Health & Wellness, Transformative Family Holidays. Are They For You?
Updated: May 30, 2019
If, like us, you or your family members are constantly feeling indifferent, physically and mentally run down and generally fed up with your current way of being then you may be ready for a life changing mind, body and soul adventure.
You should certainly give this type of holiday some serious thought if your family have become disconnected due to the the stress of modern life including long working hours, extensive study, illness or you are just plain cheesed off with laying on a sun lounger whilst consuming your own body weight in strawberry daiquiri's and soft serve ice cream.
There are some amazing family mind, body and soul holidays out there that don't have you eating mung beans, participating in happy clappy sessions or sitting in on seminars about the environmental apocalypse. And, if you feel frazzled, jaded and totally fed up with over tourism then the time for a holiday like this could be now.
So, how's this achieved Mrs Smarty Pants?
Mind & Soul
To begin with, I would personally prescribe deep nature immersion as it's definitely the cure for the madness of modern life, and, nature immersion & awareness almost certainly lead you down the road of being a more sensitive and awakened human being. Research also reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress which in turn impacts our bodies. The benefits of nature on our wellbeing are well documented, what we see, hear and experience at any moment is changing not only our mood but how our nervous, endocrine and immune systems are working. According to many studies time spent together in nature gives us a stronger sense of unity, greater sense of belonging and connects us to each other and the larger World. Being out in nature prompts children to think about where we came from, how things were created and it gives us parents the opportunity to open up natural conversation about the change in seasons, the plants and animals and how we are all connected to this incredible World.
Spirituality is a deeply personal experience. Spirituality meaning ones overall outlook on self, life and World philosophy. Spiritual guidance is something that we often associate with adults and not children, however, mindful travel is a great way to nurture and develop the inner lives of the younger members of our family. Travel can impact our spirituality in profound ways and greatly broadens children's horizons so we should get them involved in the planning process and take them to places which inspire them. Many of the Worlds ancient religions sought the divine through nature. Imagine how awesome it would be for your children to sleep out in a tipi, under the stars having watched the sunset over ancient rock formations to the sound of coyote in the distance?
I feel that I show gratitude in a very natural way. I am however trying to be much more grateful and on a much more regular basis. Maybe it's for this reason that I personally struggle when my child is not grateful. I have spoken to a number of people about this issue and they all tell me that the more we expect our children to be grateful, the more demanding they become. It can be pretty demoralising. Part of feeling gratitude is being aware of the effort someone else went through to give us something. True gratitude can take years to develop. It requires deep empathy and an appreciation of others’ feelings. Simply put, I cannot appreciate my own life if I cannot understand and have compassion for yours.
Travel can be a real leveler. Whilst travelling if we talk about the history, geography, the people and the practices of our chosen destination it will help bring it to life in the eyes of our children. Hikes along the paths trodden by those long ago will show the difficulty ancient tribes had in their everyday lives. With no cars, no trains and no planes, but just camels, horses or donkeys to help carry heavy loads and transport people and goods to new locations, the efforts made by those who built fabulous structures and monuments become even more awesome.
There are some truly amazing, authentic and highly credible retreats & spas out there, both medical/ aesthetic and holistic. Personally, I gravitate towards holistic spas with natural, organic treatments practiced in a gentle and harmonious setting. If however, you are in need of something very specific, I can assure you it is out there, you just need to know where to find it.
Even if you are not going to be embarking specifically on a nutritional program I would take the opportunity to also incorporate a vacation where you have access to amazing foods and can incorporate some new food choices and healthy eating habits into your holiday. Diet definitely has an impact on ours and our children's mental function. A large body of evidence now exists that suggests that diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health. Apparently the risk of depression increases by 80% when you compare teenagers on a Western diet compared to those who eat a higher quality whole foods diet. A child not eating whilst away on holiday is one of the biggest fears of travelling parents, although you may be surprised how willing your child is to try new foods when they are removed from their regular environment. Many kids camps/clubs incorporate children's group dining and cookery classes. These activities are often great fun and if other children are seen to be enjoying a diverse variety of foods then your child may be more eager to join in.
An adventure, embarked upon together, offers escape from the pressures and challenges of daily life; a time to focus on the family. Picture the look on your children's faces as a pod of Orca's break for air right by their kayak, feel their adrenaline as they swim with wild spinner dolphins out in the open ocean. The world’s most exciting natural environments make for perfect adventure playgrounds. Activity can be as adrenaline fueled or sedate as you please. You can plan float trips on the river, take ATV vehicles through the desert, drive wild horses whilst at a ranch stay, learn bush tracking skills and much more besides.
All of this and more is possible from your next holiday but you may just have to forgo your sun lounger to experience it!
If you would like some holiday suggestions based around this type of experience please do not hesitate to call me for a chat 07866 921723