I retreat to recharge

July Mantra: I retreat to recharge.

I never understood as a child when on an airplane during the safety demonstration they would say “ in the event of an emergency please put your oxygen mask on before assisting others” I remember thinking in my naiveté, “this doesn’t make sense, my Mom should help me first!” This was my conditioning, my mother did everything for everyone, and rarely took care of herself. I was raised believing this was the virtuous way to be. Now that I am older and wiser, I know this was misguided. We have to take care of ourselves FIRST! I feel like I say it all the time: the most important relationship we have is with self. So why do so many of us put ourselves last?

Maybe you’ve heard the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’? Taking time for ourselves, in a meaningful way is so important to navigate the ups, downs and curveballs life can throw at us without losing our sanity.

I write this on the heels of one week away, alone. I booked a trip to visit old friends; soul fillers, I call them. I planned this get away to decompress, relax and have some wholehearted visits with people I hold dear, but don’t see often. The mother in me contemplated bringing my kids, because I know they would have liked to join. BUT, luckily, I gave my head a shake and listened to my intuition. In order to be a relaxed person, one must take time relax. Makes sense, right? Well anyone who has vacationed with kids knows, it’s not exactly zen when we travel with those little bits of our hearts. When I left, I also thought, I’d do a “little work”, because this is what makes me feel like I’m being productive. My amazing and sage business partner (you might know her) said, “ absolutely, not. Unplug and take time to rest and restore”. Right, this is also constructive! With this order I started my week away with a full body massage. I have one every five years, and I realized this time, I deserve this more often!

Day to day life for most of us is so full; we do SO much. It is important to take time each day to find ways to decompress, whether it’s a yoga class, walk in the woods, massage, or just a long shower. It’s also critical to create even more time and really unplug, and unwind. The longer we go without our day to day routines, triggers and stressors the more our perspective can change and we are able to come back invigorated and inspired. To get away, to leave routine behind is priceless, productive and essential for our overall health. Now, after a week away without my husband, kids, dogs or work; I feel like a new woman! I’ve come back to my baseline, homeostasis, ready to take on life in a more peaceful and joyous way. Do you find time away makes you appreciate your family, your home, your work, your day to day life so much more? I sure do.

Respite doesn’t have to be extravagant. A few days to let someone else take care of your needs does wonders. Put on our own oxygen mask and breathe deeply for a while. I loved my time away, but I’m ready to get home, and hear all of the stories my kids will have to tell, and share some of my own. To return with a renewed appreciation for the life I am blessed to have. From one human to another, take time, get away and nurture yourself like you do for all those around you every day.

~Nicole Whitman

Photo taken at our Women’s Retreat at Loon Lake in August

Posted in Blog.