Have you ever felt so stressed that you need to get away from the turmoil of daily life? Are you trying to regain a sense of meaning and purpose to your life despite being surrounded by the trappings of your success? Is there something missing in your life that you can’t really figure out what it is?
If these questions hit close to home, you might want to consider taking a spiritual retreat to help clear your mind, and hopefully resolve some of those burning questions that have been plaguing you. Retreats are important (Mark 6:31) because they give us the opportunity to escape somewhere peaceful and regroup, while engaging in activities such as Bible readings and sharing valuable Christian teachings with others. If you’re looking to participate in this particular type of spiritual activity here are some essential tips to consider as part of your preparations.
Do your homework
The first thing you should do is to research about spiritual retreats and find one that suits your objectives. Locations for retreats are usually situated in peaceful and slightly isolated areas where natural landscapes are abundant. These places offer a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of highly populated cities, or busy suburban neighborhoods, where most people tend to live. You can search for these destinations online and you’ll even find comprehensive details about their amenities and the range of activities that is part of their program.
Plan ahead of time
Whether you intend to get away for a few days or a few weeks, you take care to plan your retreat in such a way that you can properly disengage from your daily responsibilities, at least for a temporary period. Obtain leave approval from your employer, if necessary. Be sure your family, church and community responsibilities are covered. Remember, the idea is to de-stress. You do not want to be worrying if Rover has been fed, or if Grandma missed her appointment.
Consider whether you will be going alone or with a significant other. If taking a companion make a plan, ahead of time, for private time alone and intimate time together. Varying expectations between partners will work against you for finding the renewal you seek.
Additionally, you should consider your financial situation for this particular venture. Retreat trips may involve considerable expenses, depending on where you’ll be staying and how long you intend to be gone. Planning everything beforehand prevents you from creating more stress, when you should be working towards relieving yourself of it.
Prepare yourself beforehand
Days or weeks prior to your departure for the spiritual retreat, try to get physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared. Spending a weekend backpacking in the mountains may sound wonderful, but it will be a disaster if you are not accustomed to hiking. You will be embarking on a trip that is supposed to help you heal on a holistic level. Putting in long hours, rushing to “clear your plate”, or getting into an argument with your spouse just before you leave will ruin the whole experience. Try to pace yourself so you can embark on your journey of spiritual renewal mentally prepared, emotionally at peace, and not physically exhausted.