Create Your Own At Home Wellness Retreat


Weekend retreats are just great. Getting away from your responsibilities, the phone, the devices, the social whirlwind, is a nice reset for your body and mind. The relaxation response has time to fully express itself, the hormones wind down, the muscles change from rock to softness, your neck and shoulders relax.  Puts your life in perspective. All these things that seem so important, well….you realize you are ok and all of our modern trappings don’t make the person. Good for your body, mind and soul. Do you wish you could reset more often?   Yes, those weekend retreats are quite a commitment of time and money.

You can create a nice DIY Wellness Retreat in your own home.  Some planning ahead helps you focus so that your weekend can be a haven where you are a human “being” in your home instead of a human “doing”.

Two months ahead

Yes, that far ahead!

Think about what you want to achieve and what helps you unplug and recharge. And then just brainstorm ideas and put them on a sheet of paper and then you can choose what is realistic and what fits into your budget.

Plan the date: Start thinking about when you can fit your DIY Weekend Wellness Retreat in. Look at your calendar and pick out two days you’d like to devote to your well being.

Block that weekend out and guard it from social gatherings. If there is someone you really want to see, then propose another activity at another date. I know how easy it is to say yes and to not want to be left out of things! You’ve decided to devote some time to your well being, so stick to it!

Plan to not spend: Are you going to set aside some money for a massage, a body treatment or reflexology for that weekend? Want to keep it real affordable? Then pass on that bodywork for now. Take a warm bath instead.

Plan relaxing activities: Do you want to plan a yoga class and time for meditation? A hike in nature?

Plan food: Will you fast or eat very simply for the weekend. eating just fruits and vegetables?

Spirituality: Will you attend spiritual services?

If I had a whole weekend to recharge and I wanted to keep costs down, I’d brainstorm like this:

  • Splurge on a massage. I carry my stress in my body.  Bodywork reduces body tension and with less muscular tension, I feel better, my mood improves and I think more clearly.
  • Eat simply, going vegan or pescatarian. I do eat meat, but sparingly.  During a retreat, I want to eat mindfully and use whole foods that my body can use.  I also fulfill my desire to help the planet by living sustainably.
  • Plan a walk in nature for the benefits of forest bathing.
  • Take time to give myself a restorative mud facial and a deep conditioning hair treatment.
  • Attend a restorative yoga class.
  • Unplug from my devices for a nice extended amount of time.
  • Journaling by hand, rather than by computer.
  • Work on an art project.
  • Work on a sewing project.
  • Wind down and go to bed when the sun goes down.
  • Use natural lighting only, try to unplug from electricity. (Tall order, I know!)

Although I love to garden, I would leave gardening off my retreat weekend. It usually ends up being alot of physical work for me. Although gardening is a wonderful hobby, for me, I wouldn’t plan this into a weekend retreat. You might feel differently, and that’s ok!

Photo: istock/renphoto

 Two Weeks Ahead

  • Check on how you’re doing for time for that wonderful retreat date! All is good, then good!
  • Clean your house to your satisfaction.  Your retreat will be more pleasant if your house is clean. And you won’t feel compelled to clean your house during your special weekend! Maybe do a deep vacuuming and mopping of the floors and a nice dusting. There you go, nice and clean! I really love clean floors and that’s quite a challenge to maintain. If I’m trying to relax, I won’t if the floors aren’t spick and span! (Just my thing!) Of course, you can assess how the cleanliness/neatness of your living space affects you and proceed accordingly.  It’s all so you have a real relaxing weekend, that’s the goal!
  • Make any appointments you’ve chosen for massage, bodywork, facials, etc. Check to see which classes you want to attend.

One Week Ahead

  • Shop for the food you’d like to have that weekend. My list would include arugula salad, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, limes for my water, filtered water, gluten free frozen bread, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, oatmeal.
  • Check around the house  for any fun or luxury bath/facial/conditioning/soap  items you have. For my facials, I like to use Shea Moisture Rose Oil Mask for Sensitive Skin  for my face and Shea Moisture Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque for my hair.  I normally don’t take time for these extended treatments, so its a real treat for me to schedule time to do so!
  • Check around the house for reading material you’d like to catch up on. It must feed your soul and serenity only! My reading list includes Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step: Mindfulness.,   Art and Healing by Barbara Ganim is another book I love to refer to over and over. I’ve been wanting to peruse Robin Rose Bennett’s Healing Magic for quite some time. So, I think I’ll leave these books out for reference, in case I want some reading materials.
  • Decide on your (flexible) schedule.

Mine is shaping up to be:

Thursday: Shop for any other vegetables that I need for salad.

Friday: Shop for wild salmon or haddock.


  • Swear off all devices and begin a news fast.
  • Rise, meditate for 20 minutes.
  • Get out my mat and do a short at home yoga routine
  • Have light breakfast of organic gluten-free oatmeal and green tea.
  • Take my dogs for an early morning hike to absorb the effects of forest bathing
  • Return home and prepare a light lunch meal.
  • Read or work on my chosen beading/art/sewing project. No writing! Too left brain!
  • Go out for my massage in the later afternoon, so as to be able to rest in the evening when I get back and let my body and mind fully absorb the effects of the massage.
  • Prepare a light dinner.
  • Read and retire as the sun goes down.  No TV, no news, no internet.


  • Early rise, 20 minutes of meditation.
  • Get out my mat and do an at home short yoga routine
  • Have light breakfast of organic gluten-free oatmeal and green tea.
  • Take my dogs for an early morning hike to absorb the effects of forest bathing.
  • Prepare a light lunch.
  • Work on my chosen art project.
  • Do my facial mask and hair conditioning ritual.
  • Prepare a light dinner.
  • Read and retire as the sun goes down.  No TV, no news, no internet.
  • Enjoy!





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