Although there are many events that can be personally and professionally advantageous, retreats can be particularly helpful. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that retreats tend to contain workshops that offer you information and advice regarding how to excel in all areas of your life. Additionally, retreats give you the opportunity to get away from your traditional work setting and socialize with your fellow coworkers in new, refreshing ways. To ensure that you make the most of your next retreat, consider implementing the following strategies.
1. Bring Snacks.
Oftentimes, retreats are held at hotels or lodges that feature delicious meals and snacks that you’ll love. In many cases, however, you may find that the food offered does not conform to the dietary guidelines you’re currently conforming to. For example, I am a raw vegan whose diet is mostly comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although the buffet offered each night did feature things like garbanzo beans and salads, the food choices were still scarce. To solve the problem of a lack of food choices when you go on a retreat, bring a bag of snacks that you can enjoy.
2. Take The Retreat Seriously.
One of the wonderful things about retreats is that they’re often held in relaxed settings that make people feel as if they can let their hair down. Despite the fact that the ambiance of a retreat generally transcends the world of stuffiness and office protocol, however, they are generally still designed to accomplish some significant purpose. For example, the retreat that I attended last weekend featured a series of teachings on topics such as forgiveness, the person and purpose of the Holy Spirit, and how biblical families should operate. The point of all these teachings was to help attendees develop the spiritual maturity necessary to maintain an ever growing relationship with Christ and others. It was not the type of information to be taken lightly or discarded and forgotten. I took many notes during the session and strived to pay close attention to the ideas articulated by the speakers.
3. Get Away From Your Group.
Although socializing with people you know at a retreat is definitely a good idea, spending some time alone is also a prudent thing to do. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that being alone gives you the opportunity to reflect critically on the information you’re receiving. And while socializing with others can be fun, it can also be an intellectually and emotionally taxing endeavor. Because this is the case, it’s important that you spend some time alone while on your retreat. In her own discussion of the benefits of solitude, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter notes that solitude contributes to better concentration and increased productivity. Thus when you return to your group after having been alone, you’ll be full of new energy and livelihood.
As mentioned earlier, going on a retreat can be one of the most rewarding ventures you engage in. By following the strategies outlined above, you can have a great time and return home relaxed and rejuvenated. Good luck!