As more individuals seek to ensure they live as long as possible, health and wellness have become popular buzzwords. We all try to do what we can to make our minds, bodies, and spirits happier and healthier — that often means eating right, exercising more or finding some peace through meditation. But, few people realize how important taking a vacation is to improve mental, physical and spiritual well-being — that’s right, I’m advocating for wellness retreats!
What is a Wellness Retreat, Really?
By definition, it’s travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological or spiritual activities.
For me, it means stepping out of the busy-ness and slowing down, relaxing and unwinding to be with myself.
I think this is important because we tend to get so caught up in our daily lives that we start to neglect what our bodies are telling us. (Maybe that cold you have isn’t from sleeping with the fan on, after all. It might just be stress!) We all need to decompress, get away from the constant demands of technology and find some peace and quiet.
What Do People Do on These Retreats?
Wellness retreats can be anything you want them to be! They have become very diverse, so while a trip to your local spa is great, it’s no longer the only option. There are healthy hotels, holistic programs and cruises, and adventure and creative discovery trips. And the best part, these options generally promote a healthy lifestyle rather than distracting you from one.
If you already have healthy habits but need to get away, you can rest assured that your routine won’t be thrown off. If you are looking to pick up a new health routine, chances are that you’ll go back home inspired.
Beyond health and fitness, a wellness retreat gives people the opportunity to do the thing we all want to do when we travel: seek out meaningful experiences, whether through exploration, relaxation, self-improvement or a little fun in the sun.
But most of all, a wellness retreat is your big chance to recharge. Project: Time Off, a coalition that researches the value of vacation, found that vacations are linked to higher productivity in the workplace. The study showed people who more consistently took time off from work actually ended up being more productive when they were at work.
So, don’t feel guilty about taking a mental health day — or week! People who take time off work smarter because they understand the value of wellness.
Side note: They say Americans on average do not use all of our vacation days. What’s up with that?
Your Perfect Getaway
You might have heard of The Breakers Palm Beach Resort in Florida or The Greenbrier in West Virginia that tout themselves as hotels of choice with world-class spas. However, if you are looking for a getaway to change your life, these options might be a better fit:
Haramara Retreat – Sayulita, Mexico
This hotel is the furthest thing from a Spring Break hangout. This little piece of paradise is known for yoga and private, thatched huts. No electricity is allowed. That’s right, not even in the rooms.
Haramara Retreat is geared toward those looking to detox and relax with daily meditation and yoga classes. Remember to leave cell phones at home and give yourself the best chance at real peace.
COMO Parrot Cay Resort – Turks and Caicos
This is for those who want to get away but keep their electricity. This all-inclusive resort is located on a private island that can only be accessed via a 30-minute boat ride.
This is the most romantic and luxurious option in the Caribbean. But, don’t take my word for it — see for yourself!
The BodyHoliday Resort LeSport – St. Lucia
You deserve to refresh, refocus and re-energize. The BodyHoliday does just that. It’s constantly getting rave reviews from visitors. The resort offers special solo packages and is also great for a girls-getaway trip (wink wink, ladies). This happens to be my personal favorite.
There are tons of sports and activities to do, and there is even an organic garden right on site.
Canyon Ranch Tucson Health and Wellness Resort and Spa – Tucson, Arizona Canyon Ranch goes beyond health and really focuses on overall wellness and happiness. You can get away from the constant tags on Facebook and flooding email inbox at work; instead, spend time getting back to the basics.
The resort also has wellness programs customized to your liking. It’s an absolute dream come true.
Who Has Time For a Retreat?
I know what you’re thinking: Who has the time to do this?
While you may not think now is the right time to go on a wellness retreat, now couldn’t be better.
Once we put summer out of our minds and are starting to focus on the upcoming holiday season, the fall is when we should really allow ourselves some time for wellness. Let’s face it: After Halloween, it’s basically New Years! Thanksgiving and Christmas come so quickly, and we are monopolized by holiday parties, presents for the kids, in-laws and friends we see only once a year.
Before the madness begins, I challenge you to take that long weekend you have been planning. Book the romantic trip you and your spouse have been talking about, or grab your girls and take off!
Forgive Yourself. Treat Yourself.
A wellness retreat might be one of the best presents you give yourself this fall. Your body will thank you later.
Eat, Drink and Be Carried Away,