Sometimes we need to go away.

Did you ever notice how hard it can be to change habits or develop new habits, when the same old, same old, is around?

Did you ever try to think about what you want in your life and really concentrate on changes you would like to make, and you keep getting interrupted?

“I can’t even finish a thought!” you find yourself saying in frustration.

If you know what I am talking about here, and you are nodding your head in agreement, then you need to go away.

A retreat can be for an hour, or it can be for a weekend.

If you have young children, it is very important to have retreats. That you love your children dearly is not the point. No one benefits from being together constantly.

You can arrange for babysitters and actually leave the house for a walk or a quiet cup of coffee somewhere. You can employ a mother’s helper to play with your children, while you retreat to your bedroom and do some stretches, or lie down to rest.

You will benefit from a walk in the evening, to think, and let your thoughts drift as you walk.

A retreat can be lunch by yourself with a book, instead of going out with everyone from work, yet again, to rehash office politics.

A retreat can be a movie by yourself, or a bookstore outing.

When we let our mind be refreshed with new images and thoughts, it starts to work with possibilities, and “what ifs.”

There are structured retreats and resorts that offer packages, if you can take the time. (If we try hard enough, and make it a priority, we can take the time.)

There are Hiking retreats, Yoga retreats, Spiritual Retreats. Search the internet and see what interests you.

Years ago, I did a Survival Weekend in the woods, and it was a great retreat. It was not restful, but I needed a change of scenery, and I was eager to learn new skills. That was the kind of retreat I needed at that time. Different retreats for different times in our lives.

Do not consider yourself so indispensable that you cannot leave your life or situation for a couple days here and there.

Since my children have been very young, I take a weekend a year to go back up to Michigan to spend the time doing whatever I want. I shop with my sisters, laugh, read, visit friends, and eat when I want, whatever I want. I am not tied to anyone’s schedule but my own. This was not easy to do when the children were very young. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who stepped into my shoes and took over. I came back refreshed and though the relief on his face was unmistakable when I walked back through the door, we both knew it was worth it.

My husband takes a golf outing every winter. This is not always easy for him to arrange. He has to make sure everything can continue without him at work, and we have to make sure we have all bases covered at home. But, the pleasure and the relaxation he derives from his retreat, gets him through the rest of our cold, Pittsburgh winters!

We both have other trips we take, and now that the children are older, it is easier for us to arrange to be away. We try to go on trips together when the opportunity arises, or when we can create the opportunity.

You may miss your children and your partner while you are away, but remember that you need distance sometimes to realize the importance of people and situations in your life.

Being away from the same old haunts and breaking up your routine, lets you look at life from a new perspective, outside yourself and your fatigue.

A couple days of sleeping in, and changing your schedule, and you start seeing your life and your daily routines differently. You think, “Hey, why do I put up with that? Why don’t I eat better? Why can’t I change this? Why wouldn’t this or that work…?”

It is helpful to keep some notes when you retreat.

Jotting down thoughts and feelings as you experience them instead of hoping you remember your brilliant thoughts on that hike, is a good way to bring the benefits home.

Thinking about your thoughts and feeling while you were away can help you make changes.

You may think, “How could I feel like that in my daily life?” and you come up with an idea for a breather during your work day.

You remember a great meal you had, and you think, “I could make that for myself on the weekend!”

Retreating can help you gain perspective, get new ideas, and relieve you of unrelenting work and pressure.

Try it. Go away.

“Adventure must start with running away from home.” -William Bolitho

© 2010 Diana Fletcher

Author's Bio: 

Would you like to learn more about retreats? Listen to a free teleclass and check out Diana’s new idea for a Virtual Retreat at Contact Diana and get more information on Diana Fletcher’s programs at