Backyard Holistic Getaways

Backyard Holistic Getaways

Backyard Holistic Getaways

by Sophia Harmes, PhD.

It has been two years that most of us have been cooped up or have been limited to where we can go our travel.  Are you ready for a vacation or better yet, a holistic getaway?  

There are a variety of holistic retreats that offer various services and activities geared toward nourishing our body, mind and spirit.   Attending one of these getaways is a significant cost ranging from hundreds of dollars for a single day per person to thousands of dollars for a week per person.  Holistic getaways are usually located at pristine locations where there is lots of sun or there are beautiful natural landscapes.  The services provided may include daily meditation sessions, nature walks, massage and spa activities, yoga, hydroclonics, a variety of self improvement classes, etc.. 

What if you can’t afford these pristine holistic getaways?  An alternative is to create your own holistic getaway in your home or backyard. This is a great idea to spend time with family creating your holistic getaway space.  It is also an opportunity to teach children about a holistic lifestyle.

Here are a few suggestions of how you can create and enjoy your own holistic getaway.  Take your scheduled vacation time from work as planned.  Instead of traveling to a far away destination, consider creating a backyard sanctuary with the theme of your favorite vacation spot.  Or plan a backyard camping experience or go to a nearby campground.  Pitch a tent or pack the camper and live out of it for a week instead of sleeping in the house.

Whatever you choose to do begin each day just as you would at a holistic getaway.  Start every day with a family meditation session.  Then add some simple yoga poses even if it’s just a stretches.  Take this opportunity to teach your family how to meditate even if it’s only for just five minutes to start.  After a few days increase the time by a minute or two.  Try to reach a goal of aboaut 15 minutes.  Do this outdoors in order to become grounded with nature.  Meditation and yoga stretching sets the tone for the rest of the day.  It will help to make the days experiences more enjoyable.

Plan a nature walk or a bike riding excursion at a nearby park.   Even your neighborhood can serve as a great place to walk and ride bike.  Wherever you choose to go take the time to enjoy the scenery.  Admire local gardens and landscaping.  Listen to the sounds of nature as you walk or bike. This activity could be incorporated as part of your morning meditation and yoga stretching time.

Do something very different and incorporate an old fashion picnic into your schedule.  You know the kind where you pack a picnic basket and put a blanket on the ground for everyone to sit on and eat the picnic meal.  Drive, hike or bike to a beautiful location or a park with lovely scenery.  Enjoy the scenery while you eat the food in the picnic basket.  Pack the family's favorite cold foods and snacks.  Foods that are healthy for you and are easily transportable make great foods for a picnic basket.  Great foods to add to your picnic -cold fried chicken or favorite sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salads, cheeses, pickles and olives, red beat eggs and beets or cucumber and onion salad, a tossed salad,  fruit, etc. (and maybe a bottle of wine).  So set up a blanket or some chairs at that beautiful location,  sit down and enjoy the food you packed in your picnic basket as you enjoy the scenery around you.

Hot summer days always warrant a trip to water.  Whether the backyard or community pool, ocean, lake, river or nearby water park, these are great ways to spend the afternoon.  Its a great time to have fun as a family while safely enjoying hours of fun in the sun. 

Summer is a great time to plan to attend local music festivals, visit farmers markets and buy local fresh produce, or go to local festivals and fairs.  These activities can be an opportunity to expose children to great music, local food sources and have a great time doing it.  These experiences create enjoyable and memorable times for your family to bond. You get to hear great music or you can purchase fresh products, and you can see and learn about the local products that are grown in the area you live in.

Create your own backyard sanctuary in a space of your choosing .  Incorporate a theme and the things that you like to be around.  This will enable you to relax and enjoy the scenery you have created in your own backyard throughout the summer.

Whether you travel somewhere or create your own bank yard sanctuary the point of all this is to relax, recharge and enjoy yourself and each other.  It is time for us to enjoy what we have around us and to get out into nature if we can.  Relaxing in your backyard santuary, doing a little traveling or camping as your own holistic getaway can help to reduce your stress levels and promote overall good health.  Doing activities at home or locallyreduces travel time and expenses while contributing to a reduction in our individual energy footprint.  Creating a backyard sanctuary enables the family to enjoy it throughout the summer and is a good activiaty to do together if you can’t afford to go on one of those expensive holistic getaways.

First appeared in Therapeutic Thymes Magazine, Summer 2022, Issue 23.

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