Many of us are traveling through life going from trauma to trauma. Loss, illness, financial challenges and more…without a break or a breather. It’s exhausting. It wears on your spirit, especially if you are bearing the burden of getting through difficult times primarily by yourself. An extended moment where everything feels ok would be nice. I know these feelings very well.
I was telling a friend of mine I wish I could go on a healing sabbatical where there are therapeutic activities, counseling, tranquil walking trails, nutritious meals and opportunities to get quality rest. I’m sure something like that exists somewhere but it’s probably pretty pricey. So until I can afford to attend this kind of retreat or create one, I’m going to infuse my life with as many healing elements as possible. I’d like to share some ideas of how to create your own sabbatical or at least manifest the healing feelings a retreat can offer.
Clean up Your Space
Physically cleaning up your living space is important, but ridding it of negative energy is paramount as well. You can’t create peace if your home is full of chaotic energy. I came across an article in Oprah Magazine that offers easy ideas about how to lift bad energy out of your space.
Lately I’ve been investing in comfy sweats and sweaters that feel good and cozy. I also bought new fluffy towels that feel soft against my skin. I started using pillows to prop up my legs when I’m sitting or laying down which feels really good, helps my back and is very relaxing. Getting a massage is also a great way to treat your body and release stress. You could also look for a reiki healer who can help you release toxic emotions to promote healing.
Indulge in Aromatherapy
I think a soothing scent is one of the best and easiest ways to create a therapeutic environment. I make sure my home smells good and inviting with plugins, candles and incense. I also use fragrant detergent so I can enjoy that fresh laundry smell. I’m considering getting an essential oil diffuser for an even more therapeutic effect. There are some available for under $20. Additionally, I treat myself with fresh smelling shower gels and lotions. And sometimes, I just stand in the flower and plant section in the grocery store and allow myself to take in the lush scent. That feels really nice – even if I might look weird.
Feel the Power of a Bath
Baths are such a wonderful way to indulge the senses. The warm water, the soothing bubble bath, relaxing bath salts or cool bath bombs with the glow of a fragrant candle and some good music (may I suggest Sam Cook?) can transform your mood and spirit.
Listen to a Therapeutic Podcast
If for some reason therapy isn’t an option there are some great podcasts out there that can help you sort through your thoughts and emotions and provide clarity. Right now I’m listening to the 10-part series on Super Soul Sunday with Eckhart Tolle. I’ve found it very enjoyable. And as I’ve mentioned before I like the Therapy for Black Girls podcast as an occasional spiritual refresh.
Find Your Path
Walking or running is a great way to clear your mind and strengthen your body. Finding a nice track or walking path and taking in the crisp air and letting some sun hit your face can be a splendid time just for you and feel like a great escape.
Take Your Time and Give Yourself Space
If you’re working take your vacation and sick days. Use your sick days as mental health days when you need to. If you’re not working build in some rest days. Take the time you deserve. This also gives you space from work. I recently took a Friday off, creating a 3-day weekend and it did wonders and allowed me to reconnect to myself, get my rest and refocus on my health. If you need more space to yourself, if possible go to a nice hotel, order room service and relax. If you can’t go as far as you’d like, go as far as you can to create some space for yourself, even if just for a day.
Get Your Rest
Go to bed early sometimes, sleep in, lounge. And try meditation. It’s a great form of mental rest that can revive the spirit by offering clarity. Give your mind and body a break.
That’s my simple list of how to create a therapeutic sabbatical for yourself if you can’t get to one. I hope these suggestions feel actionable and help you make yourself and your healing a priority.