Keeping up with the pace of modern life can feel impossible, and our ever-connected society doesn’t leave much time for de-stressing. Jam-packed calendars mean there aren’t enough hours in the day to check off your to-do list, leaving you feeling worn out by the end of the week.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Many people are embracing self-care as a way to transform their busy lives by refocusing on what matters, stepping back from what doesn’t, and learning to make lifestyle choices that promote well-being. If these changes aren’t enough to restore your soul, it may be time for a full disconnect.
Self-care retreats are vacations designed to put you on a path to personal recovery and discovery. And they’re popping up everywhere! Here’s the lowdown on making yours a success.
First, What Is Self-Care?
Sure, it’s a buzzword right now, but what does it really mean? To keep it simple, self-care is "any activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health." As basic as that sounds, making time for self-care can be a struggle in our modern world. But good self-care is key to a balanced life, and even small steps like exercising regularly, combating negative self-talk, and meditation bring big improvements.
The benefits of taking time for yourself are big. Great self-care has been linked to reduced depression, improved mood, boosted self-esteem, and reduced anxiety.
What Self-Care Isn’t
Okay, you’ve carved out some time for yourself and maybe even booked a solo retreat—great! The last thing you want to do is get even more stressed out about what to do or what self-care should look like. Here are a few tips:
- Self-care isn’t doing things you hate. If yoga isn’t your thing, don’t feel pressured to become a yogi because others love it. Self-care should feel replenishing, and can be as active or inactive as you like.
- Self-care isn’t selfish. Caring for yourself helps you be in a place to care for others.
- Self-care isn’t dangerous. Unhealthy coping mechanisms and dangerous activities do not constitute self-care, even if you enjoy them. When you’re feeling stressed and exhausted, it’s easy to over do it or overeat. Focus on choosing healthy, beneficial activities.
Ways to Practice Self-Care at Home
Practicing self-care strengthens your body, mind, and spirit. While you may already have some ideas in mind, a few ways to practice self-care include:
- Hug your favorite human
- Snuggle with a soft blanket
- Pet your cat, dog, or bunny
- Take up meditation
- Practice gratefulness
- Try a yoga class
- Do something outdoors
- Go dancing
- Call an old friend
- Join a book club
- Write in your journal
- Watch your favorite movie
- Read your favorite book
Taking a Personal Discovery or Self-Care Retreat
Instead of using your vacation days for another cruise or beach vacay, travel for a purpose with a self-care retreat. Return home inspired and empowered, instead of just sunburned.
Red Mountain caters to self-care seekers with organized retreats that are best taken solo. (Solo explorers are common so you won’t feel uncomfortable, but there are plenty of opportunities to bond if you’re a socializer.)
All stays include three healthy meals a day, guided hiking and biking, yoga, and fitness classes, but the Self-Care Essential Retreat is the ultimate in relaxation. This four-day, three-night getaway includes all the basics plus five signature spa treatments designed to nourish your body and soul. A grounding Himalayan stone massage replenishes, vibrational sound therapy relaxes, calming cranial sacral therapy removes energy blockages, Thai table massage stretches tight muscles, and the signature Red Rock Revitalizer completes this transformative experience.
If spa treatments aren’t how you unwind, book the Essentials Retreat, which focuses on health, and hiking, or a Personal Discovery Retreat with an emphasis on energy healing.
Regardless of what you do, just being in Red Mountain’s setting is ideal for restoration. Right in our backyard, you’ll find a natural playground: lava rock-capped red and white Navajo sandstone, colorful cliffs, and natural slot canyons. Hike through lava tubes, bike in neighboring Snow Canyon State Park’s red rock wonderscape, walk the meditative labyrinth, or find a quiet place to sit in awe of this inspiring land.
Feeling adventurous? Go stand up paddleboarding in a nearby reservoir or explore the majestic Zion National Park. Whether you hike all day or just relax, you’ll leave Red Mountain rejuvenated and ready to tackle life.
Make the Most of Your Retreat
A personal discovery vacation isn’t your typical resort stay, and the rules of engagement are totally different. Focus on showing yourself love with these retreat tips:
- Go Alone. A solo vacay may sound scary, but self-care retreats work best when done alone. Leaving room for rest and self-discovery allows you to fully focus on you. Plus, resorts like Red Mountain have community dinner tables and group activities for bonding with others on the same journey.
- Schedule Time to Rest. Just because a resort offers activities all day long doesn’t mean you need to do them. Overbooking your schedule on a self-care retreat can turn it into a chore. Do just the things you want to do.
- Journal. Writing is restorative. Process your experience by writing your thoughts and feelings. Journaling has also been shown to reduce stress, help with problem solving, and clarify your thoughts.
- Go Outside. Being immersed in nature is innately relaxing. Go on hikes, lay on the grass, or just stare up at the stars.
- Say No to Screens. Digital detoxes are a form of self-care, so stow your phone in your room for emergencies. You’ll probably still want to take photos, though, so bring a real camera.