Among all the stresses that women carry on their shoulders – literally and figuratively – taking time for themselves is never really at the top of the to-do list. There’s children, jobs, spouses, homes and everything else that needs attention. When does she get to unwind and take care of self?

In steps Tekeya Priester. Tekeya created Not Just a Getaway  for women who’ve experienced what she was going through when it comes to the stresses of life. “We needed to empower women to getaway and focus on things that would bring more harmony into their lives,” she explains.

One large step to coming back to yourself is learning to say no. “It got to the point where I would go out of town just because I had to make it to a friend’s event and I had to be there to support them.” One day her husband reminded her that her friends were not coming to see her and then she had a lightbulb moment. Another step is to know that it is ok to not be superwoman. There are over 2,000 women on her Facebook group and the stories of guilt from women who take time for themselves gives Tekeya the courage to let them know that if they don’t take care of themselves, then the trickle down effects the entire family. 

Not Just a Getaway started out as a way for women to get self-care and balance through travel and getaway(s). so many times women pour so much out of themselves they don’t really think about pouring back into themselves until it’s too late,” Tekeya explains. At the time, she and her then business partner reflected on how much travel helped them cope with the stresses of everyday life even if it’s just stepping into another room or what is called today a “staycation” – staying at home or locally but making it a vacation.

The Not Just a Getaway trips usually have a program built into it to create a safe and understand space where women can share thoughts, frustration and let them go and reconnect with themselves. Kind of like a therapeutic release of sorts. Tekeya says that she knows firsthand how important it is to make this time for self a priority. “I just had a [second] baby. I’d only been married a year and a half. I went through a stage of doing, doing, doing, for my mom and my husband and all with a stressful job in the healthcare profession, she recalls. “I didn’t have time to go get my nails done, I was walking around looking like a bum.”

She shares stories from that harsh time where she had sleepless nights and felt like she was on the verge of losing her sanity. Even in the wee hours of the morning she was up and still doing the tasks from the day before that she couldn’t get to. Even through all of these stages of being a new mom and wife, she was able to realize that women everywhere were probably feeling the same mental and emotional break from themselves when it came to living the lives they felt was their duty.

Within Not Just a Getaway, there are a few other events that allow women to relax and have fun outside of their families. Coming up on November 2 – 4, there will be the Girls Wine Out weekend event where ladies can get away at Chateau Elan at Lake Lanier in Atlanta for glamping activities, a twerk fitness session, fashion show, spa retreat and an awards ceremony where author and Essence editor-at-large, Mikki Taylor will receive the first Fashionista award. Throughout Mikki’s speaking career, she continually encourages women to take care of their inner and outer selves and keep their wellbeing in the forefront. Her illustrious career in the beauty industry and work as the cover editor for Essence magazine has served as an inspiration for women everywhere and of all races and classes.

If you would like to learn more about Not Just a Getaway or Girls Wine Down, click here to participate in the fun, friends and festivities!

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