Personal Retreats

If you've ever been stressed, you know how much better you can feel just by stepping away from it all for a bit. Whether it's at work or at home, being a decision-maker can be stressful, especially when you're faced with kids and pet running around, dishes piling up in the sink, and the TV blaring in the next room. Taking the time and space to rejuvenate and refresh can ease stress and calm nerves.

This is where a personal retreat comes in. Whether it's for work or relaxation, a personal retreat can provide a much-needed escape. This retreat doesn't need to be large or fancy to offer a safe haven. It just needs to be yours.

A Little Peace and Quiet

A private sanctuary can be as fleeting as a bubble bath or as permanent as a corner of a room filled with candles and a big, comfy chair. Surrounding yourself with soothing scents, calming music, and cozy furnishings provides a welcome reprieve from the outside world.

To make a personal retreat, think of what makes you happy: lots of natural light? soft fabrics? flowers? Bring these elements into your space. Position a recliner next to a window. Add pillows and blankets to a sofa or bed for added comfort. Pick a bouquet of wilflowrs. Light a candle. Put on a classical CD.

Soothing sights and sounds can help your mind, allowing for peaceful thoughts instead of the usual chaos. Calming scents, such as lavender, will also relax your senses. Just a few minutes can help relieve your stress and clear your thoughts.

Nature and the Outdoors

A breath of fresh air can also clear your mind, ease stress, and immediately bring relief. Whether it's a rocking chair on a front porch or a quiet corner in a garden, having a sanctuary outside can offer added benefits.

Nature is its own retreat. The sound of birds singing provides the music while flowers provide the aromatherapy. Vibrant colors revive the senses, and a variety of textures, sounds, and sights provide stimulation for the imagination. Locations by the water also offer a tranquil soundtrack for added stress relief.

Even in inclement weather, exposure to nature can offer an escape. Sit by an open window and listen to the rain. Watch the snow fall. Hear the wind whistling through the trees. The thought alone can bring peace and tranquility.

A Relaxing Office or Workspace

If you work at home, a private place to work can be just as vital as a private relaxation area. Whether you have an entire room that serves as an office or a desk tucked into one side of the living room, your workspace needs to be what you need it to be.

An excellent starting point is simply keeping your workspace organized, especially in cramped quarters. Knowing where to find that important file, book, or CD can ease your stress and keep you focused on the task at hand. A cluttered space will clutter your mind. But organize logically. Make items accessible. Having to get up every five minutes to get something will disrupt the thought process and lose valuable time. Keep frequently-used items nearby, while older files or extra supplies are stored elsewhere. Keep items that belong in other parts of the house out of your workspace. These items can distract you and cause you to lose focus.

For times of added stress, have items on hand that will help you relax. These can be a poster with a tropical destination on it, a stress-relief ball to flex your hand muscles, a musical CD to pop into your computer, or a video game that will get your mind off your troubles for a bit. Anything that helps you unwind is an option. Just be sure you don't get so distracted you don't get any work done!

Other Options

A personal retreat doesn't have to be complete silence or filled with candles. If blaring rock music or exercising offeres you relief, seek those instead. Find a place to rock out in peace. Dedicate a specific area for working out, or find local trails to hike, run, or bike. Whatever the method of stress relief, having a place to escape to can help you stay calm and focused.