Whenever I think of health retreats I always have this picture in my head of long haired hippies wearing white linen robes, doing yoga and eating big bowls of lentils. The idea of going to a health retreat never even crossed my mind. They are for hippies after all, aren’t they?
And then a couple of weeks ago I received an invitation from Solar Springs health retreat to spend 24 hours at their retreat in Bundanoon in the gorgeous NSW Southern Highlands so I could experience it for myself. As soon as I had checked that hubby was going to be home that night I said yes. Getting away for a night was exactly what I needed.
But then the image of the robed-lentil-eating-yoga-posing-hippie popped into my head. What had I done? Well, I had a fabulous 24 hours and learnt so much. I got to spend time with a few other gorgeous bloggers (Live It, Do It, Sydney Social 101 and Health is my Oyster) and take time out for myself, even if I was working. Here are 13 things I learnt from my time at Solar Springs…
1. A healthy life with no laughter or fun is not all that healthy – food, exercise, time out, happiness – they all matter in equal measure. There is no one size fits all approach – you need to find what works for you.
2. The old saying of “everything in moderation” is true. At Solar Springs we were treated to a three course dinner (including wine and dessert). It was good food, eaten slowly, with an emphasis on moderation.
3. Good, healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. It can be delicious and exciting and leave you feeling much more satisfied than junk food. It is about going back to the basics and doing them well.
4. Often we know what it is we need to do to change but there is something holding us back. Removing those barriers takes work but that is the hardest part.
5. Stretching is a beautiful way to start the morning. It clears your head and leaves you feel fresh, energised and ready to face the day.
6. Energy comes from so many different sources. Sleep and rest; exercise and activity; food; reflection; nature; tea…
7. People are good. The other guests at Solar Springs were so friendly and lovely to talk to. They were interested in our blogs and warm and welcoming. On holidays at a hotel you don’t get much chance to connect with other guests but at Solar Springs, the communal living room and dining room were all opportunities to meet new people also on a health journey.
8. Silence really is golden. Stopping and reflecting brings clarity. Clearing the clutter from our heads, the endless to-do lists etc allows us to focus on what we need to. Reflection and inaction are just as important as action. Meditation is a great way to centre your mind and slow down the tempo of life.
9. You shouldn’t feel guilty about looking after yourself. I initially felt guilty about going away for the night but then I realised that looking after myself is equally as important as looking after my family. If I fall and crumble in a heap, what good is that to anyone?
10. The staff at health retreats aren’t robed-lentil-eating-yoga-posing-hippies. Some of them even wear suits! They are (really lovely!) people who want to help you make a difference in your life.
11. Goals need to be written down and visible. Setting goals in your head is great but unless you can see them everyday you will lose focus.
12. Honesty is the best policy – be honest with yourself and those who are trying to help you so that you can see results
13. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I came home feeling so refreshed and energised, having really missed hubby and Olivia. I was so happy to see them and return to the chaos of our life, equipped with a few new skills and mindset shifts.
Have you ever spent time at a health retreat? What did you learn from it?
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