Doesn’t it feel as if everything begins anew in the fall? After a long summer of high-temperature days, crisp mornings feel fresh, energizing, and purpose-filled.
But there’s also the danger of overextending ourselves with work, school, and too many commitments to list.
Even if you can’t make the annual women’s fall retreat at your church, setting aside time this month for yourself—to breathe, recharge, and shift your focus back to what matters most—is important.
So whether you have a long weekend or just an hour, here are 9 ideas for your mini fall retreat:
- Book a stay.
While perhaps the most obvious retreat option, nothing beats renting a cabin out in the middle of nowhere with your best friends. Spend a few days deep in conversation and God’s Word. Start a Bible study, talk about life around the campfire with s’mores—anything to bring your focus back to the most important commandments in the Bible: to love God and others.
- Visit a monastery.
Most monasteries offer humble accommodations and peaceful quarters for you to spend your time in reflection and prayer with God. Turn off your phone, and spend hours reading Scripture, praying, and listening for God’s voice without the distractions at home.
- Schedule a staycation.
Sometimes you can’t get away for a whole weekend, and that’s okay! Find your quiet time when your roommates are out or your kids are taking naps to light a candle, brew a strong cup of coffee or tea, and settle into a good book. Mini retreats don’t have to be extravagant.
- Steal away to a museum.
If you love art, head to the nearest museum, where you can browse echoing halls of masterpieces at your own pace. And if you feel inspired, pick up a canvas on your way home to try your own hand at painting without the critics.
- Get outside.
If your house isn’t a place of quiet and relaxation, lace up your sneakers. Head for the woods to take in the gorgeous colors of fall, or pop in your headphones to shut off the outside world. (Did you know you can buy audio downloads of your favorite Lifeway Women studies?) And if you’re not in the mood to break a sweat, take a drive down the most scenic route in your area.
- Bake cookies.
Set the oven to 350°, turn on your favorite music (no one will judge you if it’s Christmas-themed!), and bake the first cookies of the season. We recommend snickerdoodles, but really any cookies will do—it’s the process of sifting and mixing and kneading that’s so therapeutic.
- Throw a party.
This one’s for the extroverts! If you prefer to relax around your favorite people, invite everyone over for a campfire. Toast marshmallows, roast hotdogs, and serve warm mugs of apple cider. Is there anything more quintessentially fall?
- Take your pick.
October isn’t complete without a trip to the farm. Invite your friends apple picking and head back to make apple pie together, or swing by the pumpkin patch and try carving pumpkins with your kids. (It’s worth the mess!) Laughter is truly good for the soul.
- Host a pot luck.
Love parties but not the stress of planning for them? Ask your guests to bring their favorite fall snacks—caramel apples on sticks, slow cookers brimming with chili, pumpkin-spiced popcorn—and join you for a season-inspired movie.
To help add a little fun to your mini-retreat this fall, we’ve created a blank checklist, Scripture cards, and recipe cards for you! Click here or on any of the images below for a PDF of the printables.