How to Plan a Personal Retreat

Are you worn out?  

Feeling empty?

Constantly feeling stressed?

It might be a good time for a personal retreat.  Taking a little time in order to fill up could be a total reset for your heart, mind, and body.  With just a few considerations you can put together a day retreat with little trouble at all.

When planning a personal retreat, consider:

1. Location. Location. Location.  

You need a quiet place where you can get away.  Sometimes just changing your surroundings for a few hours can be so refreshing.  It might require a bit of preparation, but it is definitely worth it.  

When considering the place, it might be worth it to picture yourself there and think about whether it feels life-giving to  be in that place.  Do you get excited? Feel peaceful? Those would be clues to help you know if this would be a great place for you.  

Don’t be scared to ask. Maybe you have a friend who would be willing to share their home for a day or even their cabin. Yes, you might get turned down, but you also might be blessed! You won’t know until you ask.

How to Plan a Personal Retreat

2. Consider what you truly enjoy.

Give yourself permission to plan things you really enjoy doing or things you would like to try.  Remember that you only want to try a few of them at one retreat. 

  • Art (or a hobby)

  • Writing 

  • Music

  • Nature activities

  • Exercise 

  • Bubble bath

  • Cooking 

  • Pampering yourself (face mask, paint your nails)

  • Photography

Also, what are small (or large) indulgences that you enjoy?

  • Favorite foods

  • Hot tea/ coffee and favorite creamer

  • Burn a great candle

Make yourself a list of activities you would like to do and keep a list of those things you will need in order to execute them.

How to Plan a Personal Retreat

3.  Evaluate what your biggest needs are right now.

Plan your retreat accordingly. 

For example, if you are exhausted, maybe you should focus on God’s strength or provision and plan activities that would be restful for you.

If you are anxious or stressed, you could focus on the peace of God and choose activities that will help you release stress. 

4. Pull into God and His Word.

Spend time dispersed throughout your retreat where you pull into your verses. Even if it is just one verse that you press into for the entire time, that is great!

  • Take the verse or the verses and look at them in various versions. Find one that you really love that speaks boldly to your heart.

  • Read it many times out loud to let it get deep into your heart.

  • Rewrite the verses in your own words. Consider what it is saying to you personally.

  • Try to draw out what kind of picture has developed in your mind as you have rested in this verse.

5. Build yourself a plan for your retreat.

Take a moment and ask the Lord to help you as you begin to plan. Pray for Him to give you wisdom and insight into what will make this personal retreat special for you.

See all these parts mentioned as puzzle pieces. Choose some aspects of each section to include in your retreat. Consider what you feel like you need the most and lean heavily toward this aspect. You could even use sticky notes to write one thing on each note that you would like to do and move them around to find a great flow that seems peaceful.

A retreat example:

  • Turn on some music and pray over your weekend.

  • Spend some time praising the Lord in worship and praise.

  • Grab some paper and color pencils and just spend some time drawing from the nature around you.

  • Use your verse(s) and spend some time in step #4.

  • Take a walk or do some stretching exercises.

  • Run a bubble bath and indulge.

  • Read your verses out loud to yourself until it seems to go deep in you.

  • Spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord to share with you what He wants to say to you and write down what He is showing you.

Tips for a better retreat:

  • Have a notebook set aside for lists.  Often times when we are trying to turn our thoughts to the Lord, we tend to think of all the things that we need to do for the next day and the next week.  So if you keep a place for thought dumping, you can just take a moment to record the bothersome thought on a list.  You will know you can set it aside and come back to your list when your retreat is over.  

  • Unplug.  Warn all the people who are close to you that you will be unplugged.  Set boundaries for yourself.  Choose ahead of time when you are going to check your texts and only deal with emergencies—genuine emergencies.  Just because someone thinks they are having an emergency does not mean that you need to deal with their stuff in your few hours set aside for filling up…resist taking that time to pour out.  

I want to bless you with a prayer that you can pray over your day. Click HERE and enjoy this free download as you make space to spend time together with the Lord.

You can also click HERE and receive a whole packet of information to help you plan your own personal retreat!

We also have a list of daily affirmations you can speak over your day.