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May 15, 2024 3 min read

Hey there, everyone. Brendan here once again. As part of Nakee's continued coverage of Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to discuss a potential resource that at first may seem impractical or out of reach for a lot of folks, and that's the idea of retreats.

It's a term you may have heard before, but you may not be familiar with what retreats actually are. They are not, as some naysayers would like to argue, vacations or excuses to avoid work; nor, for that matter, are they all like those strange sorts of events like the ones Gwyneth Paltrow showed off on Netflix for some reason. Optimally they are instead a venue for connecting with people dealing with similar issues and often with similar life experiences, allowing you to learn new coping strategies and access other beneficial resources. These retreats often take place at specialized

There are a number of personal benefits that can arise from completing a retreat. My personal favorite, though, is the idea of learning new skills for handling the many stresses of life. Coping strategies, different exercises (yoga is a prominent one in many retreats, as are breathing exercises, which we've discussed in multiple blogs previously) and other ways of keeping oneself mentally and physically steady are a great addition to any toolkit. Though these can often be learned independently, attending a retreat and seeing these techniques in action with others can help reinforce their importance and potential benefits.

Additionally, retreats usually offer an opportunity to disconnect from the world at large, usually through restrictions of varying veracity against the use of technology and social media while attending. Severing these ties may at first seem like a hindrance, releasing oneself from those shackles for a time can help lend greater perspective on things both literal and philosophical. Cutting off the ability of headlines and “circle back” emails to dominate your view can be a great boon for one's sense of stability.

One of the benefits of retreats becoming more popular as a concept is that there are a widening variety of them, attuned to a variety of different interests and clients. One of the most interesting is that of the business or corporate retreat (another term you may be familiar with), where co-workers go together. Again, this may conjure images of cringe-worthy 'motivational speakers' and bad acronyms proselytizing about workplace harmony or cubiclefeng shui. A well-done corporate retreat, though, can help with bettering communication and morale, helping build trust and relationships and lending a greater insight on the perspectives of those working around you. There may even be more of a reason to go on them in a world where working from home is more prominent, as it can enable stronger connections.

Of course, the big thing that puts people off of attending retreats is a lack of time or financial ability. That's certainly understandable! Something that Steffani and I discussed recently was the idea of a home retreat, involving an itinerary assembled from different things you can do at home. One of the methods I suggested, partly because I use it myself, is journaling my thoughts, feelings and struggles on a given day; putting things to paper can help them feel more real and give a greater idea of how to complete tasks and overcome obstacles.

Though it may not have all the effects of attending a full-on retreat, there's something to be said for getting to do that yoga session with your cat in attendance! Here's a few interesting links with guides and suggestions for a DIY retreat:

Through some of our many wonderful friends within the worlds of health and culture, Nakee has had the opportunity to support a number of different retreats over the years. In fact, as we speak we're working with our dear friends of Barefoot & Free Yoga on supporting their Sunshine Retreat.

We highly recommend checking out some of their events, as well as those from our buddies at both Manifest Movement and Retreat to Reclaim. They're some brilliant, inspirational folks who are helping to make peoples' lives better each and every day, and we're glad to chip in our support. 

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