Have you ever said that, or at least thought it? Most of us have. When the demands and challenges of life get too great, it’s natural to want to “fall off the face of the earth” so to speak, or to retreat—at least for a time. And that’s not such a bad idea.
Our day-to-day lives require us to use more energy than we realize. We care for our children, for our aging parents, for our homes, our families, and ourselves. We work, volunteer in our communities, and serve in our local schools and churches. We experience failures and success in our jobs and relationships, as well as gains and losses in our lives, and all of these things can take their toll and leave us feeling drained and exhausted.
During these times it’s important to refuel, but how do we do that?
One way is to retreat (literally retreat) to a retreat center or spa. Wisconsin is chock full of some of the best retreat facilities in the nation. Some are faith based or spiritually supportive, others focus on physical health and well being, while yet others offer artist retreats for the creative soul. Regardless of your wants and needs, there’s sure to be a facility that can accommodate them.
There are two basic types of retreats: a personal retreat or group retreat. Many of us have experienced group retreats, which allow us to share our experience with others, and participate in activities that allow for group interaction. We don’t often consider going on a retreat by ourselves, but why not? Personal retreats allow us time to be free from our daily worries and responsibilities, to manage our own agendas, and to reflect and use our energy for ourselves.
When planning a personal retreat, you may want to include spiritual elements such as a time of silent reflection, spiritual ceremony, direction or counseling, prayer, meditation, or chanting. You may also want to consider physical activities such as yoga, hiking, swimming, boating, horseback riding, massage, sauna, or acupuncture. You may choose an artistic outlet too, such as: writing, painting, playing an instrument, singing, or dancing. Be sure to ask about these things when you’re making a decision about which retreat facility is right for you.
Here are just a few reputable facilities to help you in your planning:
- Washington House Inn, Cedarburg, WI (Bed and Breakfast retreat) – http://www.washingtonhouseinn.com
- Journey Inn, Maiden Rock, WI (Eco-retreat) – http://www.journeyinn.net/rooms.shtml
- Christine Center, Willard, WI – http://christinecenter.org
- Full Circle Retreat, Viroqua, WI – http://www.fullcircleretreat.com
- Sienna Retreat Center, Racine, WI – http://www.racinedominicans.org/retreats.cfm
- The Bridge Between Retreat Center, Denmark, WI – http://www.bridge-between.com
- Wellspring, West Bend, WI – http://www.wellspringinc.org
- Stone Light Retreat Center, Viroqua, WI – http://www.stone-light.net
We all need to take time for ourselves. It’s not selfish; it’s healthy and good for us. If you’re tired, hurting, or lacking energy, a personal retreat can renew you inside and out.