Here’s how you can DIY a weekend retreat for you and your friends.
How To Get Started
Check in with 4 or 5 friends and see who’s interested in a morning weekend wellness retreat.
Pick a date, identify whose house is best suited for the morning activities and you’re set. If no one can host, you can always meet at a park.
Here’s a basic structure – it can be tailored to your groups goals. I’m going with a basic DIY model, but if your group is willing or able to pay for a mediation or yoga instructor, that’s great too!
Kick off your event with a 30-45 minute Happy Hour Hike. Meet at a local trail, amble, chat, and set some intentions for the weekend. Grab dinner afterwards to close out the evening.
Saturday (8 -11am)
Meet up at someone’s backyard for coffee, teas and a light nosh (fruit, yogurt, mini muffins, etc).
Play relaxing music and have everyone settle in for a 20 minute journal session. Offer prompts such as: what gifts do you bring to the world? what are your 20 best attributes? what would your best friends say about you?
Next up, it’s time to breathe. Sit comfortably and start with a very simple breathing exercise. Inhale on a 4 count, hold for 4, exhale on an 8 count. Do this for a minute then let everyone breathe normally for the next 5 minutes. You can also use a guided breathing exercise for the Headspace or Calm app.
Take a 10 min break for water, chatting, the bathroom, etc.
Regroup and go for a walk, hike or run. It’s ok for the group to break up based on interests or fitness levels. Just plan to meet back at a certain time.
Close out the morning by allowing people to share their journal entries, discuss goals, intentions, appreciation and then outline the next day’s activities.
Sunday (9am to Noon)
Meet for a light breakfast at someone’s home. Allow enough time to get settled. Ask for reflections on the previous day and start with a group meditation for 15 minutes.
From mediation, move into a yoga practice. Either have someone in the group lead it or utilize a fitness app or YouTube.
Take a break for 10 minutes.
Repeat the journaling exercise from the previous day selecting a different prompt. Allow 20 minutes for this activity.
The last main activity of the day (before lunch) is a one hour hike. Decide, based on your group, an appropriate terrain. This should be an opportunity to connect vs ‘race you to the top’.
Lunch will close out your retreat! You can go to a restaurant or have a potluck, picnic or bbq and make sure you make it celebratory and festive. Ask that each person share something unexpected they learned or what they’ll take away from the experience.
Of course, you can fashion your retreat in any fashion you like. It’s a fun way to connect with friends on a deeper level and find common interests!
Now go run!