You missed your youth group’s Winter Retreat because you had basketball practice, and your church just announced that the Spring Retreat is the same weekend as your sister’s 12th birthday. Urgh, life is so hectic, you know you need a break… but you know that you need to stay home and tend to other responsibilities. So, what do you do when you’re in need of a retreat, but you can’t commit? Create your own! It’s easier than you think to make your own spiritual retreat, and it’s something you can do whenever you need a little rest from the demands of the world. Here are nine tips to help you generate the a relaxing and effective spiritual retreat.
Designate a Significant Time
You don’t need an entire week for a retreat, a weekend or even a day will do the trick. But, the timing needs to be significant. You need to mark it down in your calendar and plan around your retreat; otherwise you won’t gain the necessary benefits.
Clear Your Schedule
Don’t let a last minute text to go to the movies with your friends distract you for your intentions to take a break from the world around you. Get your homework done before your designated retreat time starts so you don’t feel the temptation or pressure to work on it instead of spending time with God.
Do Something Physical
Go on a hike, or do some sort of physical activity, preferably outside in God’s nature with fresh air. Physical activity connects you with your body, releases stress and clears your mind so you can see the world in a new light.
Dig into the Word Morning, Noon and Night
Read scripture or a devotional, journal about what God is doing in your life, do a study once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once between dinner and bedtime. Your nose doesn’t need to be in the Bible your entire retreat, but you do need to return to the scriptures throughout your retreat.
In Between Bible Readings
Continue to reflect on God between Bible readings by listening to worship music, taking a nap (yes this can help you focus on God), drawing, journaling, writing, playing games, memorizing scripture, spending time in silence, praying.
Invite a friend
Have a friend join you. The Bible says that whenever two or more are gathered, God is in the midst (Matthew 18:20). He will be there if you decide to do your retreat alone but His presence may be more apparent if someone else is sharing in this time of rest. By having a friend available, God may speak to you through that other person, which is always awesome! Plus, your friend might need the break too.
Allow yourself to take a bath, give yourself a massage and eat some chocolate, ice cream or your favorite dessert. Really indulge. Don’t count catching up on your favorite TV show as an indulgence. Do something you rarely do as an honor to yourself and to God.
Turn off your phone, don’t check social media or email, put away your computer and refrain from watching TV. The world will continue on without you, but you can catch up after you’ve spent time with God. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by trivial information.
Early to Bed
Plan on an early bedtime, even if you aren’t able to sleep right away, enjoy reading in bed, praying or thanking God for the time He’s given you to do this retreat.
Tell us how your retreat experience went! What tips did you use, and what advice can you share with other readers? We want to hear from you, so message us on Facebook, or hashtag #nineChristianMagazine.