Mary Canane, LMHC

Healing With Nature Blog

When do you Retreat? | Healing With Nature Blog | Mary Canane, LMHC

When do you Retreat?

I looked up the definition of the word retreat and discovered that the origin of the word means “to draw back from”, it is “the act of withdrawing to a place of safety or seclusion.” As a noun, it is a “place of refuge or privacy.”

Our lives can get pretty busy and stressful. As a counselor, every day I see the effects of stress on people. Stress tends to have huge ripple effects into people’s health, relationships, job performance and can fuel addictions. We all know the studies that prove what effect stress has on us. Masking the stressors by working harder, denying health issues, drinking or overmedicating compound the accumulative effects of stress. This creates symptoms that become more difficult to change, creating more stress! Illness, divorce, money problems and addictions can, most of the time, be prevented!

So, what can be done to mange or reduce the effects of stress? Looking to retreat and draw back from all the stressors in life can also have a ripple effect. So HOW DO YOU retreat? What choices do you have each day to take a break, get out in nature, meditate, or play with a child or pet? Consider what ripple effect that would have on your health, emotions and how you treat others. How can you retreat on your day off? Can you spend some quiet time alone to reflect on the choices and possibilities that effect how you handle stressors in your life? Prayer, walks in nature, mindfulness in the present moment are all choices that can be placed into your routine to reduce the effects of stress.

Going to a place to retreat for a purposeful opportunity to unplug from daily responsibilities, from technology and from busyness can bring much needed recuperation and rejuvenation. But, much more, it can be a time to be alone and connect with your soul and listen for what you truly need to feel happy and fulfilled. Curiously, what I have discovered about myself, by retreating, has been courage. Promoting and marketing retreats takes me way out of my comfort zone but the inner desire to create these experiences with others pushes me on. I’m not really that adventurous, yet I have taken people to swim with wild manatees, a horseback riding camping trip, and white water rafting. I’ve fallen off horses ( and gotten back on ), braved the rapids twice, got lost on a biking trip and many more exciting adventures, so I have learned a lot about courage while letting passion be the driving force.

I also looked up the word treat. It means “ to attempt to heal or cure”, or can mean “ anything that affords a particular pleasure or enjoyment.” So what about Re - treating what you need? To treat what needs to heal means to become aware of your needs and continue treating until healed or cured. What about Re - treating yourself to fun, relaxation, new experiences and pleasures? What do these choices do for your soul?

It’s up to you to choose what ripples you wish to send out into the world. Can we really change the world with our everyday choices?
I think so!