5 Self Care Benefits of a Girlfriend Getaway

Fewer things feel better in life than being with people who like you for just being you.

It’s not about your profession, your status, your sense of style, your accomplishments or any of the things we seem to spend so much time worrying and fussing about.

It’s just about feeling good in their presence for no particular reason at all.

Recently I was invited to take a trip to the beach with three friends who when looking from the outside would make you wonder, “what in the world do these women have in common?”

Five or six years ago we didn’t even know each other. And still to this day we cannot figure out how we bonded so quickly. 

We all met through a professional business networking group, but we grew close through a number of great conversations with each other using the Marco Polo App which we used incessantly during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

One thing we do know for sure was our friendship was definitely one of the most positive things that came out of the pandemic.

Through those conversations, a friendship was forged.

Once the world opened back up, we got back to our lives. 

One by one we left the networking group, and found ourselves being pulled in different directions. 

Life happened.

Commitments to husbands, children, family and jobs took up time. 

Life changed for many of us, leading to career changes, job relocations, or dealing with health issues for ourselves or others.

A lot of the time we spent with each other during the pandemic was now being spent on those things taken away when we were in lockdown.

But one thing didn’t change. Our bond of friendship.

It was time for reconnection and the beach was calling.

One of these dear friends had won a condo rental in Myrtle Beach at a charity auction and she invited us to join her for a girlfriend getaway.

While it sounded like fun, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant.

At first I wasn’t sure I “had” the time, or the “money” or the (fill in the blank here with any excuse).

But to be honest, I knew these were excuses. And they were all ways to sabotage a form of self care that I really needed in my life: “getting away from it all” and giving myself a much needed break.

So after getting still and asking the question, “Sherrie, what is it that you really need right now?”

I accepted this generous invitation and what I can tell you is that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made regarding my self care this year! 

In fact, it was filled with benefits that helped me in the present and some I will carry with me into the future. So let me share with you five benefits I experienced as a result of my girlfriend’s getaway.

1. The only one you are responsible for is You!

As a woman this is HUGE! 

If you take inventory of your life you will find out how many things and how many people you are responsible for caring for each and every day. 

A girlfriend getaway gives you the luxury of a few days away with friends. Meaning you can go to bed when you want and sleep as late as you want without having to worry about getting up for work in the morning, or getting your children up and ready for school. 

You don’t have to take the dog outside or for a walk or make sure the cat is fed.

You can eat when you are hungry or not eat at all. You don’t have to make sure dinner is in the oven or deal with picky eaters. There is no laundry or household chores to do, no work meetings to plan or attend. You can actually get  a break from all of this for a few days. And it feels AMAZING!

The freedom of only taking care of yourself, is a vacation in itself. And it is a wonderful way to practice self care.

2. The blessing of a trusted group of girlfriends

I can’t stress how powerful this gift can be IF you are in the company of people you trust.

The conversations that can occur when a solid group of women gather, can be life-changing. Women talk more than men, but women also deeply listen and can offer insights from a perspective you’ve not thought of before.

Some of the conversations we had were as heartwarming as they were heartbreaking. But with each conversation each of us felt heard, felt supported, and felt loved regardless of what was revealed. When something was shared in the group and the person wanted it to stay inside the group, we prefaced it as the “circle of trust”, meaning, no one talks about it with anyone else following this conversation.

You have to have a strong bond to earn being a part of this circle of trust and each of us knew and understood it. That alone allowed us to share what we may have packed deep down inside. To be able to bring it up, and let it out in the company of women you trust, is a gift of healing like no other.

3. No Expectations

Sometimes when you travel with others, there are some that have every detail planned down to the minute. During this get away, we set loose ground rules, that this is YOUR time done YOUR way. Whether it was going to the beach, going shopping or heading to the spa, you could either do it, or not. 

There were no rules or expectations of what this trip was supposed to be. 

We extended to each other the grace to have it be what we needed it to be.

No one had any expectations of one another, which gave us all the time and space we needed to get what we needed most from our time away. 

In fact, when shopping for groceries, each woman grabbed her own cart and purchased what she wanted specifically to eat and drink. Of course we offered to share our snacks, but if you weren’t into what was offered, it was totally fine to stick to what you bought. In a world where everyone expects something from someone, this was truly an amazing gift that allowed us to focus on our own self care.

4. Acceptance and Encouragement

Everyone has quirks, idiosyncrasies, and differences of opinions, and when you travel with a close group of girlfriends that can become problematic. But you can also choose to accept people for who they are. And one of the great blessings from this trip was that we all knew we were loved and accepted as we were, not for who others perceived us to be or want us to be. And when you feel accepted, you also feel more open to receive feedback that may help you smooth some of the rough edges you might have developed due to the trials and tribulations in your lifetime. I loved how each of us seemed to come to the beach with something that we struggled with, and were lovingly accepted and encouraged to grow, or go deeper, or learn to see our struggle from another perspective. Feeling that kind of love and acceptance allows your heart to open to a world of possibilities and encourages you to take more chances and risks, knowing that you have people who have your back and are cheering you on.

5. More laughter than you can imagine

One of the best things you can do to feel better and less stressed is to laugh .

We laughed ‘til we cried. We laughed’ til some of us pee’d. 

We laughed so much, so hard and so loud, that our cheeks hurt, our stomachs cramped, and people would wonder what in the world was so funny. 

And it was fabulous!

Right now, I’m not sure I could even tell you what all we laughed about, but one thing I can tell you for sure, is that laughter is truly great medicine. Laughter has a way of making even a stormy day seem brighter and gives you a sense of refreshment that makes it seem like a ton of stress just melted away. Laughter is truly a gift and sometimes many of the things you deal with day to day are no laughing matter, so to have the opportunity to be with people with whom you laugh so much and so often was self care at it’s finest.

I realize not everyone can do a beach getaway, but you can get the same kind of benefits from a weekend away with a great group of friends in a nearby town. The point is to get away, get reconnected, appreciate each other warts and all and share all the things with a sense of great love, acceptance, gratitude and most of all laughter!

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