind a break from thinking about your to do list. What things help your mind shut off, relax, and create space? Maybe you could:

  • Meditate or pray - silent, mantra, guided, use a meditation app

  • Color a Mandala or do something creative you enjoy - crafts, painting, puzzles, writing

  • Read a light-hearted book

  • Listen to music you love


Be sure to include activities that are good for your body. If you love cooking, you might spend a good chunk of time creating special, healthy meals. If you love to hike you could incorporate an outing in nature. If you miss the spa, add in facials, baths, and pedicures. Here are a few categories to think about:

  • Movement That Feels Good - a walk, exercise routine, yoga, free flow dancing

  • Healthy Foods that Nourish - be sure to plan ahead and have all you need ready

  • Body Self-Care - bath, self-manicure/pedicure, facial mask, or massage


Anything from the other two categories might fit here too - just think about things that feed your soul and light you up. What brings you joy? What makes you smile your biggest smile? What makes you have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside? I love to be out hiking in the woods or sitting by a river or stream listening to the water flow. Connecting with the Earth really feeds my soul. I can also feel connected to nature when taking a walk around the neighborhood or sitting on my back porch. Here are some other ideas:

  • Gratitude Journaling

    • Read inspirational books or quotes

    • Listen to podcasts you like

    • Create a vision board

    • Spend time in the garden

Organize Your Day

Once you have decided on your activities, it is time to plan your day. I suggest using time blocks and not a set clock schedule to organize your day. Time blocks help you stay flexible when needed. You can set up your time blocks any way you want to, but I like to set them up around my meal times. Here is an example:

Wake Up - Warm Water with Lemon

  • Meditation with Candle - Guided Self-Love Meditation from Insight Timer app

  • Journal - Write about 3 things I feel grateful for and set my intentions for the day

Breakfast - Tea and Oatmeal with Berries

  • Walk in Nature - Walk around McIntosh Lake and listen to Zen Parenting Podcast and sit by lake and draw

Lunch - Kale Salad, Kombucha, and Baguette

  • Mandala Coloring while listening to relaxing music - I love Native Flute

  • Gentle Yoga Flow - Follow a 30 minute flow on Youtube - I like Yoga by Adrienne

Dinner - Power bowl with quinoa, tofu, and veggies and enjoy a glass of wine

  • Bath - Candles, bath bomb, and music

  • Self-Massage - Using the Ayurveda "Abhyanga" Massage Technique

  • Get to bed by 10 p.m.

Prepare & Enjoy

After you have decided on your activities and planned your day, don't be afraid to re-arrange or simplify your plan if it looks too busy. You can always add in missed activities on another retreat day. Last, be sure to spend a little time the week before your retreat to gather and organize all the things you will need, including which Youtube videos, apps, or music you would like to use. You don't want to stress about running to the store or searching for just the right thing on retreat day.

Last tip -- Remember, this special time is for you and you alone, so be sure to plan a day that feels good to you! You deserve it! Enjoy!

Are you interested in having someone else plan and run your retreat? Maybe you would like someone to organize a custom, virtual retreat for you and your friends? I have created a few retreat options that I know you will love. Click here to learn more and access them.




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