About 10 years ago, the moment school recessed for the summer, I was looking for some kind of spa, or resort, or even a treatment center, where I could go and be pampered and not have a care in the world for a week or two. I needed my own brand of “detox.”

A teacher experiences a lot of wear and tear during the school year. Good self-care is the only thing that keeps us going. When your body says you need some “down time,” it’s best to heed the feeling, lest the feeling manifests into a real medical complaint.

I went online and quickly discovered that there was no freakin’ way I could afford to go to a retreat on a teacher’s salary. But teachers are innately resourceful.

On one site I read through their monthly calendar of “activities.” I smiled my resourceful teacher smile. I BET I CAN REPLICATE THIS, I said to myself. I bet I can create my own “Do It Yourself Serenity Retreat.”

First I made a two-week generic calendar. Then I penciled in my own specialized form of everything listed at the $12,000 per week spa: Swimming, yoga, mediation, massage, healthy meals, walking for exercise, coffee shop socializing, reading, relaxing to music, etc.

Then I called a friend who lives in the Wood River Valley of Idaho. “Can I come stay in your guest house for two weeks? You won’t even know I’m there.”  I explained what I had planned, and he readily agreed to help me out.

I retired from teaching three years ago, but I continue to return to my restorative place every June, after snow melts, and before the heat of summer. I come home refreshed and renewed, and without going into debt to do so.

Consider creating your own special sanctuary today. As long as you unplug the phone and turn off the computer, you may not even have to leave home!