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Why our Greek retreat is good for your mental health

It's true that a week away won't fix all your problems and that change takes time...but travel combined with all the carefully chosen elements of our Full Recharge Retreat might be just the reset you need to give your mental health a powerful boost. Let's take a look at why that's the case.

What do we mean by 'Full Recharge'?

Did you know there are actually seven types of rest? You will experience them all on this retreat; physical, emotional, sensory, mental, creative, spiritual and social. The whole week is designed with this in mind, so that you can return feeling completely refreshed, inspired and rested.

The travel aspect

Going to a new place automatically provides a perspective you just can't get in your daily life. Sometimes we physically need to be somewhere different to feel different, and to get that birds eye view of our lives in order to see what's going on and what direction we want to head in on our return. Research shows us that there are many aspects of travel that are good for our mental health, including having new experiences, reducing stress and allowing you to experience beauty.

“Foreign experiences increase cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought,” says Adam Galinsky, a professor and author of numerous studies on the connection between creativity and international travel.

We're calling this experience 'gentle adventure' - it's enough of an adventure to give you the benefits of doing something new and exploring beautiful places but without it being too intense or challenging.

When we're in a new place, with new people, it gives us the freedom to try out new ways of being. Often we can feel more authentic and less inhibited when we take ourselves out of our daily lives.

"I think of travel not just as seeing the world and experiencing new cultures but also as a chance to experience new parts of myself" - Amy Beecham in Stylist magazine

On our Full Recharge Retreat you get all the benefits of travel with much of the stress taken away as we'll pick you up from the airport and organise transport and activities whilst you're here. All you have to do is rest, have fun and enjoy it all!

The nature cure

The two branches of our wellbeing theme for this retreat are nature and makes sense as I'm a nature connection guide and my husband and co-host Steve is a chef! There's a wealth of research that tells us how amazing being in nature is for our physical, mental and spiritual health.

On The Full Recharge retreat you'll get to experience nature connection every day simply by being on this green and gorgeous island, that in May will be covered in cheerful wild flowers and fragrant pine trees. Our villa has a view of emerald hills and the glittering sea.

We'll be deepening our connection to nature with an relaxing forest bathing session. Forest Bathing is a mindful, immersive walk in nature where we use our senses to 'bathe' in the forest environment, really slowing down and being with the plants, trees and animals around us. Skiathos offers us a rich, biodiverse place to explore the protected pine and eucalyptus forests that lead to stunning beaches. Actual bathing, or swimming, isn't normally included on a Forest Bathing session but it will certainly be on offer here!

A 2020 study found that people who were consciously aware of the vistas and objects around them on a walk reported being more hopeful and upbeat than other walkers. What could be better than enjoying the wonderful scenery of a new destination on a hiking route?" - Travelhub

Good mood food

Both my husband and I love to cook and to eat - it's one of life's simple pleasures. Good nutrition is so important for our overall health and so it will be our pleasure to create nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals for you. We'll be using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, highlighting the benefits of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine for health AND taste.

You'll also have the opportunity to eat in local restaurants where of course you can order whatever you fancy. We've taken the liberty of trying several eateries on the island and the standard is always excellent. Might I also recommend the baklava ice-cream. pretty sure that's a recipe for happiness right there!

Simply being & mindful movement

Mindfulness - the practice of being present in the 'here and now' will be embedded throughout the retreat. We do tend to feel more present on holiday because we're away from our responsibilities and to-do lists. The environment - our villa on the hill - is perfectly placed to put you in a calm and aware frame of mind.

We'll be doing regular guided meditation practices, suitable for beginners and all levels, to further encourage being present, open and connected.

In addition to mindful walking (forest bathing) and seated meditation we have the wonderful opportunity to practice rooftop yoga, guided by an experienced professional and Skiathos resident, Sarah. Yoga is a healing practice of mindful movement and helps to regulate the nervous system.

Reflective journaling

If you've never done journaling before then don't be daunted, it's simply a way of getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper so you can have some clarity and catharsis. We'll weave this practice into our days so we can set intentions and reflect on our experiences. Journaling helps improve self awareness and can provide insights into our values, desires and blockages that can lead to some real 'ah ha!' moments.

We'll be doing this in our beautifully designed villa, quite possibly by the pool, gazing at the stunning view whilst we collect our thoughts.

Being with nice humans

We all need quality human connection, it's one of our basic needs but it can be challenging to access enough of it in our tech driven, busy lives. During this retreat week you'll have a small group of lovely humans to hang out and share experiences with. If you're more on the introverted side then please don't worry, you will also have plenty of time to yourself and nothing is demanded or expected of you.

Myself (a counsellor) and Steve (a very nice human being indeed) will of course be there to support you and make your stay with us a nourishing experience.

Freedom of choice

Lastly, we've designed this retreat so that you have a selection of wellbeing activities and experiences to enjoy - but nothing is an obligation, it's your week and your choice as to what to join in with. Perhaps you'll embrace it all, or you might pick and choose, or you might spend the week napping, reading and eating - that is totally up to you! It's not rest if you feel that you have to - in fact the word "should" is deemed a swear word here and you're only to do things you want to do (except, sadly, to get on the plane at the end of it. We really can't claim squatters rights in the villa as tempting as that might be!).

We hope you can see just how much love and thought has gone into the creation of this retreat and that you're planning on joining us. The details including costs and dates are all on the webpage:

To reserve your place, simply email me expressing your interest and I will send you a booking form:

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