There's no doubt that 2020 has greatly impacted our mental well-being, and while indulging in a wellness retreat off on a remote island sounds quite ideal, it's not very realistic for a variety of reasons. That being said, we were curious about how you might be able to take the idea of a wellness sabbatical and implement it from comfort of your own home, so read on to learn more and get started.
What is a wellness sabbatical?
First off, let's take a look at what exactly a wellness sabbatical is all about. According to the Global Wellness Summit, a wellness sabbatical is "three weeks (or longer) of focusing on your health and wellness — enough time to make lasting lifestyle changes." The twist, though, is that devices like smartphones and laptops are welcome (albeit to a lesser extent when possible), as completely disconnecting can potentially lead to even higher stress levels given we have a litany of responsibilities to tend to from jobs to families and plenty in-between. Essentially, the idea of a wellness sabbatical is to strike a healthy balance between the pursuit of wellness and the need to work.
Benefits of taking a breather
We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the humdrum of life and forgetting to take care of ourselves or pausing to reflect on what really matters. Studies have shown that taking breaks are important for replenishing the mind and can help reduce stress — and a break doesn't have to mean a two-week vacation where there's no WiFi. It can be as simple as that morning meditation ritual or taking a midday pause for a brisk walk without technology. Other benefits of taking strategic breaks throughout the day include restored motivation, improved learning, and increased productivity and creativity.
Set your schedule
If you want to get the most out of an at-home wellness sabbatical, you'll have to make a plan and truly commit to it, as it's no doubt easy to slip back into habits you might be trying to break when you're in your own space. You'll want to create a daily schedule for the duration of your sabbatical, and since there are several resorts out there that offer wellness sabbaticals and retreats, why not take a look at their offerings to help give you some inspiration? For example, here is a sample schedule from WorkWell, a program that offers wellness focused getaways at Hilton Head Health in South Carolina. It includes several activities like mediation, various workouts, nutritious meals and time built in to take care of work and other responsibilities. The idea is to have all your waking hours mapped out and to stick to the schedule as best you can — oh, and you'll want to try and get plenty of sleep, so that means ditching the late-night scrolling in bed.
Plan your food and drink
Since healthy meals abound at wellness retreats, it's important you have plenty of wholesome options on hand for yours. While there are a litany of healthy recipes out there in the universe, another idea might be to occasionally treat yourself to a meal delivery service, which can offer nourishing meals loaded with superfoods, straight to your doorstep. Be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate as well and have plenty of nutritious snacks on hand like fruit, veggies, nuts and nut butters, supplies for smoothies etc.
Prepare your space
It's also important to prepare your space before kicking off your wellness sabbatical. Try and get control of any clutter in the area where you'll be spending most of your time as stacks of mail and bursting closets can affect your state of mind. Other ideas for your space might include something like a meditation cushion, essential oil diffuser, salt lamp, or a yoga mat rolled up in the corner ready for stretch breaks.
Give people a heads up
One last handy tip is to let certain family members and friends know about your plans to do a wellness sabbatical and that while you'll answer them when you can, you might not be as readily available or checking your phone as often as usual.
Making wellness a habit
There's no doubt it takes discipline and hard work to develop good habits and why not use an at-home wellness sabbatical as a starting point to do so — after all, you matter and so does your mental health! For example, shifting your routine from instantly checking your phone from the moment you wake up to choosing to mediate for a handful of minutes before doing anything else is one small change that could make a big difference in the long run.