By Shelley Sharp, guest testimonial
I recently spent a few days on a wellness retreat at Miraval Austin to jump start my own self-care practice. After many years of sitting in front of a computer, I knew I needed to start focusing on my overall flexibility and especially mobility in my hips. Miraval offered many sessions for stretching, yoga, foam rolling and more and I was determined to try every type of class and find what works best for me.
Below are a few insights I had along the way that are helping to engage my self-care resolutions.
Schedule Self-Care Time.
A fresh new calendar is a perfect canvas to create new routines by scheduling self-care. Your priorities are what you make time for, so add time blocks (10, 15, 30, 60 minutes) for stretching, meal prep, reading, or creating if those are important to you. Think about how you would fill in the blank: “I wish I could ___________” and then do it! We each have 168 hours each week – take a few hours for yourself.
Find Your Fit.
Are you on the phone all day and crave quiet time? Try a yoga or art class. Or are you on the computer all day and crave connectedness? Think about what YOU need most. Self-awareness of your unique and specific needs will help determine your self-care practice. Reward yourself with time to slow the pace, or be creative, or try a new type of workout. And remember: Just because your office mate loves Pilates or CrossFit or Running… doesn’t mean you will too.
Explore a new interest
(not related to your nonprofit or organization’s work.)
To me, Miraval was part summer camp, part Zen zone, part cooking school, and part fitness boot camp. I took part in many cardio classes and was very surprised to discover that my favorite was kickboxing. There was such a sense of awareness and strength. Shake up your current fitness routine by trying something new. If you are a runner, try hiking. If Zumba is your go-to fitness class, try cardio drumming.
Get outside, breathe & have some fun.
We also had the opportunity to visit Cypress Creek Farm and learn about beekeeping, raising chickens and plant-based cooking. I participated in daily nature hikes, slack lining and archery. The outdoor adventure activities are some of my favorites as they encourage personal growth as well as physical activity. Completing the 40-foot high aerial challenge course gives you a jolt of adrenaline and a strong boost to your confidence.
Disconnect from your tech.
Miraval is also a digital device-free zone where you are encouraged to Look Up. It was refreshing to unplug and look at the sky, birds in the trees, and actual faces of those around me instead of looking at a phone or laptop. Time spent with family and friends in a mindful and meaningful way is truly priceless and allowed me the personal time I needed to connect with others, and myself.
About the Author: Shelley Sharp is a consulting associate with Connect for More who facilitates strategic planning and board retreats, provides guidance for board governance and marketing strategies, and serves as an interim chief executive for nonprofit organizations. Shelley earned her M.B.A. from George Washington University where she focused on strategic planning and international marketing. She is the former CEO of the Ryan Nece Foundation. In addition to consulting, she volunteers her time with the University of Tampa and LAMPLighters.
Leadership Retreats & Mindful Meetings at Miraval
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