A relaxing retreat

Journal cover with paper cutout hand

A journal cover

On a beautiful day last week I collaborated with mental health professional Mary Jo Pfeifer Wulf to lead a retreat for a group of people who work with hospice patients. I can tailor my activities to fit the organization’s objectives for the day, and this day was all about relaxing and getting into a creative frame of mind, to promote individual wellbeing and the strength of the team. We met at the Fairview Lodge in Story City’s North Park, next door to the antique carousel!

I brought out paper, pens, and supplies from the vault (like this paper cutout hand), and we made journal covers. Then the staff members started filling the journals with our healing activities, such as drawing, watercolor painting, an observational exercise, and “cleaning out your emotional closet.” The participants could choose their activities, and many of them chose to keep working on their journals even when they could have simply strolled in the park! They were so pleasantly surprised with the results from the upside-down drawing exercise that they thought it could be a good breakroom activity at work, for 10 or 15 minutes of creative relaxation.

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