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I Went on a 3-Day Spiritual Retreat and Here’s Why You Should, Too

Best Life Logo By Diana Bruk of Best Life | Slide 1 of 11: Back in June, I was depressed, though I wouldn't call it depression so much as "apocalyptic ennui." Covering the news and essentially living on Twitter had made me feel like the world was going to end in nuclear apocalypse any day, and the things that used to drive me to get out of bed in the morning—seeing friends, working on longterm projects, exercising—didn't feel important anymore. All I wanted to do is take long walks with my dog and call my mom and tell her that I loved her.I was aware that the way I felt reflected the state of mind of many Americans. Our happiness index is at a historic low, and a recent Pew Research survey revealed almost seven out of ten Americans admit to suffering from so-called "news fatigue." Twitter is a hostile environment comprised of an endless barrage of outrage, and our collective dependence on social media is making us feel lonely and depressed. Suicide rates have spiked and online dating could be hurting our mental health. It's not dramatic to say that America is in a state of emotional crisis.I'm lucky in that I've always been proactive when it comes to feeling down in the dumps. I hired a dating coach, who made me feel a lot better about everything terrible that's happened in my love life this year. I got a new therapist and participated in an acclaimed self-empowerment seminar. I took the Yale Happiness Course, which reminded me that being happy isn't about what's happening in your life so much as how you perceive those things. I even got a chakra cleansing from a Reiki healer. But as much as all of these things helped, nothing was quite as effective in making me bounce back to my old self as going on a spiritual retreat at the Omega Institute for three days in August.Located in the countryside of Rhinebeck, New York, the Omega Institute is a little oasis that has been providing holistic healing since 1977. The grounds somewhat resemble a college campus: there's a pristine private lake, a dining hall, a spa, recreation buildings, a library, a sauna, a storybook garden, basketball and tennis courts, hiking trails, a cafe, and a stunning sanctuary perched on top of a hill. You can book a workshop, a long-term stay, or, as in my case, an R&R retreat. The retreat itself only costs $150 for three days and includes three delicious vegetarian meals per day, three wellness classes per day (in yoga, thai chi, free form dance, and meditation), special events, and use of the all of the facilities on the campus. Since you also have to pay for accommodation (which ranges from $246 per person for camping to $702 per person for a cabin for the weekend), it can get quite expensive, but I can attest that it was totally worth it. (Note: The Omega Institute did not sponsor my trip in any way.)Read on to find out everything that led to my full rejuvenation—and why you should consider splashing out for one, as well. And for more guidance on living your best life, check out how I Tried Clean Sleeping for Two Weeks and It Changed My Life

I Went on a 3-Day Spiritual Retreat and Here’s Why You Should, Too

Back in June, I was depressed, though I wouldn't call it depression so much as "apocalyptic ennui." Covering the news and essentially living on Twitter had made me feel like the world was going to end in nuclear apocalypse any day, and the things that used to drive me to get out of bed in the morning—seeing friends, working on longterm projects, exercising—didn't feel important anymore. All I wanted to do is take long walks with my dog and call my mom and tell her that I loved her.

I was aware that the way I felt reflected the state of mind of many Americans. Our happiness index is at a historic low, and a recent Pew Research survey revealed almost seven out of ten Americans admit to suffering from so-called "news fatigue." Twitter is a hostile environment comprised of an endless barrage of outrage, and our collective dependence on social media is making us feel lonely and depressed. Suicide rates have spiked and online dating could be hurting our mental health. It's not dramatic to say that America is in a state of emotional crisis.

I'm lucky in that I've always been proactive when it comes to feeling down in the dumps. I hired a dating coach, who made me feel a lot better about everything terrible that's happened in my love life this year. I got a new therapist and participated in an acclaimed self-empowerment seminar. I took the Yale Happiness Course, which reminded me that being happy isn't about what's happening in your life so much as how you perceive those things. I even got a chakra cleansing from a Reiki healer. But as much as all of these things helped, nothing was quite as effective in making me bounce back to my old self as going on a spiritual retreat at the Omega Institute for three days in August.

Located in the countryside of Rhinebeck, New York, the Omega Institute is a little oasis that has been providing holistic healing since 1977. The grounds somewhat resemble a college campus: there's a pristine private lake, a dining hall, a spa, recreation buildings, a library, a sauna, a storybook garden, basketball and tennis courts, hiking trails, a cafe, and a stunning sanctuary perched on top of a hill. You can book a workshop, a long-term stay, or, as in my case, an R&R retreat. The retreat itself only costs $150 for three days and includes three delicious vegetarian meals per day, three wellness classes per day (in yoga, thai chi, free form dance, and meditation), special events, and use of the all of the facilities on the campus. Since you also have to pay for accommodation (which ranges from $246 per person for camping to $702 per person for a cabin for the weekend), it can get quite expensive, but I can attest that it was totally worth it. (Note: The Omega Institute did not sponsor my trip in any way.)

Read on to find out everything that led to my full rejuvenation—and why you should consider splashing out for one, as well. And for more guidance on living your best life, check out how I Tried Clean Sleeping for Two Weeks and It Changed My Life

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