The WanderWomen Overnight Retreat Enabled Me to Breathe Again

I must admit, I was apprehensive about going on the weekend away, thinking I should be busy doing other things like washing, taking the kids to football games and spending time with my family. I was taking a break for me which is something I haven’t done since before my son was born nearly 13 years ago. It felt wrong and selfish! However I knew I needed to something because I have been struggling with anxiety and grief which was beginning to overwhelm me. Living through the pandemic has been tough for everyone, it’s altered what we value as important to us. I know I was burning out and I needed to stop the fire.

When we arrived, the first thing we did was to walk through the woods in silence. This caused my anxiety levels to shoot up as then I’d have to actually think! After this short walk, I cried with people I’d never met before. I was shaky and felt a bit silly, never having done that before. However as I got to know these new people and started to find out more about them, I quickly felt at ease.

We swam in the sea together, a group of supportive and non judgemental woman encouraged me to give it a go and I forgot about things for a while. After feeling cold, I started to feel amazing because I’d done something new and challenged myself. I felt younger. I loved it and can’t wait to go back.

Walking through nature, watching the fire, camping and hearing the deer and owls, listening to a sound bath and experiencing meditation were all so helpful for me to realise that I need to start looking after my well being. I stopped looking at the news and my phone, cutting myself off from it all for a while as it does start to consume you. I’m not sure how it when it became that way but putting it away in my bag was like a weight being lifted.

Sometimes you maybe need to step away from the normal routines to fully appreciate where your head is and what you should do next. I was allowed to do that this weekend and a week later, I still feel calmer and in control. On another positive, my blood pressure is now normal after it being high for about 6 months. Nature did its work!

I feel like I can breathe again. I remember that feeling and I don’t want to stop feeling it, so I’m taking some of the advice I learned and intend to now move forwards instead of sideways.

If, like Fiona, you think you might need a break, there are still some spaces left on the WanderWomen Overnight Retreats for the following dates:

3rd July – Nature Journal Overnight Retreat

7th August – Forestbathing Overnight Retreat

4th September – Wildlife Awareness Overnight Retreat

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