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13 Ideas for Your Solo Spiritual Retreat

Last month, my husband and I made the decision to go on separate vacations this summer. He went to Vegas with his buddies and I went on a spiritual retreat for three days on my own.

I had been feeling unfocused, run down and spiritually drained for the last few months. I needed some clarity and balance, and now I’m here to share my experience.

A solo spiritual retreat can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. It’s all about taking the time to focus on your spiritual well-being. You will learn 13 ideas for how to make the most of your solo spiritual retreat.

A boho AirBnb is the perfect place for a solo spiritual retreat

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What is a Solo Spiritual Retreat?

Many spiritual centers offer collective retreats where you focus on your spiritual well-being with others. But a solo spiritual retreat is simply a time away from the world, where you focus on your spiritual well-being in solitude.

Solitude gives you a chance to focus on your individual needs rather than be at the mercy of a group schedule or focus on topics pre-chosen by retreat leaders. Being by yourself gives you the freedom to hone in on your spirit and your own needs and to do so in silence.

How Long Should a Retreat Be?

A spiritual retreat of any kind can be a variety of different lengths, but ones that are at least three days will give you the depth and quality you are looking for. Depending on your preferences, the retreat can be as long as you’d like. If you struggle with silence or being alone, a shorter, three-day retreat may be best to stretch your comfort zone. But if you enjoy solitude, you may get the most out of a seven to ten-day retreat.

The key is finding what works for you spiritually and financially. You might want to take a ten-day retreat, but your wallet says you have enough for three nights in an Airbnb. Three days is most certainly better than no days at all.

My Solo Spiritual Retreat Experience

For my own retreat, I chose to go to an AirBnB in Taos, New Mexico for a few days. While there, I spent my time meditating, reading tarot, hiking, looking at artwork in town, and generally existing in silence.

I could go to bed when I felt tired and wake up when my body was ready. I did a lot of writing: from blog articles, to journaling, to working on my novels.

It was intensely nourishing to be away from the bustle of regular life and to have a break from my kids. Obviously I love them more than anything, but to be able to allow my brain to reset itself was exactly what I needed!

13 Ideas for a Spiritual Retreat by Yourself

There are no rights or wrongs for a solo spiritual retreat. Here are thirteen of my own suggestions based on what worked for me.

1. Find somewhere in nature.

Woman walking alone in nature

Although religions make indoor spaces “sacred,” there is no better place to connect with the divine than in nature. In fact, the main spiritual enlightenments of many spiritual masters were all outdoors. Buddha became enlightened while meditating under the Bodhi tree. Jesus was tempted by the devil during a forty-day walk through the desert.

A wild, natural space can be the best setting for your solo spiritual retreat. It doesn’t have to be in the middle of nowhere, but a place where you can feel small and insignificant in comparison to the grandeur of nature. This humbling experience can help open your mind and heart to things beyond yourself.

If you live in an urban area, you may need to travel a distance before you find somewhere that suits your needs, and if you live somewhere rural, a simple trip to a local Bed and Breakfast close to a nature preserve or State park may be just what you need.

2. Set a loose schedule.

While a group retreat will have a more structured schedule that you must adhere to, a solo retreat gives you much more freedom. You can sleep when you want, eat when you want, and spend your days how you please.

Of course, setting some structure for your days is still important. This will help give your solo spiritual retreat more purpose and focus. You may want to be awake by nine, start your day with meditation, and spend some time outdoors. Or perhaps you’d always like to start your day with journaling followed by breakfast.

The key is to ensure that this schedule is loose enough that it doesn’t become a burden but also not so loose that your days become aimless and unproductive.

3. Leave all substances behind.

A spiritual retreat is not a place for alcohol, cannabis, or micro-dosing on shrooms. This is a time to be clearheaded and present. Leaving behind substances that could alter your state of mind is vital for a clear and focused solo spiritual experience.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. If anything, solo spiritual retreats are some of the most fun you can have because you get to be completely selfish with your time. But the fun comes from your clear consciousness and allowing yourself to be filled with childlike wonder!

If you regularly use substances for recreation, I would recommend taking a solo spiritual retreat at least once without them to see what kind of experience you have. You may be surprised at how much more clarity and focus you have without them.

Of course, if your religion specifically uses substances for spiritual experiences, consider them a spiritual tool and bring them along.

4. Plan healthy foods.

A healthy salad with veggies, fruit, and egg

In most religions worldwide, what we put into our bodies is sacred. This is because our bodies are temples that house our souls. So it’s important to be mindful of what we put into them, especially during solo spiritual retreats when we want to be as clearheaded as possible.

The best way to do this is to plan ahead and pack healthy foods. This doesn’t mean you have to live on raw vegetables and hummus, but try to avoid processed foods and excessive amounts of sugar.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re hydrated, so plenty of water is a must. And if you’ll be spending time in the sun, pack some healthy snacks like fruits and nuts to keep your energy levels up.

5. Try fasting.

There is a reason that many religions around the world include fasting as part of their sacred practices and rituals. Fasting can be a powerful solo spiritual experience as it helps us to realize how truly connected we are with our bodies, the world around us, and the divine.

Fasting can be done in many different ways. You could try a practice of fasting while the sun is up, preferably on days that you plan on a lot of rest and meditation. But you can also try intermittent fasting, which is a little easier and gentler on the body.

With intermittent fasting, you utilize the time you spend not eating while asleep and lengthen it on either side of your day. Perhaps you wake up and don’t “break your fast” until noon. Or perhaps you stop eating at 3:00 pm and don’t eat again until the following day at breakfast.

Not only is fasting spiritual, but it is also healthy for our bodies, the temple of our souls. Make sure that if you choose to fast on your retreat, you get the all-clear from your doctor ahead of time.

6. Bring some spiritual books.

Spiritual reading is a great way to pass the time on your solo spiritual retreat. It can also be a great source of wisdom and clarity if you struggle with specific issues.

There are many different types of spiritual books out there, so it’s important to choose ones that will resonate with you. If you are looking for something light and easy to read, you might want to try a book on mindfulness or meditation. You could read texts from your chosen religion or spiritual tradition if you want something more substantial.

There are also many excellent books on general spirituality that don’t necessarily adhere to any one tradition. These can be a great way to explore different concepts and ideas without feeling like you are committing to anything.

7. Plan to write in a journal.

Woman writing in a journal

Writing in a journal can be a great way to connect with your spiritual side. It can be a place to record your thoughts and feelings and any insights or epiphanies you have during your solo spiritual retreat.

You don’t have to write every day, but it can be helpful to set aside time each day to write. This can be first thing in the morning or right before bed. It can be helpful to write about your experiences during the day and any thoughts or feelings that come up.

If you don’t consider yourself a writer, that’s okay. Just write whatever comes to mind, and don’t worry about grammar or spelling. This is for you and no one else.

RELATED POST: Deep Questions to Ask Yourself (Great Journaling Prompts)

8. Leave technology behind.

While cell phones and computers are essential for our modern lives, they can be detrimental to our spiritual connections. They can be a constant source of distraction, and it can be difficult to find silence when we are constantly surrounded by technology.

For this reason, it is crucial to disconnect from technology during your solo spiritual retreat. This doesn’t mean you have to unplug entirely, but it does mean limiting your use of devices. You may want to set aside some specific times each day to check your email or social media and otherwise leave your devices turned off.

This can be a difficult habit to break, but it is important to remember that you are on this retreat to disconnect from the outside world and connect with yourself.

9. Set an intention.

Before you leave, or perhaps on your first day, set an intention for your spiritual retreat. This can be something as simple as wanting to feel more connected to your spirituality, or it could be something specific like wanting to work through a particular issue.

But don’t hold that intention too tightly. An intention is not a goal, remember. This is not a grocery list of things you would like to accomplish while away from your everyday life. This is something to help you focus your time on the retreat and give you something to look back on when you return home.

Another way to look at setting an intention is simply prayer. You are praying or putting out into the Universe the kind of experience you would like to have.

10. Meditate.

Woman meditating next to a river

While prayer or setting intentions is a way to talk to God or Spirit, meditation is how we listen to God. Both speaking and listening are essential for good communication, so if you want to increase your spirituality and enhance your awakening, doing both is crucial.

Meditation is the process by which we quiet our minds. You can do this in various ways, including sitting meditation, walking meditation, or even creative meditation, like the kind of focus found when you tap into the state of flow.

Meditation allows us to clear our minds and open our hearts. It helps us become more aware of the present moment and gives us a chance to connect with our innermost thoughts and feelings.

If you’ve never meditated before, start small, and start simple. Set a timer for a few minutes and focus on your breath. You can use a mantra, or you can even put on a guided meditation found on YouTube (one of the ways you might utilize technology on your retreat.)

11. Utilize spiritual tools.

Spiritual tools can be anything from a tingsha or bells, mala beads, or a rosary even more occult or new age tools such as crystals and tarot cards. These are anything that can help harness your spiritual energy, clear your crown chakra, or help you meditate.

These can be things that ground you, symbols that resonate with you, or anything that helps you to focus your intentions. Even something as simple as a pine cone or rock you picked up on a nature walk can help you.

The point is if you have any tools that help you to connect with your spirituality, make sure to bring them along on your solo spiritual retreat. And if you don’t have any spiritual tools, this might be an excellent time to explore what kinds of things might resonate with you. Do some research before you go, or simply allow yourself to be open to whatever you might find while you’re on your solo spiritual retreat.

12. Try music and sound.

Music and sounds can be a great way to enhance any spiritual practice. There are all kinds of music designed for meditation, and even more that can help you to relax.

But beyond just meditative or relaxation music, any kind of music can be spiritual. It’s a way to connect with another person’s soul or your own. Songs can transport us to different times and places; they can make us feel things we thought we had forgotten. If you have any music that is special to you or helps you feel more connected to your spirituality, make sure to bring it along on your solo spiritual retreat.

You can also utilize sounds from nature, like the sound of waves crashing against the shore or bird songs in the morning. These can help center you and connect you with the natural world.

You may want to try more esoteric practices, such as meditation drums, by listening to recorded music or bringing a shamanic drum with you. Drumming is a deeply grounded practice used in many cultures to enhance spiritual experiences.

If you’re not into drumming, perhaps you’d like to try Solfeggio frequencies. Solfeggio frequencies are a set of tones that are said to have spiritual and psychological effects. You can find these frequencies online or purchase recordings that utilize them.

And if you’re someone who enjoys silence, that’s perfectly fine too. There is a lot of power in simply listening to the silence and allowing yourself to be present in the moment.

13. Allow whatever comes.

As mentioned above, it’s essential to hold any intentions lightly. If you hope to tip your spiritual awakening over that edge and gain clarity on part of your life, pushing yourself or getting frustrated if it doesn’t happen is the opposite of spiritual enlightenment.

Letting go and accepting whatever your spiritual retreat brings will serve you better. This is a time for you to be with yourself, which might not look how you thought it would.

You may find that your most significant spiritual breakthrough comes from just sitting in silence or taking a nature walk. There is no right or wrong way to experience a solo spiritual retreat, so allow whatever comes without judgment.


A solo spiritual retreat is a wonderful option for anyone who has the time and money to get away for a little while and get in touch with their higher self and with Spirit, God, or the Universe.

My own solo spiritual retreat resulted in a healthier body, feelings of ease and relaxation, and a greater sense of connection to my family, friends, and the natural world.

Make sure you make the most out of it by embracing simplicity and letting go of everything you don’t need. More than anything, learn to embrace whatever comes during your solo spiritual retreat without judgment and go with the flow.

Have you ever taken a solo spiritual retreat? Or are you thinking about taking one in the future?

Drop a comment and share your experience! I love to hear from you!


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Thank you, I’m heading to a monastery for 5 nights and this has given me good ideas.🙏🧘🏻‍♀️💜

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