Now that it’s November, you’ve probably seen different variations of a “gratitude challenge” or “30 days of gratitude” floating around on social media. Taking a moment each day to state – privately or publicly – what you’re grateful for has proven scientific benefits to the mind, body and spirit.
At Retreat in the Pines gratitude is part of everything we do – from each yoga practice to our outdoor Gratitude Meditation to our Gratitude Brunch (where guests take turns sharing what they’re grateful for) and of course our community of strong women. Discover gratitude as part of our retreat community.
Practicing gratitude is an excellent way to maintain both psychological and physical health beyond the month of November.
Benefits of a Daily Gratitude Practice
- Better physical health.According to a recent study, people who are grateful report fewer aches and pains than other people. It also follows, they are more likely to maintain their physical health through activities like yoga or other exercise and annual well visits to the doctor.
- Better psychological health. Focusing on what you’re grateful for can reduce the experience of toxic emotions like anger, resentment, and regret. Research also suggests that gratitude increases feelings of happiness and reduces depression and anxiety.
- Better sleep. When you’re grateful, you’re able to sleep better at night. A general reduction in stress brought on by a shift toward gratitude for what you have (rather than longing for what you don’t) helps minimize feelings of anxiety and sadness, thereby allowing more restful sleep.
- Greater self-awareness. Gratitude allows you a better understanding of self by turning inward. By keeping a gratitude journal, you begin to dig deep and find something “new” to be grateful for each day. This peeling back the layers of self allows deeper insight into your inner workings.
There’s no right or wrong way to start a gratitude practice, but in the spirit of the season, the best time to start is now! Be kind to yourself as you begin the process; it might not happen every day, but over time you may find it’s part of your morning or evening routine. Whether you journal first thing in the morning to give you perspective on your day or to help you wind down in the evening, know that you’ll be rewarded with benefits that feed your mind, body and spirit.
A gratitude practice turns what you have into enough. With a gratitude practice you’ll notice a definite shift. In your perspective, in your relationships and in your life.
If you’ve ever found yourself at a crossroads in life, wondering if there’s more out there to explore, you’re not alone. Some may argue that if you practice santosha – the yogic philosophy of cultivating a sense of contentment – then there’s nothing else in life that you need. But if you feel the grass could be greener, you can proactively create a life you love. After all, contentment is a choice.
At Retreat in the Pines, we offer weekend retreats so you can step away from the stresses of your life – perhaps even outside your comfort zone – to discover santosha while immersed in our safe and sacred retreat space. View our upcoming retreats here.
Discovering contentment doesn’t need to be a dramatic shift in your life. Making small adjustments in your day-to-day routine will allow you to find change and the greater satisfaction you’re seeking.
The struggle is real. To maintain your energy and balance self care with work, family, friends, life! Maybe that seems a bit dramatic. But when I take care of myself I feel like I can conquer the world. When I don’t, everything and everybody suffers – especially me.
Maybe you struggle with sleep (quality and quantity), eating (the right foods at the right time), exercise (finding the time and energy); know you’re not alone!
Taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally is a must. Anything less and you simply won’t be able to do all that you do.”
First, take time for you. Find new perspective and your tribe at one of our yoga retreats. When you take care of yourself, everything else falls into place. I promise.
Here are a few easy DIY essential oil recipes that make great homemade gifts for the holidays!
Some of our retreats offer DIY Aromatherapy Workshops. Find out more here.
Uplifting Holiday Essential Oil Blend
14 drops grapefruit essential oil
6 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops sage essential oil
Add water to fill a small spray bottle. Use as a blend for any of these fun and easy DIY gift recipes! (You can also find other blends here.)
Do you ever wonder exactly what kind of poisons you’re putting on your skin – just to enjoy the outdoors without being eaten alive? Do you really want to smell like a chemical factory? Due to a very rainy spring season, most of us are having to fend off even more mosquitoes than usual this summer.
Here’s an easy recipe to keep the mosquitoes at bay:
- 4 oz spray bottle
- 30 drops of citronella essential oil*
- 15 drops of tea tree essential oil*
- 25 drops of peppermint essential oil*
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil*
* Use therapeutic grade oil only.
- Fill 1/2 way with distilled or boiled water.
- Add essential oils.
- Add witch hazel to fill.
Test a small amount on skin first to make sure there’s no irritability.
Begin the meditation. Sit in a comfortable spot, close your eyes and find your inner peace.
This guided meditation is from our Sunday morning meditation practice at a recent yoga retreat. It was another rainy morning in the Pines. Usually we meditate on our Yoga Platform, but the rain kept us inside.
Meditation isn’t so much about clearing your mind, but simply training the “monkey mind” to stay in the moment. You can meditate while walking, eating, drinking your morning cup of coffee or simply sitting in a comfortable seated position. Meditation can relieve stress and depression, help you relax and find more joy with family and friends and allow you to get a better night’s sleep.
For more information on how how to meditate on your own, see our recent blog.
Spend a weekend learning how to be mindful in your life and begin your own meditation practice at our Mindfulness & Meditation Retreat.
“One way to get the most out of life is to look at it as an adventure.” William Feather
Discover the adventures that are right before you…an adventure can be as simple as your mindset and as close as your backyard. The more time you spend yearning for that “perfect adventure” that takes you away from your life as you know it, the more opportunities you miss to experience what’s right in front of you. Invite yourself to experience adventure – a new place, a new activity, a new thought – just by changing your perspective.
The dog days of summer are here and even if you do have the money and time for a tropical getaway, why not take the opportunity to enjoy every day adventures? It’s easy to have fun and keep more of your paycheck in your pocket with a few tips to change your perspective and help you have an adventure close to home.
Get creative, open yourself up to new possibilities, engage your five senses, and ask yourself, “What will I discover today?”
Close to Home – Take a road trip; visit a local art gallery; or visit a science, history or art museum.
At Home – Wake up early and watch the sunrise from your porch or a local coffee shop. Stay up late and stargaze. Look at photos of beautiful places in the world. Take a new route to a routine place.