There is not a more accurate picture of joy and merriment than a group of girlfriends having a good time. Every woman needs a community of friends she can call up at any time, laugh with about silly things and celebrate the beauty of womanhood.
But sometimes the chaos of daily life prevents women from spending wholesome, uninterrupted time together; friends may find it difficult to catch up without distractions and worries pressing in. Sometimes in order to nurture friendships, a weekend retreat is needed.
Autumn is the best time to plan a getaway for friends. Chilly foggy days mean hay rides, bonfires and innumerable cups of tea; such a cozy atmosphere inspires festivity and fellowship.
To help you create a lovely autumn girls retreat, I’ve compiled some tips below.
1. Find a nice, quiet spot to hang out for the weekend
Choosing a peaceful setting is key to a successful getaway. Whether an Airbnb, a church or your own home, make sure that your surroundings are simple and tranquil. A living room with comfy sofas is pleasant and encourages intimate conversations.
2. Bring lots of pillows, blankets, sweaters and patio lights
Autumn means cold dark evenings! Creating a space of warmth and comfort is easy to do with fleecy blankets and plenty of pillows. Go to your local thrift store and buy oversized sweaters for each of your friends as gifts. Hang patio lights from the ceiling or light candles on the coffee table. These small gestures will make a world of difference.
3. Make sure there is no shortage of caffeinated drinks
Tea and coffee are a necessity. Especially if you stay up late talking and laughing!
4. Plan, but don’t plan too much. Leave time for resting and having impulsive adventures
Oftentimes the best adventures are the results of not planning. Keep an idea of what your friends might enjoy doing, but don’t make a tight schedule. Go with the flow – get a feel for the social dynamic of your group.
5. Read some devotionals together or work on journaling prompts
No retreat is complete without journaling and self-reflection. Make time to sit down with an empty notebook and smooth ink pen. You can find thought provoking prompts at Journaling Sage and Daring To Live Fully.
Other sources of inspiration and spiritual fulfillment can be found in 365 Devotions to Embrace What Matters Most by John Michalak or Wonderfully Made: Devotional Thoughts on Becoming a Beautiful Woman of God by Ramona Richards.
6. See what the town has to offer
If your retreat is close to town, make sure to scope out the best coffee houses and local events. Buy fresh produce at a farmer’s market or collect books at a library sale. Many cities have heritage festivals and music concerts on any weekend you choose! These open ended activities often lead to unexpected adventures, meeting interesting people and discovering local treasures.
7. Enjoy the beautiful things in life
Slow down. That’s what retreats are for after all! I highly recommend going for a walk with your girlfriends to awaken your senses. Take in the pine-scented air, notice the dappled sunlight on the sidewalk; simply be grateful for the small details of nature around you.
8. Remember to encourage each other with hope and confidence and empathy
Above all, make your retreat about friendship. Women who celebrate each other and build each other up have a special bond – a powerful connection which brings strength and loveliness to their lives.
So don’t hesitate to call up your friends! Refresh your souls with comradeship and relaxation.
– Image credit: Alisa Anton