Adventurous new ways to "find" yourself
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Me, Myself & I1 of 8
By Natasha Burton
Spring cleaning isn't just for your home—it's also the perfect time to declutter your mind and get reconnected with yourself. To help you find a little inner peace, we've found seven cool and unusual new ways to unwind.
Play Date2 of 8
Get in touch with your childhood energy again by enrolling in a creativity-boosting retreat that focuses on play. According to Stuart Brown, of the National Institute for Play (yes, that's a thing), happy couples, entrepreneurs and innovators all have one common dominator: The ability to play enthusiastically, which helps boost our mental and physical health, as well as our relationships. Don't have time for a play getaway? Get some pals together to play a game, or grab your girls and play dress up in each others' closets like you used to do as kids.
Peak Experience3 of 8
Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir Wild, about her physical and emotional journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, has inspired others to take a hike. If you're not ready for a 2,500-mile solo trek like Strayed's, starting slowly with something like a guided meditation hike is one way to find peace of mind—and yourself—in the great outdoors
Namaste & Giddyup!4 of 8
Pair traditional yoga with pretty much any activity you can think of and you'll get an amazing—albeit physically challenging—experience that will make you stretch (heh) in new ways. One of our faves? Cowgirl Yoga, a retreat offered in Montana that combines horseback riding with twice-a-day yoga classes, allowing you to enjoy a little equine therapy with your downward dogging.
Mum's the Word5 of 8
Set aside your new age-y skepticism. Penninghame Process, a sensation in the U.K., involves reenacting childhood events with free-style dancing and role playing, though the exact details are kept hush-hush. (You have to attend a retreat to really know what goes down.) One aspect we do know of is that participants speak to themselves, out loud, as if they are their own parents. The purpose? To better understand deep-seated insecurities and past events. For an at-home approach, try journaling in your mom or dad's voice to see what might come up.
Damage Control6 of 8
Need to let off some steam and feel better after a breakup, family battle or just a tough week at work? Make a reservation at the Anger Room, a Dallas-based facility that provides a space for you to smash your way to relaxation. (Other cities have "rage rooms," "relief rooms," and "smash shacks.") If you can't find a destruction-friendly destination near you, try a boxing class to give your frustrations and anxiety the one-two punch.
Soul Searching7 of 8
Want to really, really get in touch with your true self? Look into soul retrieval, a shaman-guided spiritual practice that is considered one of the oldest methods of therapy in the world. Similar to guided meditation, but more intense, the process is supposed to help heal past trauma and bring back the feeling of being fully engaged in your life.
Shhh...8 of 8
For those of us who are iffy on the idea of getting all in touch with our emotions around strangers, self-guided at-home mediation and silent retreats are a more private way to find that inner peace. Various gurus provide templates to follow on their websites, so you can create a peaceful sanctuary without ever leaving home.