Wellness Week… or Weekend!
A health retreat, at home
You know when you’re starting to feel really run down, worn out and you just need a break? But you still have to tend to the kids, go to work, live your life? This is my solution. A suggestion that will inevitably evolve, with your feedback, over time.
Having had the opportunity recently to step out of life, and into a health retreat, I knew I had to find a way to adopt this experience and refine it into a program that would allow us to reset from home. Introducing the Wellness Week: a program you can do without leaving the comfort or responsibilities of your everyday life.
I reflected on my learnings whilst away, and my normal wellbeing practices, and have devised this concept, that you can adjust to realistically suit your lifestyle, and implement to feel better from wherever you are. I intend to practice this myself, regularly. Grab a friend as your accountability partner, and do a wellness week, or weekend, from home. Remembering, as Julie Genney says, ‘if you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness'.
The most important thing is to make a commitment to yourself that you want to feel better at the completion of your Wellness Week. This means making some sacrifices along the way. Lean on your accountability partner whenever you find yourself scrolling on Deliveroo, or being tempted to sleep in… or lean on me. Back each other and remember that hard work always pays off and without our health, we have nothing.
1 | Commit to your Wellness Week dates (I recommend a Mon-Sun).
2 | Optional: Find a friend to do this with, and to act as your Accountability Partner.
3 | Plan ahead! Book in your various classes and treatments over the week well in advance, so you can look forward to it and perhaps even avoid naughty behaviour in the lead up, to get the most out of it… just as if you were going on a ‘real’ health retreat.
4 | Say no to all commitments outside of the ‘musts’ - no social, nothing you don’t want to do or feel you would usually ‘have’ to do over this period of time. Saying no is hard but you can do it. Less is more and you are going to need extra time to invest in yourself.
5 | Budget dependent, you can invest in 1:1 treatments and trainers, or find free classes online. As you know, the internet offers up just about everything you could ever need so don’t feel you need to spend money in order to commit to your wellness week.
6 | Consider the options below and build your program!
Make a plan that works for you! I recommend you opt into the suggestions below that genuinely appeal to you. You can build your daily and weekly program to suit your needs. I am obviously not suggesting you do all of the below daily, as that would be a full time job, I suggest you pick and choose what feels right for you each day, and build a diverse program for the week. Please don’t set yourself up for failure by building it to start at 4AM if you’re not a morning person… but do try to get up earlier than usual. It feels good. Find the balance that’s right for you. Oh, and it’s fine to do it all in the evening, if that’s when it’s realistically going to happen. Just make it happen! I can’t do this work for you but I can promise you, the work will do a lot for you.
- Ideally, wake up to a Lumie light or set your alarm tone to chanting or something calm
- Get out of bed, burn incense and candles, get on your mat
- Stretch, lightly on the mat - whatever your body feels to do
- Visualise the best day you could possibly have ahead
- Write it out - your plans for the day, what you’d love to achieve, what you’re grateful for
- Listen to chanting - sing along, I dare you (in the shower if you’re time poor) or if that’s too far for you, listen to really feel good, up beat music as you start your day
- Read or listen to your affirmations (mine are pre-recorded in my own voice and I listen to them on my way to work)
- Meet your accountability partner for some movement and a sauna / steam / swim, whatever is possible
- Hydrate all day long, drink and drink and drink water/herbal teas
- Buy the most diverse range of fruits and vegetables you can and cook your healthy meals - you know the drill as you’ve heard it all before. Smaller portions, a range of colour and light proteins. Finish eating early in the evening to allow your body time to digest. I stick to one coffee first thing and if I’m in need of something, have a matcha later in the day. Make little changes like this that you know are better for you.
- Switch off and switch out - TV for a book, ideally something motivational and inspiring
- Do something outside of your comfort zone - take a dance class, do something that you find ‘embarrassing’
- Earthing - sit in the park with friends with your feet in the grass, or at the beach sit in the sand whilst the waves lap up on you
- Say no to invitations you don’t want to attend and find more time for you
- Invest in yourself with a massage - thai yoga, swedish, it doesn’t matter! Invest in yourself and thank yourself for doing this week
- Bath if you can, with magnesium salts
- Sleep! Get as much sleep as you can, go to bed as early as possible and read or chat in bed. Take a magnesium supplement for better rest and muscle recovery.
I recommend you choose options from the below that genuinely appeal to you, and as I said, schedule in advance so you’re committed and have done everything in your power to make this program happen.
(min. 1 session per day, ideally a class + walking)
- Walk with a friend (in nature, preferably)
Chanting | Listen to chanting music, and maybe even try to sing along. I know you will feel really silly at first but it’s proven to contribute to a positive mind and I feel doing something outside of your comfort zone every now and then is really uplifting. Get out of your normal daily routine, and start chanting first thing in the morning or in the shower. My husband often blasts chanting music through our house at 5AM and whilst I used to find it frankly weird, and quite funny, I have to say it does definitely start the day on a positive note.
Meditate | Meditate daily (if you don’t already have an App for guided meditation, you can do a free trial of ThinkUp or Chopra for the week!)
Write | Take time daily to switch off and write. Fill your notebook. Write whatever comes to mind. It might be your thoughts, your fears, your dreams or your to do list. Just pour it all out onto the pages.
Earthing | Try earthing - sitting, lying or standing with direct contact to the earth. Earthing or grounding is said to improve sleep, reduce pain and stress, speed up wound healing, lower inflammation and better blood flow. I find this super hard living in London, compared to life in Sydney so do your best… I know this one isn’t always easy and I don’t expect you to go walking through the snow in Central Park in January.
Contemplate | Watch the sun rise and the sun set at least once this week, ideally with your feet in nature (sand, grass etc).
Affirmations | It is worth building your affirmations before the week begins so you can spend the week listening to them or reading them. You might want to write them on post-it notes and stick them in places that will inspire you, for example, on your bathroom mirror, in your car or on your computer at work.
Giving back | Try to do something nice for someone this week. You can buy a coffee for your colleague or write someone a card for no reason at all. See how it makes you feel to share the love.
Schedule in advance so you’re committed.
Cook | Fuel your body with beautiful, clean, healthy food. Eat as many different vegetables as you can. If you can, go to your local farmers market and stock up on a huge variety of fresh, clean, healthy foods. Cut out alcohol, dairy, sugar and carbs. Insert colour and variety into your diet this week.
Hydrotherapy | Sauna, Steam, Swim. If you can, find a sauna, steam and cold water therapy. Do this as often as you can throughout the week, ideally daily. Make it fun with your partner, start the morning and set up your day with improved circulation, reduced stress and by burning some calories!
Massage | Massage isn’t just a luxury, it supports your health. It improves circulation, decreases joint inflammation, it even improves your immune response! Book a massage mid week, or on the final day as a reward for making it through.
Sleep | Nothing is as important as sleep. Without good quality sleep, your body can’t function. Take magnesium and a magnesium salt bath, if you can. Schedule in a minimum of 8 hours per night (which means scheduling 9 realistically to allow for faffing).
SOCIAL MEDIA TIP!
Try to limit technology, screen and phone time… try to be offline as much as possible, to go online, within. If you use your phone as your alarm in the morning, strictly switch it off and turn it over. Choose your meditations before the week begins so you don’t get tempted to start scrolling! I did a social media detox whilst I was on my retreat and I highly recommend it. If you use instagram for work, download the App to post, and delete it again to avoid aimless scrolling throughout the day.
Try to be offline as much as possible, to go online, within.
If you’re doing a Wellness Week, please share it with me. Tag me on insta so I can come along for the ride or email me as I’d love to hear your feedback and what details you’d like more information around so I can continue to evolve the program and make it better for all of us. I’d mostly love to see you chanting, let’s see who’s brave enough to share that. You might even take some of these changes with you into your everyday life. I can’t wait to see what you achieve, and hear how it makes you feel upon completion.
"The most important thing
is to make a commitment
to yourself that you want to
feel better at the completion
of your Wellness Week."
I can’t do this work for you but I can promise you, the work will do a lot for you.