It’s not uncommon these days, especially in the post-covid (can we even say that!?) times of 2022, to hear people discussing the importance of finding balance, developing a growth mindset, maintaining healthy boundaries, and being more intentional in their daily lives. Even more so, people are openly expressing their frustration and concern surrounding just how damn difficult it can be to actually achieve these things. You’ve probably heard of the term “burnout”, right? Well, guess what?
It’s a legit thing…and it sucks.
So you might be wondering, what the heck do I have to do to accomplish this seemingly impossible mission? How do I get from the bottom of borderline burnout to a place where I feel successful, recharged, and motivated to tackle new goals? We were wondering the same thing.
Our team at Dyno Creative loves what we do, creating cool art for cool people while helping them evolve their brand. But even the most dynomite branding agency (that’s us!) needs to press pause to regroup and recharge. That’s when we decided to step away from the hustle and grind for a long weekend and go on our very first Dyno Retreat. We were on a mission to reconnect, find balance, rest, and recharge. So, we happily packed our bags, grabbed some kombucha and snacks for the road, and said bye-bye to burnout and hello to rest and relaxation. Here’s what we did to get to the point of proudly saying “Mission Accomplished!”
Upon our arrival, nestled in the beautiful hills of Arroyo Grande, our team of creatives were blown away by the beauty that laid before us. The scenery was…wow! Just wow! And the house wasn’t just a house – it was an off-grid modern barn with the coolest open bay garage doors, a swinging bed (yup, you read that right), and a sweet outdoor space with a fire-pit perfect for s’mores and scary stories. We were in heaven.
Not only was the modern barn aesthetically amazing, there was ample space to spread out and do our own thing when we wanted to, as well as epic common spaces to come together, collaborate, and let the creative juices flow. Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a single tv in this entire place, and we were totally fine with that.
Not only were we stoked to be there, we had some awesome animal friends join in on the fun. Our house guests included a spider the size of your palm (eek!), Freddy the frog who did NOT appreciate us trying to find him and release him back into the great outdoors, a wise owl hooting the night away, and some super adorable dogs, belonging to the house at the bottom of the hill, who liked to occasionally pop by and say hello.
There are many benefits to hosting a staff retreat. Regardless of whether your staff is big or small, what size budget you have to spend, or how much time you have available in your schedule to get away, there is value in prioritizing time to literally RETREAT from your typical routine and refocus.
Many companies are reevaluating the importance of staff camaraderie, exploring new ways to incorporate staff retreats into their schedule. Promoting healthy breaks can increase productivity and reduce stress. Check out some of our key take-aways from our Dyno Retreat. We hope this leaves you feeling inspired to incorporate your own version of a retreat that will leave you shouting “Mission Accomplished!” from the rooftops.
Can you remember the last time you truly felt rested? Deep rest looks different for everyone. Some may need an honest-to-goodness 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Others may only need a 30 minute cat nap and a big glass of water to feel recharged. We discovered that while naps are great, and water is a necessity (duh), there is a big difference between physical rest and mental rest. Sometimes you just need a moment to yourself to think, ponder, dream, and reflect. Other times, you might just need to bust out a puzzle for some good ol’ fun. Whatever way you prefer to rest, take time to build it into your regular routine. You’ll thank yourself later.
We don’t know about you, but it was super nice to have some in-person face time with each other at our retreat. While a few of us are local to Orange County and have the ability to see each other whenever we like, we have some team members who live out of state or are traversing the freeways between Northern and Southern California on the regular, making it harder to visit with them in person. Needless to say, it was nice to see their faces in real life rather than through a computer screen. Also, hugs and high fives are great! Just sayin’.
One of the biggest takeaways we found most valuable over our weekend retreat was spending quality time together. We wanted to make sure we took advantage of this valuable time to reconnect, so we did a few things that allowed us to do just that! First off, we made sure there were plenty of activities available, whether that be puzzles, board games, corn hole, hiking, shopping in downtown SLO, going to the beach, making mixed cocktails, fixing a leaky sink, holding a tarot reading under a full wolf moon, having a long and heated debate about movie sequels, or completing a 30-minute drawing challenge each night. We also extended our retreat invitation to our significant others as they are truly the MVPs keeping us sane in this crazy thing called life. We couldn’t do what we do as Dyno Creative without our support network backing us up every step of the way.
Another key take-away we all agreed was incredibly valuable was the ability to refocus. We realized it is so easy to get stuck in a rut when you remain in the same environment for long periods of time. Getting outdoors and having a change of scenery really opened our eyes and minds to exploring new ideas. On our last night together, two of our members led a goal setting workshop. This time was dedicated towards discussing the negative impact of limiting beliefs and the power of positive self-talk. We shared our current struggles and mapped out at least three goals we had for the new quarter, whether personal or professional. Then we explored how to take these goals and develop them into SMART goals, creating actionable steps towards success. It was great!
Whether your retreat takes on a more rigorous approach, like throwing your team into an escape room for an hour or doing trust fall exercises…or if you take the more mellow approach as we did – no tv, nature walks, and quaint small town coffee shops, comic book stores, and window shopping…its an experience you will all share together, and that’s all that matters! We hope you found some inspiration from our Dyno Retreat, where staff bonding, finding balance and inspiration, rest and recharging were made a priority. Mission accomplished! Check out some of our staff share-outs below!
Danielle – It’s okay to prioritize time to step away and recharge. I know, it’s easier said than done, but this retreat was so refreshing. I felt reassured and validated that my struggles were not isolated to just me, that everyone goes through bumps on their creative journey. It was nice to catch up, laugh, and share our goals for the new year, both personal and professional.
Amberleigh – I really enjoyed spending time with other creatives. The relaxed moments chatting and sharing ideas brought a lot of inspiration for future ideas. I can’t wait for another retreat!
Austin – It’s important to take time to refresh, reset, and replenish your mental health. By stepping away from work as a team, we were were able to build stronger bonds that exist outside of a work environment, and learn more about our strengths and weaknesses, and how we can better support one another both in and out of the office. The most helpful assist in clearing my mind was the absence of most technological distractions, allowing more time and attention for appreciating the world and community around me.
Daniel – Recharge, smile, connecting with people, and breathing the fresh air. That is what this trip was alI about. Most of all, the Dyno Tribe is amazing. No matter what the task is, whether it is building a puzzle, making a tasty dinner, or going on hikes, everyone chips in and does it with a smile. I feel so lucky to have a group I can call friends and co-workers.
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