What’s Next? After the Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

By Dr. Paul Kelly, Updated September 3, 2023

What’s Next? After the Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

This is what the room looked like at the end of a New Year’s Mindfulness Meditation Retreat at our Clinic in downtown Toronto. The picture was taken when we were offering in-person retreats. In 2021 and 2022 we did the New Year’s Retreat online. I plan to offer the 2023 and 2024 retreats online as well.

After a retreat, whether one day or more, people usually feel settled, calm, awake, and more at home with themselves. They feel inspired to keep up a mindfulness practice, and they want to know how to continue. The list below shows some of the advice that I have given.

Here is what I told often tell them:

  1. If you only have 3 minutes, do Mindful Eating.  When you start to eat, slow down, tune in, taste your food, for at least the first few bites. (works better if you turn your phone off.)
  2. If you only have 10 minutes, do a Breath Counting or Breath Awareness Meditation.
  3. If you can set aside 20 minutes, extend your time for Breath Counting or Breath Awareness Meditation.
  4. You can make mindfulness a regular part of your day especially if you meditate at the same time, and in the same place, each day.  It can take 3 to 6 weeks to develop a new habit.
  5. You can make mindfulness a positive habit in your life if you stay with it.
  6. Many people appreciate self-compassion mindfulness practices. Here is a link for some excellent guided practices.
  7. Mindfulness can help you cope when you feel distressed or overwhelmed. Here are 3 antidotes to emotional distress.
  8. The app, Smiling Mind can be useful for you if you don’t feel ready to guide your own mindfulness meditation sessions.
  9. If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, it can also be helpful to do a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy  program. We offer an online program at our Clinic and you could also check for other programs in your local area.
  10. It can be very helpful to join a community of meditation practitioners, people to share with and learn from.  I can recommend True North Insight.

I wish you well with your mindfulness journey.