Personal Retreats and Why You Need One

Have you ever felt completely exhausted over the course of a day, even though you got enough sleep? Or maybe you felt that afternoon slump all day, deflating every ounce of determination that you may have had earlier? If you recognize these signs or even have similar ones, then STOP. Seriously, stop everything that you’re doing because you my be burning out.

Burning out is thought to be more common in those who are leaders of organizations or are ultra-busy. But everyone is at risk of burning out. Yet most of the time, we don’t do anything about it. Instead we push ourselves to the end of our wits and wonder why we are in a never-ending state of stress. And then we tend to blame others for our demise. When in reality, they may only be partially to blame.

At the end of 2016, I was very close to burning out. But I ended up taking a vacation in Chicago with my best friend. While the actual stay in Chicago was short, the trip was about a whole week since we took the train there and back. Once I came back I was refreshed and ready to tackle all of my problems.

But that wasn’t enough. After another long quarter, I ended up having to step down from my leadership positions. I was left way more broken than I was the first time. As I spent the next quarter trying to repair myself and start back up with my health habits, I increasingly practiced self care. I would start running, meditating, reading, writing and doing all of the things that make me happy.

Especially with the immense pressure that college students face to “get out there and face the real world”, there ends up being little to no time focusing on ourselves. And millennials still get called out for being lazy and entitled. While some are, there is a greater majority that work hard for the things that they want out of life. These misconceptions and the time-old teaching that it’s looked down upon to talk about yourself, leads millennials to be broken. What else do you you expect?

The best solution is to take some time off and go on a personal retreat. Like I mentioned in another post, this is not the “magic pill” or the solution to any problems that you may have. But it is a great tool to use when your mind needs to be refreshed and you need to gain some clarity.

I just had my own personal retreat and, while it didn’t clear up all of my problems, it did help my mind reset. I still don’t want to do things as much and I am feeling sluggish, especially as I write this right now. But I feel focused. My mind actually wants to do things and that is the biggest change overall. Instead of spending time on Pinterest, I am working on different task. Heck, I’m even writing an extra blog post for this week.

So I planned out a retreat, away from my house just so I could get away, and did things that I wanted to do. I went to Pasadena, Ca and went to the LA Botanical Gardens and the Simon Norton Museum. But my favorite activity was writing letters. I haven’t told anyone about them and I am hoping that they surprise my friends and family. Expressing gratitude is one of the most healing things for the heart and soul. I totally encourage it.

If you need help planning a retreat, check out this blog for a cool worksheet for planning a retreat. This is not my own stuff and it leads to a totally different blog that I found through Pinterest. And it was really helpful. So check it out. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I would be more than happy to answer any comments or questions you have. That’s it for now. Take care!

-Joss

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