"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

A treat for body and mind at home

September 8, 2023 – Are you feeling burned out, overwhelmed, stressed, unmotivated or exhausted? It's time to take higher care of yourself.

Recent Research by McKinsey points to an increased consumer interest in wellness in areas equivalent to nutrition, health, fitness, appearance, mindfulness and sleep. A wellness retreat may help with all of this. While it could be a luxury to book a week-long stay at a wellness resort, not everyone has the time, budget or means to make it occur.

Fortunately, you may take matters into your individual hands and create a meaningful wellness oasis at home. But where do you begin? And which wellness components must you concentrate on?

WebMD turned to experts at Hilton Head Health, a renowned wellness resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina, for tips about methods to recreate the experience of a wellness retreat at home.

Understanding the facility of self-care

Given our mobile, continuously connected lifestyles, the emphasis on self-care is much more necessary today.

Anne Poirier, director of behavioral health at Hilton Head Health, defines self-care as any activity you intentionally undertake to keep up or improve your physical, emotional, or mental health. “Take time to listen to what your body and mind need—and then Act “Paying attention is what self-care is all about,” says Poirier, declaring that it reduces stress, increases energy and improves mood.

“Creating and creating time for a retreat at home can be a wonderful way to start a self-care routine or allow for real rest and rejuvenation to help you preferably “Focus on your work, your family and your life,” Poirier said.

Program director David Chesworth said the goal is to return to on a regular basis life refreshed and energized, with advantages equivalent to reduced pain, increased concentration, improved mood and higher stress management.

Preparing the stage

The most significant task is to find out the goal of the retreat, Poirier said. Is it about leisure? Self-discovery? Energy? Your goal will make it easier to tailor the retreat activities to your needs. A great place to begin is to think about the essential components using a holistic approach.

“The retreat process involves switching off from everyday life and emphasizing some or all of the pillars of nutrition, fitness, rest, curiosity, mindfulness, recovery and relaxation – all of which help the body and mind feel refreshed,” noted Chesworth.

Poirier shared some practical planning suggestions to guard your time, set boundaries and reduce stress.

“Take the weekend and tell people you're offline!” she said. Nothing can smash your best-laid plans faster than unexpected visitors and annoying phone calls.

Any other pragmatic suggestions?

  • Clean the home before the retreat so that you don't find yourself in chaos.
  • Plan and prepare your meals and snacks prematurely.
  • Make a schedule — with some wiggle room. “At Hilton Head Health, we call this structured flexibility,” Poirier said. “My weekend is structured, and I'm also flexible enough to accommodate my own needs.”
  • Bring every thing you would like, including food, herbal teas, coloured pencils, a diary, incense sticks, beauty treatments, etc.

The goal is to make your retreat functional, beautiful, calming, and conducive to quality “me time.”

Plan your retreat

Depending in your lifestyle, goals and budget, the retreat can last from a day to an extended weekend to a complete week. Is there a perfect length? Within reason, the longer the higher, says Bob Wright. Director of Lifestyle Education at Hilton Head Health.

“It may be unrealistic to do it for a whole week, and one day is probably not enough time to get a measurable benefit,” Wright said, noting that an extended weekend could work. Poirier said a weekend provides enough time for the body to loosen up. But she said it may be helpful to “take even one day off” from normal each day activities and devote yourself entirely to self-care.

Since budgets for a DIY vacation vary, Chesworth offers each low-cost and budget-friendly options. One budget-friendly idea is to spend time outdoors. “It's a great way to lift your mood, promote sleep and get some vitamin D!” he said.

Take a walk in a close-by park and luxuriate in the great thing about the environment. Chesworth suggests either bringing a friend so as to add a social element, or going alone (and leaving your phone at home) so as to add a mindful element. When it involves treating yourself, Chesworth suggests booking a massage therapist to return to your house or scheduling a pampering treatment at a neighborhood spa. If you like cooking, learn some recent healthy recipes. “But if you hate cooking, consider hiring a private chef or treating yourself to healthy meals at local restaurants,” he suggests.

Revealing the Retreat Experience

A great wellness vacation should include a mix of stimulating and relaxing activities, Poirier said. Depending in your goals and lifestyle, this may increasingly include:

  • Nourishing food
  • Out into nature
  • meditation
  • Exercise (yoga, walking, dancing, etc.)
  • Hydration (using flavored water or herbal teas)
  • Happy activities (listening to music, writing a diary, painting, reading)
  • Pamper your body (get a massage, take a shower, handle your hair).


Because a wellness retreat is about greater than just healthy meals, take time to define your personal dietary goals, says Elizabeth Huggins, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. “Once you've defined your goal(s), consider factors that will add structure to your day: food choices, portion control, ambiance and environment when eating, meal and snack times, and an approach to mindful eating,” she says.

She suggests planning meals that include fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains or beans, and cutting out highly processed foods. Also consider meal mixtures that leave you feeling pleasantly satisfied and energized, reasonably than queasy, sluggish, or affected by indigestion. Depending in your goals, you may incorporate a special treat (think raspberry sorbet or just a few squares of dark chocolate), keeping portion control in mind.

Finally, regardless of where you eat, Huggins advises taking a moment of gratitude before eating and benefiting from mindful eating. “Focus your attention on body-related sensations, including the sight, smell, sound, taste and texture of the food,” she explains.

Physical activity

Make time for various fitness experiences to energise your body and mind. In addition to taking walks in nature, Chesworth has some suggestions.

“This is a great time to experiment with local fitness classes that you never get to otherwise,” he suggested. Try boxing, learn pickleball or do Pilates. Or try working with a private trainer and book a session either at home or at a gym.

If you're in search of guidance within the comfort of your individual home, video workouts might be an awesome solution. Of course, you may at all times find free workouts on YouTube, but when you must bring the energy of an actual retreat to your house, you should buy or subscribe to online training programs.


Creating a restful environment plays a key role in sleep quality.

“One of the most important things we can do to support or improve our health and well-being is to get adequate, high-quality sleep,” Wright said.

In the short term, Wright says, making sleep a priority for per week or just a few days and noticing the positive impact it may have might motivate you. usually Focus on sleep. Long-term, Chesworth recommends investing in a high quality, sleep-inducing environment. That might mean updating your mattress, pillows and bedding, and investing in blackout curtains.

Mindfulness and stress management

To cultivate mindfulness and higher manage stress, Poirier says meditation must be the very first thing you intend into your retreat. “Start each morning with a grounding meditation to set the tone of the retreat,” she said. Use free or paid meditation apps (like Insight Timer or Calm) to search out what works best for you.

Other stress-relieving activities include yoga, stretching, painting, listening to relaxing music, taking walks in nature, journaling, taking an Epsom salt bath, and laughing (borrow a comedy or watch a sitcom). Plan a few of these activities into your retreat.

“Make sure you schedule rest times,” Poirier advised. “One mistake we make is to fill every minute. Instead, create some free space on your weekend to simply Be.”

Beyond retreat: measuring success and integrating habits

Be realistic about your expectations for withdrawal, Wright said.

“After a weekend or perhaps a week-long break, it could be unrealistic to expect significant physiological changes or improvements,” he said. “I’d focus more on aspects equivalent to energy, stress, rest and mood.”

One way to assess these factors? Wright suggested doing a scale assessment before and after the retreat. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, you can indicate how tired you feel (1 means not at all, 10 means very), how stressed, how energized, etc. “If these quality of life indicators improved during your retreat at home, which may motivate you to do some retreat practices regularly,” he said.

Once you discover areas where improvement is feasible (more energy, less stress, more rest, less hunger, etc.), Wright recommends setting a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Bound) goal for the behaviors that led to improvement.

By following these expert suggestions, you may create a personalised wellness retreat at home that can rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. And more importantly, the retreat can make it easier to incorporate self-care habits into your each day routine, fostering a sustainable commitment to your mental and physical well-being.