Treat Yourself to a Retreat

Remember my Top 100 List (of ways to pamper myself)? I just added going on a retreat to that list.

I recently returned from a women’s retreat in Minnesota where twelve women came together from across the U.S. and Canada to delve more deeply into self compassion, our strengths and our purpose. For four days we challenged ourselves to look at how we showed up in this world while experiencing giving back, supporting one another, and giving ourselves this time to retreat. It was four precious days for all of us to put aside our very full lives and do something just for us; a time to relax, reflect and feel rejuvenated.

We also celebrated each other for all sorts of accomplishments: one of us turned fifty over the weekend, a few women declared they would start looking for new jobs, one woman was singing in an off-Broadway musical the following week. We rejoiced in who we are, not who we think others want us to be. I was lifted up by these amazingly courageous women. I was reminded that I am enough despite the gremlins in my head who tell me otherwise. I was also reminded of the healing power that comes with gathering with like-minded women.

This Sunday, my friend Harumi and I will conduct our next Fuzzy Red Socks Workshop and I am so looking forward to making the space for women to gather for four hours of sacred quietude with yoga, meditation and SoulCollage. It’s only four hours, not four days, but even in that short amount of time, the soul can be quieted and the spirit can be lifted. In fact, I have been known to feel refreshed and full of new energy with just four minutes of meditation.

I invite you to find some time today to treat yourself to a retreat – no need to fly across the country, just have coffee with a friend, share a spa day with your sister, or sit quietly in meditation for a few minutes. Let the warmth of friendship, the pampering, the dedicated time for SELF wash over you so you can relax, reflect, and feel rejuvenated.

Top 100 List
Harumi Yoga+

Watching the Clock


I know something’s up when I check my watch in Yoga Class and say to myself, “When will it be OVER?” I know I’m sliding down a slippery slope when I am going over my to-do list while in downward dog. And then the next day I choose to skip yoga all together. This past week has been like this. I realized I was losing focus while meditating. So I just chose to not meditate at all – add to that eating poorly including too much sugar and skipping lunches. By the end of the week I spent an entire day feeling lethargic and wanted to do nothing but crawl back into bed. At 10 a.m. I wished it was bedtime so I could go to sleep and start over the next day.

These dark days sneak up on me usually because I have stopped doing the things I do for self care – the things I know allow me to rest, reflect and feel rejuvenated. That’s when depression hits and even the bright Arizona sun can’t help me get out of the funk.

I’m getting better at recognizing these days and have a plan for them. If I’m lucky and they happen on a weekend with no appointments or commitments, I put on my fuzzy red socks, make a cup of tea, and curl up with a good book on my comfy couch. I get out my Top 100 Things to Pamper Myself List and pick one or two. This week, once I realized what was going on, I chose to take a walk after dinner with my husband. I immediately felt better. Then I made a list for what I’d do the next day to make sure the darkness didn’t return. I went to the grocery store and bought salad makings for a healthy lunch, I made plans for the evening to do something fun, and I got back to my writing with this post. Eventually, I forgot what time it was and started to feel like myself again.

Today I feel the cloud cover is gone and I have my mojo back. Once again, taking care of myself got me back on track and made me feel whole. In fact, I think today I’m not even going to wear my watch.

Top 100 List (Part 2)

Thank you to all who commented on my last post with ways you pamper yourself which included (I’m adding these to the list started in my previous post):

9. Get a manicure
10. Go for a walk
11. Meditate
12. Go kayaking

I had the first three already on my list, but I can’t kayak close to my home here in the Arizona desert. I can, however, go swimming in my pool. I know swimming isn’t the easiest way to pamper yourself; it involves changing clothes, putting on sunscreen, enduring a few seconds of pain when you first jump in, and then of course, if you get your hair wet, you’ll have to wash it afterwards, right? I have yet to find a swim cap that really keeps the water out – what a hassle.

But there is something about that feeling of fully immersing myself in the water which is just so luscious. It all seems worth it as I dive under water and spread my arms and legs like a frog while the blazing sun warms the surface and invites me to come up for air. There is something about the feeling of fully immersing myself in the cool turquoise water where sound and sight are diluted and I feel totally separated from any worries, troubles, or fears.

Immerse yourself in the pleasures of being pampered

Immerse yourself in the pleasures of being pampered

My point is that if you fall short making your own Top 100 List of Ways To Pamper Yourself because, like me, you were having a tough time coming up with only ways that took 20 minutes or less, know that there are times when you deserve more than just twenty minutes. Take a whole hour, an afternoon, or even a whole day. Go get your hair wet and immerse yourself in the simple pleasures of pampering yourself. Keep adding to your list and don’t stop until you reach 100.
More from my list (what’s on yours?):

13. Go swimming and get your hair wet
14. Call a good friend and just chat
15. Make yourself a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate
16. Light a candle
17. Call a friend for a lunch date
18. Watch old Seinfeld re-runs that will make you LAUGH
19. Use your special china even though it isn’t a holiday
20. Listen to music
21. Write in your favorite journal
22. Watch an old movie
23. Take a nap
24. Get a facial or give yourself one
25. Write a poem

Top 100 List

On days when I feel blue, things can seem pretty dark even with the bright Arizona sun shining in my windows. Depression usually gives me no warning, but I am getting much better with how I deal with it. I call it my Top 100 List.

A dear friend and Life Coach Reggie Adams recommended this years ago, and I’ve been building on it ever since. It’s a list of things I can do to pamper myself. I think she meant for me to look at this list before depression hits, but it doesn’t always work that way. Here are some examples from my list:

  1. Buy Myself Flowers
  2. Do Yoga (even if you only have time for 10 minutes of sun salutations)
  3. Eat a Healthy Snack (make it pretty and sit down to enjoy it)
  4. Read a Book (curled up on the couch in your fuzzy red socks)
  5. Scrapbook (play with your photos)
  6. Write a Letter (maybe even to yourself)
  7. Sing Loud and Proud in the Shower or Car
  8. Take a Long Hot Bath

This week I found myself feeling blue, so I chose to add a new idea to my Top 100 List, a foot soak my friend Charlotte found on Pinterest. In a little more than 20 minutes I had slipped from feeling lethargic to feeling positively lovely again. Here’s the recipe for the foot soak:

Pamper Yourself Using Your Top 100 List

In a large basin mix: 1/2 cup Listerine, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup of very warm water.

Soak your feet in the warm mixture for 15 minutes. Dry both feet completely and wrap one in a towel while you work on the other. Use a pumice stone, pedicure paddle or even just a dry towel to rub the entire foot, focusing especially on the dry calloused areas. Add lotion and enjoy soft, silky skin.

Stay tuned for more ideas to pamper yourself next week.