Preparing for an Online Retreat so you get the most out of it.
When I do an online retreat I prepare for it like I would any conference or event. I like to make sure I am ready:
- I think about the word retreat and what that means to me. For me it is a step back to re-examine or reconsider. A chance to put my heart into something that is important to me.
- I show up fully for it, ready to watch, listen and learn. I look forward to it, mark it on my calendar, block the time out and I don't let other things get in the way of it. I commit.
- I make sure I have a rug hooking project on my frame, ready to go. I learn so much better when I can hook as I listen to speakers.
- I let people know that I have a retreat planned and I talk a bit about it as if I would for any special plans. My friends will often ask me about it after, and they know that I have special plans that weekend. I let people know I won't be available that weekend so they don't make plans for me.
- I make sure I have hot beverages ready, great coffee and tea and some special healthy snacks that I can grab easily.
- I prepare my lunches ahead so they are ready for me to grab in the fridge. I keep this simple. Last time I had some soup frozen in the freezer.
- I plan my clothes as if I was packing to go away! I make sure I have something comfortable to wear that I feel I look good in. I want to be cozy and feel good.
- I get up in the morning and do my hair and make up and get ready for the day as if I was going to an in person workshop because I am! I am going to be with real people on the live workshop.
- I plan a little exercise for each day, usually a short walk.
- Sometimes after the first day I plan to meet up with some friends for a dinner out in the evening just so I can decompress a little. And it feels good to take a break from the learning. Also, it adds something special to the weekend to be able to share or debrief my day.
- Sometimes throughout the day I turn off my camera for a few minutes and do a little stretching and get up and move a bit.
- I think about zoom etiquette, I don't walk around with my computer camera on as it difficult for others to watch. Also I don't eat on screen. I just turn my camera off if I need to move or eat. I do have a coffee with my screen on though, that's ok.
- I let people who are in my house know that I am online with other people and that I don't want to be interrupted unless of course there is something very important.
- I go to bed early the night before and try to be as rested and ready as I can be.
- I treat it like a real event because it is!!! It's so real and fun and I get to meet new people and learn something I'm really interested in.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick