Recipe for a Mini Retreat
Theresa Polley
October 28, 2019
October 17, 2023
Self Care

Can you remember the last time you did something for yourself? Then, think about the last time you did something for somebody else. If you drew a complete blank trying to think of something you did for yourself (taking a three minute break from work e-mail to read this doesn’t count!), yet came up with an immediate list of ten things you did for others, it may be time to schedule time to take care of you.

If you only have an hour to spare, this is for you. All of these options can be done in the comfort of your own home, you can also take a mini-retreat outdoors.

Know that pausing to take much needed time for yourself will not put you behind. It will actually allow you to get ahead!

Research has shown the more time working mothers spend taking care of themselves equaled improved physical and emotional health for their children. Read more here.

How to Create Your Mini-Retreat

Schedule It – Set a specific time. Make childcare arrangements if needed. Block off time on your calendar. DO NOT make last minute plans or commit to something else.

Set an Intention – An intention is not a goal. To set an intention contemplate what you need – to be mindful, discover peace or reconnect to yourself.

Prepare Your Space – Tidy and clean the area of your home before your mini-retreat. You don’t want to be tempted to do chores during your retreat time.

Make Plans for Meals – Have something already on hand (prepare it yourself or pick up something). If you enjoy cooking, let that be part of your retreat. Gather all of the ingredients so you don’t have to make a last minute run to the store (nothing kills a sense of calm like a busy grocery store!). Put on some music, pour a glass of wine and enjoy cooking a nutritious and delicious meal just for you.

Turn Off All of Your Devices – Including cellphones, tablets, laptops, TVs.

Set the Mood – During the day, open the curtains and enjoy the sunshine. In the evening, use candles or a lamp to create a cozy feeling. Buy flowers from the grocery store or bring greenery inside. If you enjoy a scented environment, use essential oils, choosing oils for a calming effect or oils for an invigorating effect, depending on your intention. Put on soothing or uplifting music for your mood.


  • Pamper Yourself with a Bubble Bath, Face Mask or a Manicure/Pedicure
  • Seek Out Peace and Quiet - then Journal, Meditate or Sit Quietly and Observe
  • Nurture Your Creativity - Writing, Painting or Drawing, Knitting, Photo Scavenger Hunt, Coloring or Creating in the Kitchen
  • Read - Something you’ve always wanted to read or An old favorite..
  • Do Something You Enjoy but You Don't Make Time for on a Regular Basis - Yoga Class, Bike Ride, Nature Walk or Gardening.


  • Binge watching
  • Social media and new
  • Chores
  • Work
  • Any mundane daily activity that you “need” to do

Spend your time doing the things you want to do, not the things you need to do. Make your Mini-Retreat a part of your routine by adding it to your calendar. Pausing to push reset will allow you to find rest, renewal, a new perspective and so much more.

Start planning today.

Of course, if you’d like a little bit of community with your down time, join us for a retreat. Retreat in the Pines is the perfect place to press pause and nurture yourself with good food, yoga, wine and a healthy dose of laughter, enjoying nature and the support of other women. If budget is an issue, check out our retreat assistance program.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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