Invest in Yourself by Hannah Hanford

What do you think of when you hear the word “retreat?” For many what comes to mind is “giving up” or “surrendering to the enemy.” But on a deeper spiritual level, retreat means something much more. To retreat is to withdraw from life’s daily demands in order to reflect on our true nature and the meaning of our existence.

Today, opportunities for quiet contemplation and reflection can be rare, with a variety of obligations and distractions pulling our attention away from being present. The time to pause and take a step back from our responsibilities can become scarce, unless we take the initiative to develop a disciplined self-care practice.

Over the last decade, a host of retreat centers and programs have popped up around the globe. Virtually anything, from yoga, to meditation, to dietary healing, may be the focal point of a retreat program. Attending a speci cally designed program, such as a yoga and health retreat, can be a truly transformative, healing experience. Not only are you putting yourself rst when you invest in attending a retreat, but you’re giving your body, mind and spirit a chance to reset and re-equilibrate.
Here are 7 reasons why you deserve to take a retreat:

1. Relax & Rejuvenate.

Removed from everyday responsibilities, you are provided a chance to catch up on rest, de-stress and redirect your energy within. Recent studies show that the majority of disease is stress-related. Proper rest and relaxation counteracts the e ects of stress by strengthening your immune system and giving your body the support it needs to release negative emotions and experiences.

2. Gain a New Perspective.

When you visit somewhere new, an opportunity arises to see the world in a new light. By taking yourself out of your comfort zone, you’re able to experience the unknown with a sense of openness and vulnerability that can greatly accelerate your ability to evolve and learn. As you open, you become more aware of the in nite number of possibilities that exist for your individual path and life purpose.

3. Digital Detox.

Let’s face it. We all spend too much time in front of a screen. While technology has opened up a world of possibilities by sharing creativity and awareness around the world – being plugged in distracts us from being fully present and aware of our immediate surroundings. Being on a screen creates a barrier that shuts off self-awareness. Intentionally removing oneself from technology is a great way to unplug and reconnect.

4. Healthy Food.

An all-inclusive retreat almost certainly serves several delicious, healthy meals a day. Eating healthy food is great for your immunity and energy level. The luxury of having food prepared for you removes the stress of shopping for and cooking your own meals. Not only will you feel great, you may be inspired to replace your current dietary habits with newer, healthier ones.

5. Find Inner Stillness.

Whether you discover the benefits of meditation or simply find ways to be still and observe your thought patterns, you’ll likely find inner stillness while on retreat. Freeing ourselves from responsibilities, deadlines, text messaging, emails and social engagements is probably one of the best reasons for a retreat. The newfound space created by removing these obligations, allows us to experience a sense of peace that is only accessible when we choose to be still and self-reflect. Our sense of inner peace greatly affects how much we can take on in our lives, and how we choose to approach difficult situations. When we feel peace in our hearts, we become happier, healthier, more effective human beings.

6. Reinvent Yourself.

So many of us get stuck in our roles. Releasing them for an extended period of time can shift our perception about the roles we play and give us insight into how we want to show up in the world. By rediscovering our true nature, we’re able to reinvent ourselves. Regardless of the specific goal, whether it’s being happier, healthier, more physically fit, or becoming a better partner or parent, going on retreat allows us to see the changes we need to make in order to transform into who we wish to be.

7. Improve Your Relationships with Others.

When others depend on us – coworkers, partners or children – it’s easy to forget about our own needs. But the truth is, the better we treat ourselves, the better we’re able to show up for those who need us. When we take time for ourselves, we’re ultimately sending the message that we deserve to be respected and appreciated. Treating yourself to time alone is the best way to improve all of your relationships. Making yourself #1 for a while, even an afternoon, allows you to be present with others in a more positive and loving way. The more we nurture ourselves, the more we’ll attract the things we want, including the love we desire. We will be more effective parents, role models, partners and community members. Improving our relationships with others is truly one of the paths
to peace and unity on Earth.

Chances are, you’re making excuses about why you can’t take a retreat; and the excuse is likely about money, time or a particular set of circumstances. The truth is that you can take a retreat; you are inherently worthy. At the very least, make time for yourself at least once a day. You deserve it!

Hannah Hanford is a health foodie, gardener, climber and wilderness seeker. Her passions include organic food, conscious living and quiet reflection. She collaborates with Earthstar Retreat Center in Norwood, CO, raising awareness around reconnection and living in harmony with the Earth. Learn more about Earthstar at or email


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