A kind friend gave me the gift of a retreat week out of state, quiet time away for just me. Oh Loves! Something I wish you all could experience. If home obligations, work or finances prohibit you from going out of town for a retreat, there are many other options to have a “retreat” of your own. It is a must for your mental health, benefitting you as well as those you love and care for. Even living alone this time is needed. Some might call this an escape from reality. I think of it as time to return to self, remembering the truth of who you are, away from negative messages and the day’s stressors. Even taking just 10 minutes a day to renew yourself can help.
In order to make rest a regularly practiced routine, set up a few basic rules in order to stay committed (time spent each day/week/month, space set aside). If you have children, a spouse or roommates, communicate with them about your rest/quiet time to minimize interruptions. Life happens, but you must stay disciplined and committed to your routine even in the face of interruptions. If something can wait, reiterate your rules, stay in your quiet time and handle the interruption after your quiet time is done. If something cannot wait, make certain you continue your rest/quiet time after the interruption is handled.
When my four children were younger, I placed a peace chair in my room. I told the children that when in my peace chair, I was not accepting requests. I was in that chair for 10 minutes and would talk with them and take requests when I stepped out of the chair at the end of the allotted time. One Monday after work, I was resting in my chair taking deep breaths in and out, when I heard a loud thud, quickly followed by a rumbling, rolling sort of noise. There near my chair appeared my two sons who were wrestling for fun. When they stopped rolling and looked up, the not so innocent look on their faces told me they noticed the sternness in my expression. They then freed their hands from each other momentarily to make hushing gestures and then proceeded to wrestle and rolled out of my space. Many times while in that chair, I have heard the phrases: “but Mom” and “just one thing” while my children heard “10 minutes is not up yet” and “I am in my peace chair.” Then one day, some time after my peace chair was in place, I received a call on my way home from work from my youngest son who was then in middle school. He was calling to ask if it was alright for him to sit in my peace chair because he just needed some time to chill and think.
Some suggestions for your rest: -set intentions (being quiet, resting, breathing, no phone) -soft instrumental music -deep cleansing breaths -hang a few affirmations -give yourself a hug and remember you are loved -cry out the day's stress -give yourself grace for what you have endured thus far -swinging/rocking chair or motions to soothe you -dim lighting or candlelight
Do you take quiet time for yourself? Where is your favorite place for quiet time? Do your children take quiet time?