Why is a retreat different to a holiday?

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Samantha Hardwick

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.

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