3 Reasons Why Your Team Should Go On a Group Retreat

3 Reasons Why Your Team Should Go On a Group Retreat

Whether you’re part of a religious group, wellness club, parenting co-op, or business cohort, you and your peers likely want to work together to meet mutual goals. Perhaps you want to raise money for a cause, learn how to communicate better, or bring in new members. One of the best ways your group can reach those goals is by attending a group retreat.

A group retreat can be as low-key as attending a workshop in a nearby town, or can be as intensive as a weekend getaway. The most effective group retreats will offer hands-on activities, group coaching, and flex or free time for free-flowing conversation. There are several benefits of group retreats. These include:

Group Retreats Improves Morale

When was the last time your group bonded over a shared experience? Offering your group a morale-booster, such as going on a hike, playing a new game, or cooking a meal together, will help everyone feel more relaxed around one another. This is especially beneficial for groups that have a clear leader or “boss,” because it evens out the playing field. Who wouldn’t love to see their pastor try ziplining for the first time, or listen to their wellness coach share a personal story?

Group Retreats Create Cohesion 

One of the best aspects of a group retreat is that it gets everyone out of their comfort zone. This might intimidate some people at first, but it won’t take long to break the ice. If you’ve never attended a group retreat before, commit to being open to new experiences. Make a point to engage with everyone in your group. You never know, you might find that your coworker you’ve hardly spoken to shares your favorite hobby, or that the younger woman in your wellness group is looking for accountability from a more seasoned person such as yourself. 

Even if everyone in your group already knows one another, a group retreat will encourage deeper personal connections. Through workshops and team-building activities, your group will grow closer and learn how to work more effectively together. 

Group Retreats Promote Personal Growth

Group retreats don’t simply benefit the group as whole — they also impact each individual. A person can learn a lot about themselves when they’re with a group of people. One person might find it uncomfortable to try new things, while another person might blossom from being put in a strange environment. Ideally, the person heading up the group retreat will ask everyone ahead of time what they aim to get out of the experience. You might find yourself learning something new, making friends, or teaching others about your areas of expertise.

Is your group ready to try something new? Maximize the full potential of your team by booking a group retreat!

6 Packing Tips for Sedona, Arizona

6 Packing Tips for Sedona, Arizona

Are you planning to travel to Sedona, Arizona with us in October? This city in the desert is a must visit for nature and/or art lovers, with its vibrant art culture and stunning red-rock formations. Today we’re sharing packing tips to help you make the most of your trip.

Pack proper skincare and makeup

If you’re traveling from a cooler or more humid climate, the dry heat of Sedona might be a shock to your system. Our best packing tips for your face and body include gentle facial cleansers, hydrating lip balm, and body lotion. Items that will moisturize and protect your skin and lips are a must. Sunscreen is a must!

One of the bonuses to traveling to a place known for its natural beauty is that you can embrace your own natural beauty. If you plan on spending time outdoors (which really is a must in Sedona), opt for a tinted moisturizer with SPF over heavy foundation. Swipe on some bronzer and lip balm, and you’re good to go!

Layers are a must

While you might find yourself sweating in the sun during a day-time hike, evenings in Sedona are comfortably cool. The best time to visit Sedona is in the fall, when temperatures range from the 50’s to high 70’s. 

Layers are always a great addition to your suitcase, because of how versatile they are. You won’t need a heavy winter coat for Sedona — a light sweater or jacket will see you through the crisp nights. And don’t forget a bathing suit if your accommodations have a pool, or if you wish to visit a spa! 

Select sturdy footwear

Sedona is known for having excellent trails, so plan to pack sturdy shoes if your plans include hiking. If you don’t typically hike much, look for a pair of quality walking sneakers that have good grip. Two to three pairs of shoes should be plenty for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes and sandals are a must, but throw in a pair of dressier shoes if you wish. Some brands we love: Merrells, Chacos, Keens, and Tevas. Want more direction? Check out this list of 20 best hiking boots and shoes from Travel + Leisure!

Travel in style

Don’t forget to think about what you’ll wear on the plane! Consider items that are both comfortable and stylish, such as a maxi dress layered with a soft sweater. If your goal is to pack light, plan to wear your travel outfit twice — both to and from Sedona.

A carry-on suitcase should be plenty big enough for a weekend in Sedona, but plan to use a larger suitcase for an extended trip. Stash a foldable travel backpack in the front of your suitcase to use on your hike or to bring purchases home in. 

Don’t forget travel accessories! 

Be sure to pack a camera (or use your cell phone for pictures), charging cords, and a journal. You’ll also want to pack sunglasses, and perhaps a hat if you want extra sun protection. Leave your laptop at home if you can — Sedona is too beautiful of a place to spend your visit distracted by work. A collapsible water bottle is convenient for both your plane ride and exploring the sights.

Need more packing tips? Check out this extensive list of items to remember on your trip to Sedona!

Experience Sedona

Experience Sedona

Have you experienced Sedona? For me, it’s like Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the happiest place, but not because of the rides. It’s the energy you get after being on a ride and the magic around you. In Sedona, they call it the vortexes – an amped up energy you get and feeling of being more alive. My first experience from Sedona, Arizona was about 28 years ago with my oldest friend and her family. It was a treat to get immersed in a beautiful place I had never experienced and what is now considered the most beautiful place on earth. We stayed in Flagstaff, AZ and started at the Grand Canyon, but ended in Sedona for most of our day trips. The beauty and energy of the red rock is indescribable – you really need to see it and feel it to believe it.

Red rock country is where everyone seems to go for play and pause or adventure and reflection. It’s a pretty small area about 20 miles with an elevation of 4,500 feet. The red rock formations, Oak Creek and all the positive energy surrounding you take your breath away. In early September, I went back on vacation with my husband for a week and couldn’t get enough. Almost 10 years ago, I was there with some of my closest girlfriends for a week exploring and also had a nice short trip two years ago. All in all, I have visit Sedona over half a dozen times in my life and plan to keep visiting and live my dream to move there one day.

Here are some reasons I need my Sedona fix:

The Vortexes, what’s the vortex about?

It’s been said, that a vortex is a place where the Earth is at its healthiest and most alive. The natural beauty of the Sedona area is a physical indicator, but more importantly, the aliveness shows up in the increased energy. The energy acts as an amplifier, magnifying what we bring to it – in our heart, mind, body, and spirit – a wholistic approach. The level of intention and awareness you bring matters in your experience.

Feeling good, what’s the feel-good, wellness about?

Sedona has been regarded as a place of healing and spiritual renewal.  There are a number of favored spots in Sedona to connect with the energy.  The four major hot spots are Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Airport Mesa. I love all four of these spots. Every single trip, I visit the airport mesa for the sunset and take in all the shades of red and orange and blue sky background as the sun goes down. There are art galleries everywhere to get inspired, over 100 hiking trails to explore and even more healthy culinary spots to feed the soul!

Positive energy, how to pause and play?

The whole Sedona area, they call a vortex, is a place to hit the pause button and be adventurous. We enjoy the Cathedral Rock for hiking, swimming and relaxing.  Meditating there soothes your soul and it’s the most photographed spot in Sedona. The Pink Jeep Tour is fun for the adventure to ride to some of the highest red rock points for the panoramic views. You really can’t beat the views all over Sedona. Whether it’s observing and quiet time or playtime, there is positive balanced energy awaiting.

Wholistic Woman Retreats has envisioned a destination retreat in Sedona, AZ since our formation. Just like the heart stone on a stack of Sedona rocks (known as the symbol of protection) found on this last trip, we are meant to be heart-centered in Sedona in 2020! It’s like the pioneering families settling in Sedona more than 10,000 years ago, we are coming together 10 years later to make our own history. We hope you can join us in Sedona, but if you can’t we are bringing Sedona to you in our last Be You, Be in Sedona session on October 30th. Come feel the energy and good vibrations we bring individually and together to get amped up! We hope to see you! Our website is www.wholisticwomanretreats.com to learn more about our monthly retreats and new destination retreat in Sedona in 2020!

Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com

Be Resilient – A Life Design Accessory

Be Resilient – A Life Design Accessory

Do you ever wake up and plan to accomplish a lot, only to find yourself completely exhausted midway through the day?  Some days feel like we are in the midst of a whirlwind and I am sure I am not the only one that feels that I could dial up the healthy choices when those days occur.  For me, that usually means that I need to get on a track that feels more balanced and calmer.  At those times, we often think about improving our nutrition or carving out more time for an exercise routine, which are great ideas and bring a long term payoff.

However, have you ever considered a resilience makeover?  What do I mean by that?  When I think of the word resilience, I think about the ability to bounce back from all that life throws at us.  What’s a makeover?  Well, have you ever had a makeover of a room in your home?  It might involve hanging a beautiful new picture, or just simply rearranging your furniture.  The purpose of any kind of makeover is to refresh and bring you a new sense of joy… A resilience makeover is similar to a makeover in one of the rooms of your home.  The room is probably fairly functional as it is, but it could use some new life breathed into it!   Typically a makeover doesn’t have to take much time or money but quickly changes the way you feel about that room.

The same could be true with a resilience makeover.  We can redesign our lives the same way we redesign our homes.  And, resilience is what I like to refer to as a life accessory.  Just like great artwork or fun throw pillows are accessories in a room of your home, resilience is an accessory that makes life easier, more fulfilling, and joyful.  And, I think we are all always on the search for anything that brings those things our way!

You may already feel that you are a pretty resilient person. Perhaps you have been through a tough health scare, the death of a loved one, issues surrounding your children, marriage, or job that have caused you to be tested and stretched.  And, perhaps you have come through those very difficult situations, rising about the challenges to return back to normal again.  That is the traditional definition of resilience.  Webster defines resilience as the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.  Think of someone you know who is really resilient, and my guess is that you will think of someone who has gracefully come through an experience that has been fairly life-changing.

I’ve always considered myself to be a resilient person.  My friend Patrice once told me that she admires that I don’t get stuck in the muck.  That was her way of saying that she feels that I don’t tend to allow life’s challenges to make me feel stuck for too long.  However, after reading Bonnie St. James’ and Allen P. Haines’ book, Micro-Resilience, I came to realize that resilience is a muscle we can build every moment of every day, not just in times of life’s greatest challenges.  In fact, the word “micro” refers to small changes, small shifts in our behavior.   And, the book proposes that even very small changes can make a huge difference in one’s focus and energy throughout each day.

If you are like me, there are days that I just don’t feel that I am effectively focusing on the things I want to get done, or lack the energy to do all the things on that to do list.  In fact, some days, I start out feeling motivated and then something happens that takes the wind out of my sails, and it’s challenging to get that ball rolling again.  Sound familiar at all?  The concept of micro-resilience addresses this exact issue.

Micro-resilience strategies are easy techniques that can assist you in recovering more quickly from the seemingly small challenges that inevitably come our way throughout each day.  Daily small challenges may seem insignificant individually, like a dishwasher that breaks unexpectedly, or the frustration of sitting in traffic as you barely make your appointment on time. However these small things can add up over the day causing us to feel completely exhausted, asking ourselves, why am I so tired right now? It’s just a  “normal” day today.

If this sounds familiar, you may find yourself ready to tackle a resilience makeover!  On Wednesday, May 29th, I’ll be facilitating our Be Resilient event.  I’ll be sharing several quick, practical science-based strategies which, when used, can immediately combat the daily energy drains that zap your energy and leave you feeling exhausted.   We’ll discuss strategies to avoid mental exhaustion, and increase your brain’s effectiveness, including the use of laser focus rather than multitasking.  We’ll talk about tips to combat worry and anxiety, and techniques for embracing more positivity.  We’ll talk about ways to refuel and refresh your body for peak performance, and we’ll touch on renewing your spirit by tapping into your purpose and a state of “flow”, a concept made popular by author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book entitled, Flow.

I have been trying out many of the 21 different strategies outlined in the book Micro-Resilience over this past year and can tell you confidently, that they are improving my ability to tap into a high level of energy and focus each day.  Each day gives me new opportunities to fine tune my new approaches, and I have been enjoying the journey. I look forward to sharing more about these powerful strategies with you on Wednesday, May 29 so you might begin a resilience makeover of your own!

Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell.  Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

5 Reasons Why Team Retreats are Good for Your Business

5 Reasons Why Team Retreats are Good for Your Business

Have you ever wondered if team building events are worth the investment? How would developing your people impact the overall success of your organization?

Workshops and seminars are great short-term solutions to teach new skills and strategies. A corporate retreat, however, offers greater opportunities to simultaneously reward and improve your employees. Going off-site, whether for a partial day or multiple days, has many benefits for your employees and the overall organization.

Team Building

During a typical work day, your staff may interact with a limited number of co-workers. Team retreats broaden connections between diverse employees allowing them to engage with co-workers from other departments or shifts. New bonds are formed as they converse in a different setting. When they return to the workplace, connections made during the retreat will strengthen the overall cohesiveness and effectiveness of your workforce.

Stress Relief

Retreats come in all shapes and sizes. Choose one that will most benefit your team to provide a break from their daily grind. In these increasingly busy times, workers can release tension through a variety of enriching activities such as escape rooms, scavenger hunts, creative art activities, obstacle courses, personal development, and more. Corporate retreats are especially appreciated as a reward after the busy season. Send a message that you appreciate your team, recognize their contributions and want them to unwind and relax.

Focus

Retreat experiences offer fresh perspectives as staff members get away from their day-to-day operations. A customized program can take a high-level view to explore company values, mission, and purpose. Then take a deeper dive into the details to discover what is going well and what could be better from their vantage point. Identify gaps and areas for improvement while celebrating successes. Participants gain new appreciation and knowledge as they listen and learn from each other, as well as from the program facilitators. Retreats offer time to step back and evaluate both individually and collectively.

Improve Engagement

Disengagement remains one of the biggest hurdles in the current workforce with only 33% of US employees engaged in their work. Gallup believes that unengaged employees cost companies between $480-$600 billion a year in lost productivity. What’s worse is that unengaged employees can be toxic because they have the ability to turn customers away, too.’

How do we improve the engagement of our teams? Buy-in (aka engagement) develops when team members can contribute their input and feel heard, acknowledged and validated. They feel part of the team when they know that their opinions matter. Feeling heard and respected goes a long way towards team engagement, even if their suggestions are not acted upon. Team retreats provide a safe space for employees to brainstorm and give constructive feedback. Such experiences contribute to a positive work culture with a more engaged staff long after the retreat is over.

Invest in your people

Building on ‘buy-in’, a team retreat lets your staff know that you value them. Give them the gift of going to a special location or doing a fun activity together. Ask them what they would enjoy most and then make a custom experience happen for them. A special program such as Strengths Based Leadership will not only develop them as individuals but will also enhance their effectiveness at work. A health and wellness coach can help their physical well-being which translates to a healthier (and happier) workforce.

Follow up the retreat experience by offering staff several one-on-one executive coaching or personal coaching sessions to let them know how invested you are in their development.

In summary, team retreats are a wise and worthy investment in the success of your business, non-profit, or community organization. How will you develop your team today?

Today’s author: Carol deLaski, PCC, is a strengths-based executive leadership coach who guides individuals and businesses to be their best. For more information about her coaching services, and her book Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith, visit www.caroldelaski.com or email her at carol@caroldelaski.com

Be Balanced – A Wholistic Approach

What does it feel like when your life is in balance?

Does it energize you, leave you feeling relaxed, or is there some other quality that best describes it for you?

More importantly, how do you know when you’ve achieved that elusive equilibrium that we refer to as balance?

I’ve noticed that balance often looks, and feels, different for each of us. What’s great for me may be overwhelming for another. What’s optimal for you may be boring to someone else. What makes us feel balanced is unique to each of us. Only you know what components are necessary for your well-being.

Some of the needed ingredients could be time outdoors, quality time with loved ones, solitude, or time for spiritual renewal. Others may need time with a support group, exercise, good nutrition, music, creative expression…this list could go on and on. Knowing what makes up your personal access code for balance will enable you to achieve it more often.

Our bodies can provide abundant information about how we’re doing by sending us warning signals when we’re out of balance, as well as calming reassurance when we are in a healthy zone.

Many of us experience negative physical symptoms when we are on overload: backaches, headaches, digestive troubles, and sleeplessness are examples of red flags that warn us when we are not taking good care of ourselves. These indicators of stress are signals to slow down, rest, practice self-care, and restore well-being to our lives.

Our bodies also send signals when we are in a positive state of balance. When I’m experiencing a high sense of well-being I notice that I often smile to myself as I go about my daily activities. I appreciate my surroundings and the people I encounter more. I release the striving that often appears when I’m out of balance and gratefully receive what each day brings.

When we begin to pay more attention to our well-being we notice what it feels like to be in, or out, of balance. We learn our own personal warning signals that can indicate when we are getting off track. This is helpful on a daily and weekly basis, but also on a larger scale as well.

As I look back on the past year, I can see that I have had a series of activities that have thrown my balance off kilter. The love of my life moved in with me one year ago and we became engaged on Christmas Eve. That would have been a big adjustment in and of itself, but layered on top of that were a number of family support roles that I chose to take on.

I overextended myself and my physical, emotional, and mental health was impacted by doing too much. An upswing in my business coincided with these changes and even though almost everything was good, I still found myself stressed to do it all…and be it all. Eventually, something had to give, and my warning signals of exhaustion, sickness, irritability, and depression got my attention.

I started pulling back, taking much needed downtime, and making conscious choices that would refill my own tank. I leaned on the tools and strategies that we practice in the Wholistic Woman Community. I sought to understand how my strengths had drifted to the dark side and weren’t bringing the results I wanted. I looked at my energy levels and saw that I had dropped into a lot of caregiver (level 4) energy and started working my way back to level 5, win-win energy. I used my One Word for this year, Joy, as a lens to examine how some activities brought me deep happiness and others did not. Regularly applying all of these strategies helped to get me back on track and restored my optimal balance.

I believe that life is a learning process and that I know how to better recognize my overdoing it…simply because I have over-done it…yet again! With practice, I remember how to find my way back when I get off track, using the tools that have proven helpful over and over again. As I wrote about in my book, Lost and Found…life can be a series of experiences where I lose my way…and find my way again. I’m encouraged to see that I continue to discover, learn, and evolve through the experiences of each year.

The key to finding my way is asking what I need more of, and what I need less of, in order to achieve the balance that is right for me. I ask myself what I need on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis to make healthy choices. It’s not a perfect system. Some days I can’t get what I need, but with self-awareness I can make sure that I get it in the next day or two in order to maintain a weekly, monthly, and yearly sense of balance.

In the Wholistic Woman community we focus on developing our body, heart, mind, and spirit in the life-long process of integrating all parts to become whole. At the May Evening Retreat, Be Balanced, I will lead women through a short self-assessment to identify how satisfied they are with their well-being in these four areas of heart, mind, body, spirit.

We will discuss strategies and tools to improve our satisfaction in each area. Women will leave with actionable steps to lead a more balanced life. I invite you to join us for this interactive and lively discussion to find your optimal balance. Click here to learn more and register for the Be Balanced Evening Retreat.

 

Today’s Author: Carol deLaski, PCC, is an executive coach, founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats, and author of Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith. Learn more about her coaching and training services at www.caroldelaski.com or email her at: carol@caroldelaski.com.