The Benefits of a Wellness Retreat

Reasons to Take a Wellness Retreat 

Wellness retreats aren’t a particularly new phenomenon, but in recent years, the concept has definitely evolved. What was once solely about a few spa treatments and a bit of yoga has grown into a diverse retreat offering all over the globe, with specialist retreats catering to all of modern life’s trials and tribulations. 

If a tricky period in your life has you considering taking a wellness holiday to a healing retreat, or you’re simply desperate for a stress-free reset, you’re probably curious to know what the real benefits of wellness retreats are. Luckily for you, there are many, and below we’ve listed out nine of the most important ones as well as filing you in on how New Life wellness retreat in Portugal takes the experience to the next level.

For a break from the everyday

First and foremost, wellness retreats are an escape. They allow you to leave behind the frantic conveyor belt of normal day-to-day life and finally take the time required to reflect, rest and recuperate. Unlike traditional holidays which – between all the sightseeing and late night socialising – can be tiring in themselves, health retreats offer a more mindful kind of break, with every element of the experience is specifically tailored to help you nurture your mind, body and soul. 

For a full nervous system reset 

In our always-on world, it’s very hard for our nervous systems to enter rest mode. Spurred on by external stimuli such as technology, stress and a lack of sleep, cortisol levels keep the mind whirring and the body working overtime. By removing such triggers, healing wellness retreats can help you reset your nervous system and bring everything back into balance. That doesn’t mean it’s all quiet meditations and total relaxation: you can take from the wellness holiday experience whatever you wish. “Everyone who comes to NL can expect to be challenged and nurtured through our programming and community living,” Karin adds.  “They will have opportunities to reset in beauty and quiet or be active and engaged.”

To make meaningful connections 

Even if you head there alone, it’s highly likely you’ll leave the health retreat with a handful of new lifelong friends. Put it this way: you’ve all come to the same place for a similar goal: to invest time and energy in your own wellbeing. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that retreats are full of lots of like-minded individuals. 

At New Life Portugal’s wellness retreat in Europe, we put a particular focus on the role of community. “Community experiences include workshops, group meditation and yoga classes and fun activities like group treks into the mountains, a weekend dance or a bonfire outdoors,” Karin explains. “Individuals can decide how much involvement they want in community life but this component is especially nice for anyone travelling alone or who live alone and want to vacation in a setting where they can nurture wellbeing while being welcomed into a larger community context where friendships can be made and experience shared.”

For skilled emotional support 

Many wellness retreats are staffed by a roster of trained health professionals, armed with the tools and knowledge to best support your journey to recovery. At New Life Portugal, our experts are skilled and experienced, offering advanced and up-to-date therapy and counselling methods to guide you through any issues you currently face.

For an alternative to the traditional mental health system

That being said, wellness retreats can offer experiences not necessarily available at home. “For those coming for emotional support, what we call our Resilience Path, they typically want to be seen as a ‘whole person’ and long for a non-pathologizing approach to care,” explains Karim. “They are looking for an experience that is different than what is typically available in the traditional mental health system.” It’s the unique blend of beautiful surroundings, always-on mindfulness training, trained mental health support and group experiences that makes our wellness retreats at New Life Portugal stand out. 

To immerse yourself in the healing power of nature

It’s no lucky coincidence that so many health retreats are  situated in areas of incredible natural beauty: a multitude of studies point towards the calming and healing power of nature. New Life Portugal is located in the Serra Da Estrela Natural Park, a UNESCO Global Geoparks site and Portugal’s oldest and largest nature conservation area. Not only does such a setting provide the ideal environment for optimising your mental, emotional and spiritual healing journey, but it also allows you to reconnect with the grounding force of nature, something we could all do with more of in our tech-focussed world.

To connect to your best self 

When life takes over, it can be all too easy to forget who you really are: what makes you tick, what makes you laugh and what makes you feel present. Enabling you the chance to slow down and take a step back, wellness retreats can help you remember all of that. We place a particular focus on helping connect guests to their best (most balanced, content, calm, resilient) self. 

For physical, emotional or spiritual healing

Depending on the retreat you choose, most holistic wellness breaks take an all-round holistic approach, helping you strengthen your physical, emotion and spiritual resilience. Perhaps you’re particularly interested in one area, however it’s by working on these factors in tandem that you’ll truly optimise your healing journey, which is exactly the approach we take here at New Life Portugal. We take an integrative approach to wellbeing, meaning we consider and utilise the interconnectedness of the mind,, body and soul.

For targeted, short term counselling to coach you through life’s trickier moments

Life is full of obstacles: some we can handle, others dare to push us to the brink of what we believe we can handle. Wellness retreats can be excellent places to seek guidance through a particularly challenging issue. At New Life Portugal, our Resilience pathway is especially suited to those seeking targeted short term counselling whether the focus is on personal growth, figuring out what’s next in your life or a current situational issue like a recent loss. “For more complex issues like addictions, severe depression and anxiety, we are a ‘secondary’ level of care, meaning, the individual has already had some counseling/treatment, and are looking to deepen what has already begun or work on ways to integrate this work into their day to day lives,” explains Karin. 

How New Life Portugal’s Retreat Centre Can Help You 

At New Life Portugal, we understand that wellbeing is innately personal, which is why we offer a series of pathways that enable guests to tailor the wellness retreat experience to them and their needs. However, each of our four pathways will immerse you in the grounding force of nature, carve time out from the stress of the everyday, offer deep rest and relaxation, utilise the healing power of community and take an unique integrative approach to holistic wellbeing. 

We veer away from the traditional wellness retreat offering to provide a unique experience focussed on three core pillars. 

  • Community
    “Research on wellbeing consistently points to a sense of meaningful belonging and purposeful living as key to wellbeing. After a year of forced isolation due to the pandemic, this is more important than ever.” At New Life Portugal’s wellness retreat, all our guests and staff are part of the community, and much of our programming focuses on fostering connections, helping guests feel part of something much bigger. 
  • Mental health and emotional support.
    We offer trained and skilled emotional support to all our guests, whether they simply need a listening ear, or need much more in-depth help through trickier issues. For those needing a bit more than the typical wellness experience, or those struggling with specific issues such as burnout, grief, anxiety, depression, relationship issues or working on relapse prevention for out of control behaviors, our counselling offering alongside our workshops can really help with this.
  • Integrative living
    “Most wellness retreats include some mindfulness training but at NL, mindfulness is woven into all we do,” explains Karin. “We expect all our programming staff to not only be a model of mindful living, but to be skilled at guiding our guests, no matter what activities they are engaged in, to do so in a way that is more fully present. We can never be truly satisfied if we are not fully here!”

To find out more about the wellness retreats available at New Life Portugal, click here.