Autumn and winter are a vital time to nourish the body, mind and spirit – perfect for creating your own wellness retreat right at home. Harvest brings abundance of color, a generous surplus of food and the opportunity to tune in and prepare for the coming winter. As the sunlight deepens and shadows shift, we can take nature’s cue to inventory our own inner changes. While leaves turn into crispy golden versions of themselves you too can harness the transition of the seasons and transform your health.

So, treat yourself to a personalized wellness journey that you can enjoy from anywhere, any season. A do it yourself retreat that brings into balance your whole self.

Here’s how…

Movement: Download a Yoga or Pilates App

In the yoga tradition, the body is the physical manifestation of spirit and expression of the mind. Breath and meditation are essential components that reduce the effects of stress on the body and new research is continually demonstrating how detrimental stress can really be to our health. Yoga and Pilates are both great ways to bring the principle of mindfulness to your daily routine.

Meditation: Ten Minutes A Day Keeps the Blues at Bay

The monkey mind is a real thing. Trying to stem the racing thoughts and growing to do lists is a tricky balance of attention and intention. Start by turning off your phone and computer for ten minutes. Use this time to take deep cleansing breaths and set a simple intention to take this small amount of time just for you. When you return your attention to what needs to get done, you may find you have more focus and tranquility to do it.

Japanese Gardens

Photo: Tangopaso via Wiki Commons

Activity: Nature and Endorphins

Getting enough exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system, stimulates digestion, immunity and endocrine systems. Endorphins are neurotransmitters; a powerful brain chemical that acts and feels like a drug to relieve pain and mediate stress. It is associated with the pleasure response and is released during exercise. Endorphins help clear the mind, increase positive mood give your body a boost.

These benefits are supported even further by participating in outdoor fitness like hiking or kayaking. Cultivating a relationship with the body is important and there is no better place to enjoy it than outside. Get your heart rate up and a forest bath at the same time!

Meditation California

Photo: Graham via Wikimedia Commons

Hydration: Water

It is estimated the human body needs between 2-4 liters of water a day. Getting enough can be a challenge and truly hydrating the body properly requires electrolyte balance to keep hydration in check. Like most things, hydration is about harmony between internal and external health so what goes in must come out. The body’s largest organ is the skin; a powerful channel for absorption and elimination. For over 2,000 years the Finnish have been using saunas to facilitate this process and restore vitality.

Supplement your daily routine with a good sweat and then rehydrate with coconut water or add apples, mint or cucumbers for natural flavor. And remember, for every caffeinated beverage another 8oz of water is needed to offset the diuretic effects.

Water droplet

Photo: Jose Manuel Suarez via Wikimedia Commons

Nutrition: Healthy Foodie Preplanned and Prepped

Simple meals are often what feel best to our bodies. They are easier to digest and make nutrition more readily available where it’s needed most. It can be argued that even though it’s “simple” it still requires some planning. This is the caveat to great nutrition.

These foodie-friendly tips will boost your personal chef confidence!

  • Buy local and in season. Wherever you are- by supporting the local food economy you are supporting the community and the planet’s health as well.
  • Prepare snacks and meals a couple days in advance. Mason jar salads for example are a perfect way to have a hearty lunch. Layer your favorite veggies and drizzle a tasty dressing. Voila! You can also make a pot of oatmeal, add fresh berries, seeds and nuts for a power packed breakkie. For the in between meals, sip a hot cup of miso and maintain steady blood sugar with vegan friendly protein. Quinoa, kale, spinach and lentils are amazing sources of protein.
  • Get your sugar fix naturally with fruit smoothies. Add probiotics, maca, and collagen powders to bring it to the next level.

Nutrition is the best way to whole body wellness and it can be its own medicine.

Veggies for health

Photo: Pixabay

Sleep: How Much Does Your Body Need?

Essential to building a reservoir of wellness, sleep is a natural preventative to the effects of stress on the body. Optimal wellness begins with optimal sleep. The body preserves cellular health and corrects inflammation, balances weight and strengthens memory all during sleep. To get the most out of your wellness retreat give quality sleep front and center. Favorite eye pillow? Bring it. There is some speculation about the amount of time someone really needs for adequate snooze. It is safe to say a solid 7 hours will keep you prime.

Sleeping feet

Photo: Pexels

Indulge: Make a Sugar Scrub and Light a Candle

What makes you feel super duper special? Do you adore a spa day? Love a mani/pedi? Silk underwear? Whatever it is find its simplest form and add a bit to your wellness retreat. If it’s chocolate, be sure to pack a rich cocoa powder. Maybe enjoy it while you bathe in the greenery of nature. Bring a candle on your hike to the hot springs and enjoy an evening soak. Make a simple and luxurious brown sugar scrub by adding a dollop of honey, almond or safflower oil, lavender essential oil and a drop of vitamin E. You will love the way it makes your skin glow- especially after a sauna.

Candles diy wellness retreat

Photo: Pexels

The important thing to remember is

This journey to wellness belongs to you. It is your time to give yourself the much needed respite you deserve. A do it yourself wellness retreat can be done anywhere you feel called. Book an Air BnB, campout in a rustic cabin or stay in a luxury hotel. Make it your own experience and be as creative as you can be. Drop out of the race for a moment and drop in to your own sense of being. Enjoy your wellness retreat and may the calm be with you!

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