In this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Melissa Mueller-Douglas, the founder and facilitator of MYRetreat about self-care and retreats. Melissa started MYRetreat on her 30th birthday to support herself and the other mothers in her life.
These retreats are 90 minutes long, which means in the time you could watch a movie on Netflix, you could do something important for yourself. Melissa says that the moments of silence in the retreat are powerful because it’s the first time in a long time women are sitting intentionally with their thoughts and themselves. The pause helps women realize everything and everyone they are putting ahead of themselves. It helps many people start to put themselves first. Creativity bubbles out of it and they become better caregivers, mothers, wives. They understand themselves and their purpose better.
Melissa shares a mindfulness and gratitude practice that can be part of what you are already doing.
She has a great planner tip — make a Got Done list. Make a list of things that are important to your self-care, like exercise, play, family and friends, mindfulness, and gratitude. In your planner, write down any time you do something related to one of these areas. You can even color-code it with one color for each area. Look back and reflect on your week. See what you got done!
We talk about:
- Making a got done list
- How to incorporate something new into something you already do to avoid overwhelm while exploring new interests
- The idea of rotating to avoid burnout—so some people can take a break while other people step up
- Saying no to things that don’t serve you or your purpose
- Using chocolate (or another treat) to engage the senses and help you be mindful
Melissa Mueller-Douglas, LMSW is the founder of MYRetreat, the retreat where mindfulness and gratitude meet. She is celebrating her 9 year wedding anniversary and is the proud mama of two enthusiastic and creative kids. She believes self-care is a necessity and with chocolate mindfulness it’s luxurious.
- Read Post Tramatic Slave Syndrome
Doable Changes from this episode:
- MAKE A GOT DONE LIST. So many of us make endless to-do lists. We’re good at writing down the things we need to do. But what if we started giving ourselves credit for the things we got done? Use your planner to write down things each day you got done—especially the things related to self-care. Use categories like exercise, play, mindfulness, family and friends, or whatever categories are important to you.
- SAY NO TO SOMETHING. Next time you are asked to do something, pause. Ask yourself if the task or project serves you or your purpose. If it doesn’t say no. Look at your current commitments. Which serves you or your purpose? You can step away from the others.
- PRACTICE CHOCOLATE MINDFULNESS. Get a piece of good chocolate. Feel the weight in your hand. Notice the sound of the wrapper opening. Notice the color, the shape, the texture. Bring the chocolate to your lips, notice changes happening in your mouth or body. Take three deep breaths. Take a bite. Notice the flavor, the texture, the feel. Savor it. (Melissa walks you through the process here.)