Why is a retreat different to a holiday?

A holiday is simply time off from our daily route. We take time out from our busy lifestyles in an attempt to relax and recharge. Retreats offers us the time to withdraw, pull back from what is going on in our lives and provide a safe space to allow for a deeper physical, and emotional withdrawal from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Retreats are a great way to truly stop, unplug, rest, restore and refocus allowing our body and mental wellbeing to reset and find balance and harmony.

There is an endless list of why to go on a retreat but I want to share 6 reasons why it is good to go on a retreat for your health and well-being.

1.A time to reflect, renew and restore
A retreat allows us time for ourselves to reconnect, to bring back the joy of life, and to gain clarity to make more meaningful decisions in life. Research found that regular holidays only bring about short-term improvements in our well-being, whereas going on a retreat can improve our metabolism and well-being longer term.

I love this quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti, a famous spiritual leader and philosopher: “I think it is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or don’t believe.”

2. Time away from your home and daily routine
Wellbeing retreats are usually situated in beautiful locations close to nature, offering you the perfect setting and space to forget about the hustles of life and to relax and unwind.

3. Shift to a healthier and more conscious way of life
A holistic approach to retreats, combining complimentary therapy sessions, meditation, healthy meals and a nurturing environment help to shift you towards a more conscious and healthier approach to life. After a Retreat, participants tend to return to their busy, demanding lives with a sense of renewal, empowerment and clarity. The experience gained helps them make a more conscious choices in life. They start to build in healthy practices without feeling guilty about taking time out for themselves.

4. Nature allows you to unwind
Nature provides opportunities for stepping away from stress and provides physical activity. One of the great advantages of going on a retreat is that it offers you a proximity to nature allowing you to reconnect with the healing elements of nature.

5. Access to expert advice
Retreats may include yoga, meditation, complementary therapies or coaching sessions by professionals who support you to find the balance and the sense of well-being. These sessions are personalised to your needs but also provide you with simple tools and practices to take home with you to integrate into your daily routine.

6. Unplug from demands on our time to gain clarity
In a world where we are all spending more and more time multi-tasking between jobs, family, friends, emails, texts, social media all of which can have a negative impact on our well-being. Multi-tasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking. Mindfulness, meditation do the exact opposite – dedicating a conscious time to your actions allowing you to make good decisions.

Even spending time on screens like TV or Kindle when we think we are relaxing there is this constant bombardment on our senses which makes it hard for our minds to switch off and our eyes to rest. Retreats offer a space to take a break from our screens and rest our eyes and mind.

In summary retreats allow us to:

• Reset & Replenish – physical and emotional well-being
• Recharge – your energy
• Restore – happiness and joy
• Reconnect – to your body and mind to hear what it is saying to you

You also get to enjoy delicious healthy meals. Retreats are a healthy alternative to a regular holiday break. Gift yourself some time out you deserve it. To find out about our ‘Be You’ Retreats running in January and February head on over to https://samanthahardwick.com/retreats/ or call Samantha on 07974 682525.

Are you tired of living with an ailment?

Maybe it is time to look at the emotional cause and what is occurring in your life at the moment that may be triggering this?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common condition affecting our digestive systems with over 10-20% people living with it in the UK. Symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation alternating with diarrhoea which may come and go lasting days, weeks, or months.  There is no known cause or cure, but it has been linked to things like food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress.

This may be impacting your everyday life, from not wanting to go out leading to feelings of isolation, having to miss days at work, all adding to the stress and anxiety you may already have in your life.

Apart from looking at your diet it could be worth exploring your mental/emotional well-being.  I often think of our digestive system as our feeling brain, like an emotional barometer, reacting to our outside environment and internal thoughts.  Clients say that their emotional state makes their IBS worse whether that be suffering with anxiety, frustration, despair.

Maybe as a child you felt like your gut twisted when under stress and this has become the natural response pattern for you.  I certainly experienced this at exam time when my anxiety levels skyrocketed, putting me immediately into flight mode with my body clearing out what it did not need so I could escape the perceived danger but now have tools and techniques to help clear the triggers and calm my nervous system and would love to share them with you if you want to know more – www.samanthahardwick.com

Some of the emotional links may be connected with maintaining control and boundaries, or letting go and releasing control, intense fear, lack of confidence or nervousness that arises when confronting unknown situations, indigestible anger and frustration – angry with someone or something and cannot understand what someone is doing, why they are doing it or why the situation is happening.

If you feel you need help and want to find out more about the work I do, I would love to support you, you can call me on 07974 682525 or email me on hello@samanthahardwick.com to set up a time to chat.


Do you have an an anxiety mindset?

We currently live in a stress -filled age.  Stress is everywhere.  Lives are moving faster, and stress seems to be on the increase.  Human beings can only take so much stress before it boils over into anxiety.

Are you constantly turning over issues, thinking about the future, picking over the past, constantly analysing, worrying, or ‘nit-picking’ about what did happen or might happen?  This can be exhausting and unproductive.

If you are suffering with anxiety, you may often ask ‘What if?’ ‘What if it rains and I get wet?’  ‘What if I say something stupid?’.  This is largely based on fear of the unknown, of taking risks, and feeling unprepared or unable to deal with the unseen.

Or do you say ‘If only…’  ‘If only we had got up earlier, we wouldn’t have been delayed’ or ‘If only I hadn’t said that’, ‘If only I hadn’t eaten that cake, I wouldn’t have put on weight’.  This anxiety is around regret often disguising anger and resentment.

Or do you have the mindset of ‘should have, could have, would have’.  This is about what you should have done, what could have been and what would have happened.  This is the worst kind of negative mindset, as it is a way of beating yourself up for the past, the present and the future.

This mindset takes up a huge amount of energy and can become obsessive, we worry away, trying to rewrite history.  ‘I should have got up early, and then we could have caught the train ….it has ruined the whole day.  Should have, could have, would have can also be a way of blaming other people.  Either way it usually wipes out positive thinking as you constantly try and change the past and the future without living in the present.

An anxiety mindset can be common if you grew up with anxious parents/carers, have experienced a lot of trauma in your life or have had some bad experience with receiving any support.  Or you just maybe made that way.  You can end up using a lot of valuable energy worrying about things before they actually happen – which can be exhausting.

The good news is that it is just a bad habit which can be given up, you can learn to conquer it if you want to.  The key is to learn to catch yourself when you start off on a path of anxiety.

Consider whether you are a ‘What if’, ‘If only’ or ‘Should have, could have, would have’ type?  Or maybe you are all three.  Next time you start thinking like this, take notice, don’t beat yourself up, just be aware of when you do it.  Catch yourself and gently correct yourself.  Gradually you can learn to nip it in the bud and stay calm before it escalates out of control.

It is all about unlearning a bad habit and replacing it with something new.

If you feel you need help with transforming your anxiety mindset and want to find out more about the work I do, I would love to support you, you can call me on 07974 682525 or email me on hello@samanthahardwick.com to set up a time to chat.

It is time to spring clean

It is time to spring clean and declutter your mind and body to make room for more joy in your life?

We have all experienced a loss of some kind during this pandemic, whether it be loss of control, freedom, normality, human contact/connection, or job/finances.  You could be experiencing issues around family dynamics, around not seeing friends, health, enjoyment of life and fear for the future.  Any of these can have an impact on our mental health (such as feelings of guilt, anger, regret), and our physical health (such as headaches, tension/aches and pains, disturbed sleep).  Children and teenagers have had a double impact of loss with curtailed education, diminished job prospects and reduced social contact with peers. 

As our thoughts turn to spring cleaning our homes, we need to turn our focus onto our own mental well-being and shift old unhelpful patterns.  One of the ways of doing this is to up our self-care routine – do you have one?  Do you need to start one?  Do you give yourself any time to relax, unwind?  Are you always giving?  Are you pleasing others and putting their needs before yours?

I encourage you to take time to re-connect, recharge and replenish you.  Reset through connecting with nature, walking, gardening or dancing.  Become creative – drawing, painting, cooking.   All of these are great for clearing the mind, releasing tension and will help your self-esteem and self-worth. Whatever your self-care practice I do hope you will find time for you.

If you need help identifying/releasing old patterns of behaviour and would like freedom from feelings of hopelessness, sadness, overwhelm, loneliness, anxiety, limiting beliefs, unhealthy patterns, procrastination and want to reach a place of happiness, confidence, and joy then I invite you to book a free 20-minute nurturing call with me on 07974 682525 or hello@samanthahardwick.com.