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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

48: How My Home-Health Retreat Went

the hard cover book, Nine Perfect Strangers by Lianne Moriarty is surrounded by fruit, has incense placed on the cover and a burning incense intruding from the upper right corner
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Howdy! So last week I mentioned that I was inspired to have my own modest home-health retreat, by the setting for Liane Moriarty's novel, Nine Perfect Strangers (the review of which, I posted, here). I listed the schedule I hoped to follow, as well as what I planned to cut from my week (social media, video games, junk food) and what I wanted to include (waking early, exercise, eating better, spa-time, and an early bedtime). Here's a visual on how that went:

Here is a marker board listing the schdule I posted last week. i checked off the activities I completed.
I checked off the activities completed.

As you can see, waking at 5am died about half way through the week. Even when I succeeded at going to sleep when I went to bed, my body was crashing at work. Waking up at 5am, after exactly 8 hours of sleep, had me nodding off at my desk. As a compromise, I went to bed on time and didn't set an alarm, curious as to when I would naturally wake up. The answer, was a little after 7am. That's a full ten hours of sleep, which frankly, isn't practical for the average working adult. Being a wellness retreat, I prioritized adequate sleep over following my schedule, and, I certainly feel better rested for the change. By the end of the week, I'd ceased nodding off during the day.

In the book, characters exercised outside while watching the sunrise. I did wake up early enough to see the sunrise multiple times. Unfortunately, my neighborhood is all trees and tall houses. There honestly isn't much to see, and it's too buggy for outdoor yoga. Our neighborhood is mostly duplex rentals and the landlords don't spray. On the one hand, that's better for the environment. On the other, we spend as little time in our yard as possible. I did try to work outside early in the week, to get a little Vitamin D, but the bugs won and I headed back in.

Exercise died too, beyond taking walks. I like Zumba more than yoga. It's just fast paced enough to hold my attention. Unfortunately, I've been having foot pain on and off since beginning Zumba. While Tranquilum offered a trained masseuse and medically skilled personnel, the only person maintaining my wellness is me, and I'm no good at massaging my foot. During spa time, I've been soaking it in the footbath, but the pain persists. It's dull, and less severe when I wear sneakers, but noticeable. To not exacerbate it, I've taken a break from Zumba.

I haven't stopped showering as the chart indicates, but rather I've been taking them in the afternoons. It felt like cheating to check them off. Sleeping until seven doesn't leave a ton of time for showers.

Eating healthier hasn't been too hard. I only bought fruit, nuts, fresh meat, etc for the week, so I didn't have the opportunity to make less healthy choices. My husband made bread one day, so I did eat more carbs than I foresaw, but being homemade, at least I knew the ingredients weren't a ton of processed, unpronounceable sugars and preservatives. At least one meal per day was a shake, or a shake, frozen berries/grapes, and walnuts. Most days I had a single meal of two eggs poached in tomato sauce. The remaining meal varied. If hungry between meals, I snacked on frozen fruit, had a shake, or ate walnuts. I didn't mind the break from drinking. I already don't drink often so that wasn't a major difference.

As for the effects of my dietary shift away from processed junk food, my skin cleared up. wasn't trying to lose weight and haven't noticed if I did. I do feel less bloated then a week ago.

Up until Wednesday, I was doing well avoiding social media, staying off the news, not playing video games, etc. I was unplugged. And that proved beneficial for me, productivity-wise. Even nodding off, I still got a lot more work done this past week than is usual for me. Then I had a dear friend text me, asking if I was safe. Naturally, I checked the news, which was a mistake. I won't touch more of the tragedy here, in case you're on your own wellness journey. Suffice to say it's all I thought about the rest of the day. Thursday, as planned, I did hop onto twitter for a pitch event. Early on, it was obvious it wasn't going well, and I absolutely could have hopped off fairly certain I wasn't missing anything of value. Instead, I checked back on and off all day, getting wrapped up in updated from the previous days' news story. Eventually, I acknowledged I was doomscrolling, and hopped off. But, I was less productive Thursday, than any day this past week.

I've mediated before and haven't felt that got much from it, but I added 2 half hour sessions to the schedule because they were on-theme. While I completed them, I still don't really get the point of not thinking for a while. I was hoping I'd get to a place where I'd see some interesting visuals or arrive at an insight, which didn't happen.

My husband did the lite version of this retreat, basically just eating better, snacking less, taking part in spa time every day, and occasionally joining in on walks. He exercised on his own, during breaks throughout his day. He didn't cut out video games, social media, or drinking, but cut back on all three. He went to bed earlier than his norm five out of seven nights. He enjoyed the spa time and eating better. He also liked reading over gaming, after work, just not every single day.

Unlike Masha, we don't have any illicit substances in or home, so we did not partake in LSD or shrooms this week.

Of the above, what I'd regularly integrate into my life style, is eating better, though not to the extant of this week. As in, I really like meat, but maybe I don't need so many sweets. I will continue doing Zumba but I'm planning to look into other exercise games on the Switch with less of an emphasis on footwork. I would like to keep going to bed early, but not at 9, when most people are still awake. I think cutting back on social media is good, but cutting it out is impractical for me, professionally. It's how I promote my painting and my writing. Still, I don't need to check it every couple of hours, and I'm better off not using it during the work day. I want to stay in the habit of walking my dogs at least once a day. I fell off the habit when we got them a yard, but the exercise is good for both of us, and they love it. I'm not going to cut out all alcohol, but will continue to only drink on occasion.

I hope you found this idea, schedule, and my experience, helpful! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Toodles and thanks for stopping by!

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