We’ve become so wired, dialed-in, connected and engaged to our work life that it’s making us sick. In fact, just a few months ago the World Health Organization revised its International Classification of Diseases to include ‘burnout’ as an official medical diagnosis. Burnout alone is bad, but it can also contribute to an increase in other health issues like coronary disease, obesity and mental illness. So, tackling stress and burnout is important for good health! Enter wellness travel.
Wait, what? Do I have to think about health and wellness even on vacation too? Well, if you’re like many others, you may already be part of this rapidly growing trend in vacationing. Wellness travel, sometimes called wellness tourism is defined by the Global Wellness Institute as travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing. Amen to that!
I discovered immersion wellness in 2007 when I spent six weeks at a fitness camp. That precious & rare six-week escape set me on a path to personal transformation. I lost 90 pounds over the course of a year. Ever since I’ve been a believer in the immersion experience to effect lasting change.
That is, as long as the formula is there. And by formula, I mean addressing all the components of a balanced lifestyle: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. So, when going for an immersion experience for health I encourage you to go all the way. Not just salt scrubs, massages and facials, but really look at the inner woman. Figure out what’s going on inside your head and heart that drives those unwanted behaviors leading to burnout and compromised health.
Most of us can only dream of a multi-week wellness sabbatical from our real lives. But if you’re able, I highly recommend staying for as long as you possibly can. That said, an immersive wellness experience of even a few days allows you to gain a jumpstart on new habits. It ignites a greater desire to practice those habits by beginning with this focused approach, void of distractions.
Like recess for a child on a school day, vacations are a vital part of wellbeing. Oftentimes, however, that glorious relaxed state vanishes even before we board our return flight home. Did the escape simply offer respite, or was it genuinely helpful in preparing you to return to the real-world? Can you now better manage the day-to-day stressors that life throws at you?
The promise of wellness retreats is much like that of a 28-day rehab; if you separate yourself for an extended time, you can get on track to kick that habit and begin the journey of rehabilitation. In order for this transformation to occur, you must escape from your current environment and withdraw from those toxic behaviors. A wellness resort promises that if you come away, you will have distance from unhealthy work behaviors, and you will you’ll be restored.
Whether pursuing a higher level of fitness, detoxification, enlightenment or mental health, many immersive retreats propose to restore your health and show you ways to better manage your physical and mental wellness. With more and more of us experiencing stress and mental burnout, there’s no better time to consider a wellness reboot.
There is no such thing as breaking a habit and leaving a void where that habit once resided. It will be replaced by something. Think of smokers that quit and become gum-chewers. When you immerse yourself in a holistic wellness program, you’ll practice healthy habits you can implement in your daily life. Often these new habits include meditation, yoga and even proper breathing to get your body in a relaxed state. A well-designed aftercare plan is the key to ensure sustainability and effect lasting change. By practicing these new skills daily until they become habits you can transform your health.
A truly integrated health retreat will offer not only a wonderfully soothing environment complete with accommodations and healthy cuisine but some physical activity as a critical component. Getting your body moving multiple times a day is a standard in wellness resort programs. This could be yoga, hiking, or any variety of fitness activities. Many include meditation and breathwork as foundational components to manage stress and mental wellness. Still, others may offer licensed mental health practitioners helping you to uncover the core issues causing the stress and unhealthy patterns of behavior. Whatever level of retreat or inclusions you choose, a common goal is to stop doing the things that no longer serve you and replace them with things that truly serve your desire to feel great long term.
Never experienced a wellness retreat? You’re in for a treat! It’s literally a journey to every part of you. The mental, emotional, physical & possibly spiritual. Cast your cares (or chuck them and run!) and embark on an experiential week (or two or three) of increasing your wellness. You’ll find an abundance of wellness retreats all over the internet. But to find one that fits you, browse healthy vacations for all destinations and budgets.
A site called Tripaneer has wellbeing and health vacations all over the world, and also allows you to get granular in your search, like retreats.
Given that our lives are so fragmented these days with competing priorities and interruptions, it’s not only a good idea to disconnect from the chaos, but to be able to focus on one outcome. By saturating yourself in a healing environment with only one objective of restoring your vibrancy and joy we are able to declutter our minds. Followed by continued daily practice, our success rates for sustaining that new behavior can dramatically increase.
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