As the roadmap for our progress out of lockdown continues, many of us, especially those who have been home schooling, caring, supporting or even shielding are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A great many people know or feel that they need a reboot, to reconnect and revitalise themselves after this unprecedented period of our lives. One obvious way to obtain all of this is to book onto a retreat. After all, a retreat is an opportunity to take a moment for yourself, to pause the daily routine so you can learn and grow as a person. The best retreats meet your personal needs and importantly, they leave you with skills and knowledge that you can continue to employ once you have completed your course. But how do you know which will be best for you?

Of course, the answer to the question is “it depends?’”

The trick to answering this question lies with you, the reader. Our guide to determining which will be the best retreat for you starts when you ask yourself a single important question. But before we get to that let’s explore what Wellbeing means.

Wellbeing is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as; being comfortable, healthy and happy. For us this characterises but oversimplifies the depth of meaning of this word. In truth Wellbeing can be broken down into a number of important domains.

  • Physical wellbeing. This reflects choices that affect the functional capability of our bodies. What we do when we move, how often, and for how long. What we eat and drink as well as how much quality sleep we get each night all contribute to our physical wellbeing.
  • Emotional wellbeing. This is our ability to cope with everyday life. It impacts our outlook on life, our positivity and confidence and also reflects how we think and feel about ourselves.
  • Spiritual wellbeing. For many this is supported through practicing religion. For all though, spiritual wellbeing is the ability to experience and integrate a sense of meaning and purpose into life. It is a connection with our inner self, with nature and for many, an even greater power.
  • Mental or intellectual wellbeing. Is our capacity for mental activity. Attention span, ability to focus and make decisions are all important elements of intellectual wellness. It helps us to expand our knowledge and skills in order to live an enjoyable and successful life.

To experience wellbeing then, an individual must possess all of the above in sufficient quantities that the person in question experiences a sense of balance in life. All the areas of wellbeing, though distinct, interact positively with one another, so working on one, can have a significant impact in other areas too. One obvious example is exercise. Exercise has an obvious impact on physical wellbeing, but studies have also shown that it enhances, mood, reduces anxiety, as well as improving mental capacity. So, we conclude that exercising is REALLY good for you.

wellness chart

The four domains are distinct, but interact to create balance and a sense of wellbeing

So, knowing all of this how do you determine which retreat is the best for you? There are so many to choose from. Well, put simply, you ask yourself, Of the four Wellbeing domains what do I need most?

For many people the answer is simple, and they will quickly locate retreat options that focus on their primary area of interest. Eg a spiritual retreat, or a weight loss Bootcamp. For others, answering that question is a little more difficult, or perhaps they feel that they would like something more balanced and holistic. The point though, is that there are retreats which are “perfect” for everyone. You, the reader determines which is best for you.

At Jubenescence, we take an holistic view of the role of a retreat, so our 4 day residential programme touches on all four domains of wellness or wellbeing.

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