In our October 2021 Thailand-only giveaway, we asked our guests one question – what are the main reasons for them to book a retreat holiday?
In today’s blog, I want to share with you the top 3 reasons why a wellness retreat can be your next holiday choice.
#1: Take care of your body (physically, emotionally, mentally)
The number one reason why our guests love to go on a retreat is to take a break from their busy lives and to focus on taking care of themselves. This does not limit to just taking care of the physical body, but also emotionally and mentally.
In our daily life, it’s easy to go on auto pilot mode and let our habits and routine drive the day. We wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat, check our phones, and go to sleep. If everything is going alright (seemingly), and that we are not physically sick, we just go on with our lives, believing everything is fine.
But there may be a tiny voice or feeling inside you, nudging you that something is not right. Perhaps you see photos of other countries or cities and have the desire to travel and get away from where you are. Perhaps you feel exhausted and heavy all the time. Perhaps you lose your motivation to get up in the morning. Perhaps one day your emotions just explode and you feel raw and soft and vulnerable inside.
A retreat holiday allows us to step out of our daily lives and to take the time and attention to focus entirely on ourselves. Coming to a retreat help us to break out from the rut from our daily routine and certain unhealthy habits too.
For example, at Museflower we don’t provide wifi in the room. Most of us rely heavily on wifi connection nowadays to chat with friends and family and to be entertained in the evening. What do you do if there’s no wifi connection? Think back to 20 to 30 years ago when there was no wifi. What did you do in the evenings before you go to bed? Did you read a book or a magazine? Listen to music? Call a friend to chat directly?
When we are willing to step out from our daily routine, we create time and space to reflect on what really matters in our lives. Retreat holidays also give us an opportunity to learn and form new, healthier lifestyle choices to integrate back to our daily lives.
The second reason to go on a retreat holiday is to de-stress, which is quite similar to the first reason.
Many scientific studies have showed that stress is the number one proxy killer disease today and are linked to many chronic diseases, such as dementia, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. According to Huffpost Blog’s “How Stress Affects the Body”, American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease.
In my life, some part of my work is stressful even though I am my own boss. Coming back home and looking at the clutter makes me feel stressful. My never-ending to-do list is stressful. There are so many things I want to do and the feeling that I just don’t have enough time stresses me out.
Of course, I know that I am the root cause of my stress. I create stress in my life from my thoughts, decisions, judgments, and choices that I make.
There are also environmental stresses that we cannot control, for example the global pandemic situation, local government policies, pollution, violence, oppression, and other people’s stresses, emotions and trauma that we may pick up energetically.
When we are able to take a break physically from our workplace, our home and maybe even our city where we usually live and come back to nature, we can temporarily get away from situations, surroundings and people who stress us out. This temporary but much-needed getaway can give us the clarity and answer on how we can let go of these stresses.
A retreat holiday can also offer us valuable tools, practices, knowledge, time and space to reflect on our own lifestyle choices, and ultimately our own beliefs and thoughts that create these stresses in our lives. Most of the time, the stress is not physical but mental – it is the way how we react to certain situations, people and surroundings that stress us out.
When we know that we can choose to mindfully respond instead of react, we reclaim the power and become a conscious co-creator of our lives.
#3: Return to Nature
Most of our guests who come to stay at Museflower live in a city with busy, hectic lifestyle.
Cities are great that they provide convenience, lots of options and fun, and they have this bustling energy that energize us.
But as human beings, we all need to connect with nature. Can you imagine how life would be like if there were no more trees and flowers? We probably won’t survive long.
Many studies have shown the positive healing effect of nature on humans. For example, in Harvard Health Blog published by Harvard Medical School, “Can Forest Therapy Enhance Health and Well-Being?”, it mentioned that in a test, people’s levels of cortisol (a hormone raised by stress) decreased after a walk in the forest compared to people who walked in a laboratory setting.
In the same blog, it also mentioned a Japanese study that showed a rise in number and activity of immune cells called natural killer cells that fight viruses and cancer among people who spent three days and two nights in a forest compared to the people who took an urban trip. The great news was that this benefit lasted for more than a month after the forest trip.
In my recent trip to stay at Moncham mountain in Chiang Mai for one night in November 2021, I was deeply touched by the experience, even though I didn’t even go there for a retreat. Just by breathing in the crisp cool mountain air, looking at the night sky and the view, and keeping my phone switched off, I felt refreshed and my energy cleansed. A shift has taken place.
Even though I also live in the countryside, my headspace is usually filled with thoughts about work and things to do. I forget to be in the present moment and appreciate nature that is all around me. Only by stepping away from my own daily life, I can reflect and see more clearly.
Nature has this magical healing touch. Just by being present in a nature, healing happens. No matter where you are at in your life, nature always provides you with what you need. All we need to do is to stay present, observe, breathe, and let nature show us the way.
Where to book your retreat holiday?
I highly recommend booking your retreat holiday directly with the retreat centers for the best deals and most accurate information.
However, there are also many helpful retreat listing websites that show case various retreats going on in one region or location.
Here are a few retreat booking websites for your reference. Personally I haven’t used them as a client, but Museflower Retreat & Spa is listed on these websites.
- Susan Abookire, “Can forest therapy enhance health and well-being?”, May 29 2020, Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-forest-therapy-enhance-health-and-well-being-2020052919948
- Association of Nature and Forest Therapy: https://www.natureandforesttherapy.earth/about/the-science
- HeartMath LLC, “How Stress Affects the Body”, December 6 2017, Huffpost Blog: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-stress-affects-the-body_b_2422522
- Louisa Valvano, “Links between Stress and the most common causes of Death”, March 15 2018, Stress Management Society UK: https://www.stress.org.uk/links-stress-common-causes-death/