How We Create a Personal Retreat

What is it that we love so much about the Holidays? Is it the connection? The downtime? The coziness of it all? I don’t know about you, but there is nothing better than a roaring fire and some comfy PJs. Forget the parties, my happiest holiday celebrating happens on my couch!

As we move through the next several weeks, it may be important, if not essential, to find ways to relax. I believe that you have to be intentional if you want to chill out. The conditions must be just right–and there is a formula I follow to make this happen, not just in December, but all year long. So this month, both Kennedi and I are sharing how we create our own “personal retreat” and hopefully, inspiring you to make yours something that will be your place of calm this season, and beyond!

If you follow my instastories, you know that I am a pretty avid reader, and for me, this is when I find my zen. I get up each morning before 5 am and head to my living room to settle in–and depending on the day, either for a good hour or for just a few minutes before I work out. Favorite morning hack: setting a timer for my reading light to turn on at 4:45 am, so it’s ready and waiting for me to come down the hall!

I brew my cup of Philz Coffee, Silken Splendor to be exact (you can take the girl out of San Francisco but…!) and enjoy it in my favorite keep-it-hot-forever mug. Then I light the fireplace and set up camp on my sofa. During #renobystyleberry we converted our woodburning fireplace to gas and it’s one of the best decisions I made! I love it so much, and it definitely adds of my morning quiet time vibe! I cozy up in my favorite robe and my comfy blanket and settle into the quiet. Silence is my favorite sound, and enjoying a few moments in it is the very best way for me to set the tone for my day.

I find almost all of my book selections from fellow readers + entrepreneurs I follow on Insta. I put books on hold at the library and grab a new stack weekly. Sometimes I buy my favorites, but at the rate we go through books in our house, the library is a necessity. I tend to flip back and forth between a fiction book and a business book, so I often have a couple going at the same time. Reading for knowledge and pleasure seems like such a luxury, but it only happens because I make it a priority. Creating time for my version of a “personal retreat” is a part of my life rhythm. I think that’s the only way to really make it happen.

While it seems most of my “personal retreat” is composed of mostly what I do there, the conditions do have to be right. Small details matter. I need quiet (fireplace only!), comfort (down pillows, blankets, soft clothing), and the right lighting (soft white lightbulbs). I need something to occupy my mind (good books), and something to savor (delicious HOT coffee please!). A few favorite things have become part of this practice (psst: some of them would make amazing gifts!!):

The end of the year always throws me into get everything done mode, and on top of that, my social meter is filling up quick with holiday parties and gatherings. In the midst of busy-ness, it’s essential for me to take time to myself to retreat, rest, and recharge, even for just a few minutes a day.

In my ideal future, I can imagine my retreat as an office with floor to ceiling windows, a personal library, and a roaring fireplace. But my reality is, I am in my 700 square foot apartment with a video of a fireplace on my tv and a lukewarm Starbucks coffee. I love our little space, but the truth is it’s hard to retreat when you have two rooms to choose from. The topic of retreat really made me think about what my version of retreat actually is, how I created it, and how I use it on a daily basis.

It was easy to figure out where my retreat is, because I can picture exactly where I sit when I’m trying to chill out. It’s on the left side of our sectional, closest to the arm. I sit with my legs criss-crossed, use a throw pillow as a table for my computer or a book, and almost always play relaxing music. This is where I spend a few minutes first thing in the morning reading and journaling, and where I gravitate if we are settling in at night to watch a movie. What makes my retreat so cozy to me is the reading lamp I turn on before the sun comes up, the side table next to me with my favorite candle and a place to set my coffee, and a throw blanket close by if I want to get extra comfy. I realize my retreat is actually less about the space and more about my routine and mindset when I sit down. The best part about creating a retreat for yourself is that it doesn’t have to be an extravagant space, or even a whole space at all. You just need a simple spot in your home that gives you the room to relax and exhale.

We both encourage you to consider creating a little oasis in your very own home. One thing that we never regret investing in is ourselves, and this is such a wonderful way to take care of YOU!

Stay tuned for our dream retreats…because it can’t ever hurt to daydream design. It’s one of my favorite things to do! It’s good to have goals!

Styleberry Creative Interiors is a Full Service Interior Design Firm based in downtown San Antonio, Texas, specializing in fresh, relaxed design completed in a thoughtful, caring way. With a team & design process you can trust, we’ll create a space, and experience, that will help you finally exhale.

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