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  • Writer's pictureTonya

Should You Take a Self-Retreat? Healing After a Toxic Relationship

Updated: Feb 18

self retreat for women healing

Part One - Why You Should Experience a Solo Retreat

In this week’s episode, as promised, I am going to be getting into the importance of self-retreating after experiencing a devastating breakup. More specifically, I’ll be delving into what exactly is a self-retreat and why you need to allocate specific time for yourself to unplug from the hectic busyness of your life post-breakup, and I will also share with you a few self-retreat tips and ideas to enhance your overall self-retreat experience. I invite you to pour yourself something to drink, grab a snack, and let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this week’s episode.

I have a confession… The last time I’ve officially been away on an actual, legit vacation was well over 8 years ago. My family and I went away to Cuba for 7-days, and it was amazing! But then life happened. My university studies took over; I was busy, busy raising my daughter, and dealing with the crazy-making, toxic antics of dating a covert narcissist. If you’ve listened to episode 1 and 2 from season one, I delved deep into my personal journey of recovery and healing post-breakup after dating an emotionally abusive intimate partner. It was a complete nightmare and like you, I was left with picking up the pieces of not only my heart, but my life.

My journey of recovery and healing was through trial and error, unwavering faith in myself and submitting to the process of doing the necessary inner work I could no longer hide from. Those years were brutal, but I finally pulled it together and began to find the rhythm in my life again. However, looking back on those years of recovery and healing, I realized that I never stopped to completely slow down and schedule some much-needed time away from EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY; and when I say everything and everyone, I mean to completely UNPLUG from my life and take a break, otherwise known as a much-deserved self-retreat.

Check out the full episode - Solo Self Care Retreat

We’ve all had the same excuse… Life gets in the way, I was too busy with family, raising the kids, work, work, work, going back to school as an adult, dealing with my toxic ex… just too busy doing all of the things! But what I’ve since realized from those early years of my healing journey, is that we get so caught up in fixing ourselves, or fixing the situation, or YES doing the necessary inner work is that our life gets pretty monotonous and extremely routine, and as a result we forget to water and nurture our inner divine feminine; we by accident, end up making our healing a chore, a must item to check off our long daily or monthly to do list. However, what I failed to realize until years after the fact is that part of our healing journey is to give ourselves that opportunity to simply unplug without guilt, get away for a few days, and simply water our own spirit with intention and purpose.

Fast forward a few years, now that I am in a much better place in my life emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically I am now returning to my passion of travel AKA self-retreating, but this time around it’s not just about simply getting away for the sake of it, but more so about completely immersing myself in the experience of self-retreating, which means, being intentional and purposeful about everything pre-travel, while self-retreating and post travel; and you might be asking how do you mindfully self-retreat and how is self-retreating different from simply going on a vacation?

Well, it all comes down to the purpose behind your self-retreat. Are you wanting some time to relax, reflect and emotionally recharge or are you wanting to be sociable with new people outside of your usual friend circle or family connections; or are you interested in experiencing an adventurous physical activity? For me, when I decided that it was time for me to self-retreat after x number of years of having not been on vacation, I knew I wanted to invest in a resort that was intimate, adults only, offered solo and group activities onsite, if I chose to participate; and offered an amazing, luxury beachfront experience, but it also had to be within my budget because I do not want to come back from self-retreating worrying about bills, and other unnecessary day to day routine task that are going to take me out of my post-self-retreat glow.

healing self retreat

Intentional Planning for a Peaceful and Relaxing Retreat

Do you see where I am going with this already? I’ve been very intentional about the type of environment of where I am choosing to invest my money, time and energy. Me and my daughter must have sifted through dozens of resorts online, saving the ones that really spoke to our spirit visually and reading up on what amenities will be available to us. And yes, although I’ll be away with my beautiful daughter, I still am considering this trip a self-retreat because I have also intentionally set aside solo, personal development time for myself to explore the resort, to get involved in activities that pique my interest and to simply relax and rejuvenate my inner divine feminine.

We will be staying in beautiful Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. When we came across the resort a few weeks ago I just knew that this was the place. Another thing ladies, when choosing to self-retreat your version of luxury, affordable or 4/5-star experience might be completely different from someone else’s, what’s most important is for you to listen to your inner divine feminine, where is she calling you away to explore and spend time on while self-retreating. What’s visually appealing to you about your chosen destination for self-retreating? What will the environment look and feel like? And does it make you excited from the inside out?

Can you picture yourself walking along the beach at sunset, immersing your body into the various water therapies, does the location offer relaxation services such as massage, facials, mani/pedi services, cultural sightseeing and whatever else you are choosing to treat yourself to on your self-retreat… Remember, self-retreating is all about watering your spirit, unplugging from life and reconnecting to your inner divine feminine; regardless if you are choosing to physically escape and travel long distance or you are choosing to self-retreat in your own backyard. What do those few days to yourself look and feel like to you, more importantly how do you want to experience those sacred few days of self-retreating post-breakup?

self retreat after a breakup

Essentials for a Relaxing Solo Retreat

Specific details such as the ones I just mentioned should be part of your pre-self-retreat preparation. Ensuring that you are optimizing your experience by getting specific about what you most desire to experience before investing in a solo self-retreat is very important to the overall outcome of how relaxed, rejuvenated and clear in your energy you will hopefully feel once returning to your everyday life. Pre-planning is very important before embarking on a self-retreat. Setting the intention will ensure that the overall energy and outcome of your long-awaited self-retreat will meet most of or even better all of your expectations.

Another thing to consider when self-retreating, especially if you have chosen to self-retreat at a resort of your careful choosing is how do you want to show up for yourself and be present in the way you are embracing each day of your self-retreat. What wardrobe, shoes, accessories and color palette will you wear while self-retreating? Some of you may not already know this about me but I am also formally educated and certified as an Image Consultant and Personal Stylist and one of the major benefits of dressing to match your environment is that if done correctly, your overall visual presentation will enhance your self-confidence; thus, empowering you to show up more boldly and authentically maybe even for the first time in a very long time after experiencing a devastating breakup.

Speaking from personal experience I know that for a few years after experiencing being in a toxic relationship with a covert narcissist and having gone through the dreaded breakup process, I temporarily lost my femininity. Dressing up, putting on makeup, styling my hair, getting my nails done and just overall nurturing myself as every woman ought to regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not was something I completely lost passion for. It wasn’t until I slowly regained my strength, and disciplined myself to continuously do my inner healing work while putting one foot in front the other did, I finally start to show up for myself in a more refined, poised and feminine way. And speaking from an Image Consulting perspective, when you are visually showing up for the life you want as empowered divine feminine people will treat you better and respect you for the positive energy and light you bring into any room with you.

how to self retreat after breakup

Showing Up with Presence

Whether you are reading this post or listening to the podcast promise me, if you do decide to self-retreat sometime this year or in the near future that you will leave the oversized pajamas, fluffy floppy slippers and hair bonnets where they belong at home. Instead, I encourage you to specifically spend time treating yourself to a couple of key items to wear on yourself retreat that make you feel beautiful, sexy, passionate and like a goddess that you are. You’ve been through so much since experiencing this devastating breakup, you owe it to yourself to show up and embrace the goddess that you are.

What this looked like for me was going through my existing wardrobe of what I already have and then treating myself to a few newer pieces of clothing items and accessories to round out my self-retreat wardrobe. I wanted to be intentional and purposeful about the resort and culture of where I will be staying and because the Dominican has such a vast and rich culture, I intentionally want my wardrobe to enhance that energy. If you are not already following me on Instagram I invite you to check out my reels and stories closer to the date of my departure and while I am on my self-retreat for all things feminine indulgence, such as beauty, fashion, and wellness tips to consider on your own self-retreat.

Other things I also carefully considered before committing to staying at this resort was the menu and amenities. Do they have a fresh assortment of healthy culinary dishes to choose from, is there a gym onsite that I can keep up with my gym regimen, are there local bus tours and wildlife explorations I can check out instead of being on the resort all day? The point is my lovely divine lights, there’s vacationing and then there is self-retreating with intention and purpose. Self-retreating for me is all about unplugging, as I mentioned earlier from everything and everyone in our regular life and exploring another side of life while being mindfully present and absorbing everything in our environment. Is this environment conducive to my healing journey, will it enhance and expedite my healing and recovery post-breakup from a holistic perspective or am I just adding more noise to my already complicated life.

self retreat for women

Spiritual Wellness and Your Mental Health While Retreating

I’m also bringing with me a vacation journal, so that I can keep track of where I am with my thoughts, feelings and emotions when I am away, as a personal log to jot down fresh ideas, new inspiration and goals that come up for me; I will also be taking my daily affirmation cards to assist me in staying focused and in my purpose from day to day while self-retreating. Have you ever noticed when you get back from vacation that travel disorientation temporarily sets in and you need a day to acclimate to your normal life, that’s because when mindlessly vacationing we're distracted by noise of other people imposing their itinerary onto us and constantly being over stimulated by all of the distractions of vacationing.

Pulling one affirmation card while self-retreating is a great way to keep yourself grounded, focused and in your purpose while away from your normal day-to-day life instead of vacationing mindlessly. Lastly, I want to read at least one book in the area of personal finance, or positive psychology. Why? Because while self-retreating I want to dedicate quality time to also feeding my spirit with knowledge during the quieter moments of my trip. As I just mentioned there’s vacationing and there’s self-retreating. It’s important to me that I schedule in quiet time in the early mornings and late evening when all I can hear are the ocean waves to take that time to open my mind to receiving knowledge and guidance from a book that will also enhance my skills, knowledge, and practical application as not only a Breakup and Holistic Wellness Coach, but as a thriving divine feminine who is actively pursuing her purpose.

self retreat for single women

You Deserve a Bit of a Break

From the Hustle and Bustle of Your Life

As you can see ladies, my version of self-retreating might be vastly different from yours, but what I most care about and want you to understand is that it’s okay to pull back your energy and unplug from everyone and everything even amid your recovery and healing journey post breakup, especially if you were in a toxic relationship. Recovery and healing can be experienced from varying approaches and self-retreating is one I highly recommend if done correctly with intention and purpose.

Okay, my lovely divine lights, that concludes this week’s episode on the importance of Self-Retreating Post Breakup After Experiencing a Toxic Relationship. What takeaways did you come away with from this week’s episode? Have you thought about self-retreating and if so, how do you intend on being intentional and on purpose while you are self-retreating?

Later this week I will be posting two bonus episodes for you lovely divine lights so be on the lookout for when they are posted and until our next official episode which will be posted on Sunday June 12th, just before I leave for my self-retreat.

Have an empowering and healing day!


I hope you enjoyed this week's article and have gained some valuable information to help you move forward with confidence! As a Breakup and Wellness Coach, my work in this world is dedicated to supporting and helping women such as yourself to HEAL, RECLAIM and TRANSFORM your life after leaving a toxic relationship. Do reach out if you would like to discuss how I can support you on your journey of recovery, healing, and transformation.


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