Sometimes it’s hard to see how bad things are in our lives when we’re in the thick of it. In 2012, I was drinking a bottle of wine (sometimes more) every single night just to deal with my chaotic life.
I didn’t realize at the time that I was self-soothing with food and booze. In fact, I looked at others and justified my behavior saying, “Well that’s no more than they do.”
I also didn’t realize how much pain I was in.
I was dealing with atrocious corporate politics that tested my ethics every day; a severely mentally ill mother and trying to manage her care 3,000 miles away; and a work schedule that was no less than 70-hrs per week with travel 3-4 weeks out of the month. It was a shit-show.
My sleep was horrible (maybe 4 hours per night and no restorative sleep) my eating and drinking out of control, and I found my mood volatile with me crying every single day.
I was broken.
After 6-months of trying to operate in this manner, I broke…and that’s when I Googled “retreats.” If you’ve followed me for any period of time, you know it was 5 days away that was the catalyst to transform my life, health, relationships, financial status…everything. I was going to work on my soul and came out with an energy that carried into all areas of life.
I couldn’t go back to my old ways after that and I’m so grateful.
I wish someone had told me sooner that relief was available; that I could step out of my life for a few days to get clarity on how to change.
I was needing this list of 11 signs you need a retreat. I would’ve gotten help months (if not years) sooner. If it resonates with you too, I’d love to connect. I was to bring you the relief you deserve.
Here are the 11 signs it’s time for a retreat and the solutions you should be looking for before you book yours:
1. You struggle with the statement, “Put yourself first.”
Now I don’t just mean you struggle with it in practice, putting everyone else’s needs before yours, but even conceptually imagining you could do this is overwhelming. The idea of adding so-called “self-care” to your plate is beyond comprehension.
Solution: Give yourself a few days to only focus on you. Escape the crazy demands and put the spotlight on yourself. See what’s possible only when you get out of the chaos. I promise you will find optimism in being able to do this.
2. It’s challenging to set healthy boundaries – and keep them.
Yeah boundaries are a toughie for so many of us (especially women). Most of us weren’t taught to honor our needs first and getting comfortable with saying, “No.” If that’s not you, awesome! I for one had, and sometimes still struggle, with holding up a boundary.
It’s so hard to do when you know you’re the one person that could have the greatest effect on a situation – like me getting involved with my mother’s medical care.
Or like when you’ve been raised with a sense of duty for others and that’s where you received your value and validation cues in younger years.
It’s hard! I get it…but you can learn how to put yourself first….and you’re worthy of that.
Solution: Do a guided meditation to discover why boundary setting is hard for you. Get into the subconscious motivators leading you to break commitments to yourself so that you can begin the healing journey.
3. The more depleted you feel, the more you seem to push forward to “fix” outward issues.
Oh gosh that was HUGE for me. There was so much dysfunction in my life and while I was swimming in the manic day-to-day, I keep pushing to fix things that were broken instead of actually taking a step back to get a fresh perspective.
I would dive so deep into “management mode” in both my work and family issues that I lost my own sense of self and what I needed to work on to actually get the resolutions I desired.
Solution: Take a step back. Get outside of the situation for a fresh perspective. Breathe.
Work on trying to not fix everything at once. Your brain needs the break.
4. You’re drinking, eating, binge watching NetFlix (fill in the blank) more than you’d like, dare I say out of control.
The brain is so powerful. I’m always in awe of its function to keep us feeling safe, even when we are seemingly doing unwanted behavior. The reality is, it’s just working with old patterns that it has learned to fire up the reward system and make us feel (temporarily) that the tiger isn’t chasing us.
The problem is we never then address the underlining unmet needs and wounds that are causing this pain.
Solution: It’s scary, but there’s power in understanding our patterns and to dig deep on what benefits we’re getting from unwanted behavior (escaping loneliness, anxiety, overwhelm). Only then we can strategize on the solution and start the healing process.
5. You’re flat out tired of taking care of everyone and are ready for someone to take care of you.
As a nurturer by nature, I became so accustomed to taking care of everyone else. And without healthy boundaries this became an exhausting scenario. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I so desperately needed someone to take care of me.
I just wanted someone to tell me what to do, where to go, what to eat and take care of the details for me. As an exec I was used to be the one to project-manage, plan, organize, and be the responsible one. I needed to just let go and have someone lead and take care of me.
Solution: Let someone else do the work to care for you for once!
6. You struggle to manage your mood.
Tears, anger, frustration…you name it. Chronic stress can lead to short fuses and overwhelming feelings. And the more you’re in it, the more difficult it is to control. But something has to shift before the moodiness can.
Solution: Make sleep, movement, good nutrition, and healthy connections a priority. Also, take stock in your thoughts. Are they supporting positive change, or miring you in negative experiences? Practicing positivity can have a significant impact on your overall mood.
7. You can’t recall the time you had a relaxing break.
Focus on the word “relaxing” for a minute. I’m not talking about the vacas where you exhaust yourself with activities and crazy planning. Imagine escaping this time for a sense of ease, relaxation and refreshment? Even if you’re seeking to learn and grow from your retreat, it’s easier when it’s been planned for you and you can drift with the flow of a perfectly orchestrated itinerary.
Solution: Find a done-for-you experience where everything is already mapped out and pricing is all-inclusive, so you don’t have to think or worry about a thing. If you’re a regular leader and planner…then let that shit go.
8. You feel completed lost, stuck and overwhelmed on where to start.
Yep, been there. You know you should be working out every day, but life is simply out of control. Your schedule is controlling you. Obligations to others own you. Doing “one more thing,” like meal-planning, working out, meditating isn’t an option because there’s just too much going on.
Solution: There’s a recurring theme here…you’ve got to step outside the chaos to get a fresh perspective on what’s possible. Only then can you create goals and strategies that actually can work.
9. You’re just making it by day-to-day.
Like one of the 40 million people in the US, you are struggling with chronic sleep issues. You wake up completely drained, clawing your way out of bed, into what? A day loaded with stress and anxiety. You’ve lost hope and optimism that getting your life back and feeling energized is even a possibility for you.
Maybe you’re so depleted by the end of your day, only a bottle of wine and mindless TV are soothing you right now, yet your inner voice knows better – it just can’t muster the energy to shift.
Solution: Getting restorative sleep and increasing your energy starts with a calculated, holistic detox strategy to help balance hormones and soothe the brain. This also is also the foundation to breaking tech, TV, booze, sugar, and refined carb addictions.
10. You’re lacking a tribe that truly gets you.
Making the switch to a healthier life is hard when others around you aren’t interested in it for themselves – or even worse, don’t support that for you. You may be feeling isolated, alone and maybe as you start to rethink your life, are seeing the need for new connections to support you.
Being felt, heard, and validated are such important components to the human existence. That friend that can eat or drink anything doesn’t get how hard it is for you. Your partner that says, “just use moderation” doesn’t understand that moderation right now is im-poss-ible. Or the fitness industry telling you it’s about eating less and moving more (side note, that’s bull____).
Yet is can be incredibly empowering when you’re surrounded by a tribe saying, “Yes, me too. That’s exactly how I feel. We can do this together!”
Solution: Know there are people just like you waiting to welcome you into their tribe; to give you a space space to heal and thrive; to lift you up when you need a boost; and to be uplifted by you too.
11. Your inner voice is calling to you.
You can hear its whispers...your inner voice speaking to you, urging you forward. Sometimes we’re listening for it, sometimes we’re drowning it out because the alternative means we will face discomfort on our journey to health.
But that inner voice also knows that deep down you are worthy of more; worthy of an abundant life that starts with a foundation in fitness.
Your inner voice also knows it’s possible.
Those whispers are your guides to a greater life; one of vibrancy, vitality, and vigor.
Solution: If your inner voice is nudging you, don’t wait. Listen. Act. Trust.
If you're a hotel owner/operator looking to bring curated, transformative retreats to your destination, contact Christa King today at firstname.lastname@example.org