One of the programs of The Healing Trust, beyond grantmaking, is our Healing for the Healer retreats. The Trust has offered them since 2008 as a way to say thank you to helping professionals in our community by providing a free day of rest, relaxation, and self-care centered on the belief that the healing and wholeness of service professionals matters as much as the clients they serve.
In an effort to honor the health and safety of participants and staff, we have chosen to host virtual retreats in response to COVID-19. We know the need for rest and connection hasn’t gone away with the demands of a global pandemic, so we’ve moved these retreats online in a modified format.
What to Expect While We Gather Virtually
Our virtual gathering will meet on Zoom for two hours and will follow a modified version of the Circle process. Each gathering consists of no more than 12 participants, and you’re encouraged to keep your video on during the gathering, although it is not required for participation.
Each gathering consists of:
- Opportunity to get to know others in the helping professions
- Questions that prompt personal and professional reflection
- Breathing and/or meditation exercises for relaxation
- Poems, readings, and other forms of written word from diverse voices
- Teaching and/or discussion on various forms of self-care
Preparing for Your At-Home Retreat
There are some aspects of Healing for the Healer that we cannot replicate as we practice physical distancing. However, there are some aspects you can replicate in your home as we gather virtually together. Here are some things that will help foster a relaxing environment for your at-home retreat.
1. Prepare your space.
- Make your space magical. At a typical retreat, we set our chairs in a circle with a centerpiece consisting of flowers, candles, rocks and shells, and other objects of significance. Consider creating your own space like this that is different from your typical work from home set up. Get cozy by a window or go outside, light a candle, grab your pet, and pour your favorite drink to sip while we gather.
- Limit distractions if possible. Find a private space as you’re able. Consider asking others in your home to hold their requests until after our gathering.
- Set your Zoom background. Consider changing your Zoom background to a relaxing scene, such as the beach, the woods, or a lit fireplace. This can be helpful if you prefer to have others not be able to see into your home. Click here for instructions.
2. Plan your day.
- Decide on lunch. In the spirit of making this day feel special, consider treating yourself to something different for lunch by ordering delivery, curbside pick-up, or stopping by a drive thru. Consider making your lunch if you’ve been eating out frequently.
- Block off your calendar. We’d be meeting for a full workday if we were able to gather in-person. Consider giving yourself at least half a day to focus on rest and self-care beyond our virtual gathering. Put it on your calendar so others know you’re not available during this time. Activities are listed below (with links) so you can begin thinking about practices you might enjoy and any supplies you may need.
- Check out our self-care planning guides. We created a free downloadable guide for planning your own day of self-care in addition to a self-care toolkit with a variety of free or low-cost self-care tools. Look to these resources for inspiration.
3. Reflect on what you need.
- Here are some practices to consider incorporating into your retreat day or to use as inspiration for other self-care practices you may enjoy.
If you need to move your body:
- Free yoga classes on YouTube
- Take a mindful walk
If you need to get creative:
- Free downloadable “Coloring for Resistance” coloring pages by Radici Studios
- Painting watercolor flowers video tutorial
If you need your soul spoken to:
- Readings of “Poetry for Tumultuous Times” from On Being Studios
- A Care Package for Uncertain Times from On Being Studios
If you need to relax and reflect:
- Meditations from Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Variety of gratitude practices from A Network for Grateful Living
If you need to make a plan:
- Self-Care Plan templates (weekly and emergency)
- Self-Care Wheel with various ideas for self-care
Have questions? Contact Abby Hyman, blog author and retreat facilitator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Excited to attend? Click here to register.
Abby Siegel Hyman and Ashiya Swan are the facilitators for the Healing for the Healer retreats.