Why a spa break could be the perfect mental health retreat in the UK

Whether you’re going through a particularly stressful time or just find that daily life doesn’t leave much time for taking care of yourself, a mental health retreat can work wonders. In some cases, feeling low or experiencing certain symptoms can indicate a serious underlying mental health problem. However, sometimes, we just need to get off the treadmill for a while and have a good rest!

There are dedicated venues across the UK that offer mental health retreats, which focus on resting the body and refreshing the mind. These retreats are often based in lovely country locations where guests can reap the wellness benefits of fresh air, gentle walks, and the calming rural ambience. There might be activities on offer, such as yoga and swimming, while the restaurant is likely to serve up nutritional meals that support all-round good health. Mental health retreats often use the word ‘holistic’ in describing their offering, which simply means taking care of the whole person – body, mind and spirit.

When seeking a mental health retreat, you might also consider a spa break. These packages include accommodation, (usually) dining options and access to the spa and the leisure facilities. Choose a spa in the right location and you can look forward to a relaxing night or two with ample time to unwind and enjoy some dedicated downtime.

Signs you need a mental health retreat

While there is no substitute for seeking professional help, there are a few general symptoms that could indicate it’s time for a mental health retreat. For example:

1. Overtiredness: If you’re feeling tired or sluggish all the time, even after a good night’s sleep, this might be an indication that your brain needs a holiday!

  1. 2. Storing tension: If our mental health is compromised, we might store up extra tension in our body that can make us feel achy and tight. Frequent headaches can also be a sign that you’re too tense and need to reset.
    3. Feeling stressed: A further indication that it’s time for a rest can be a general feeling of being stressed out. This can manifest as feeling overwhelmed by things that you usually take in your stride or even being a little short-tempered with friends, family or colleagues.

    1. 4. Disrupted sleep: Whether you’re finding it hard to nod off or having trouble staying awake, a disrupted sleep pattern may be your mind’s way of asking for a ‘time out’.

      Mental health issue indicators

      So, what could these signs mean? In general terms, sluggishness, overtiredness or exhaustion could simply mean you’ve been working too hard and are in a state of burn-out. Many of us have a tendency to take on too much and to work ourselves into the ground. A few days of rest, without interruptions, may be all you need to restore some harmony in your life. A retreat can also give you a little time to reassess if you need to make any changes (big or small) to your routine.

      A tense body might just be the result of going through a period of difficulty. During challenging times, the body can hold on to tension, leaving you feeling knotted up and stiff. This can be made worse if you have a routine that includes lots of sedentary time, whether that’s sitting at a desk or driving. Among many other impacts, the pandemic has forced many of us out of the gym and the workplace and into our makeshift home offices, cutting down on opportunities to move around. A mental health retreat can be the perfect opportunity to enjoy activities that alleviate tension from the mind and body.

      If you’re feeling stressed and grumbling at those around you, it might be because you’re overwhelmed, either by a challenging life event or a burdensome routine. The pandemic has thrown life into disarray and prevented us from doing many of the things that usually keep us balanced, such as socialising and heading off on a holiday. A short break that includes plenty of fresh air and exercise can be a great antidote. Choose a mental health retreat in the UK and you can even avoid the stress of overseas travel.

      The body and mind are quite finely balanced and it doesn’t take much for routines, such as sleep, to become disrupted. If you’re storing up tensions, worrying about something, or generally going through a period of anxiety, this can send your sleep patterns haywire. Spending too much time staring at a screen can also be disruptive. So, put down the phone, turn off the laptop and escape for a restful retreat to help the mind and body recalibrate.

      If you’re experiencing any of these indicators, here are just a few ideas for restoring harmony.

      Use exercise to improve energy levels

      If you’re feeling sluggish, a spot of exercise can revitalise the body and give the mind a boost. Enjoying some movement, whether that’s a full-on workout or something more sedate, is often recommended for those times when you need a lift. Exercise has also been shown to ease stress and give you a general feeling of mental wellbeing, as well as being great for your overall health. Of course, it’s important to know your limits. If you’re new to exercise, start slow and build up your strength and stamina.

      The important thing is to find activities you enjoy, so you will be encouraged to keep going once your mental health retreat has ended. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints. Likewise, walking has lots of benefits and it’s a method of exercise that most of us can incorporate into our daily lives.

      Why not try? From fitness classes and swimming to biking and racquet sports, Ragdale Hall Spa in Leicestershire, one of our fine luxury spa hotels, offers plenty of options for getting active on your own terms. Set in 13 lovely acres, this all-inclusive venue is a terrific choice for a UK mental health retreat, offering extensive leisure facilities, great dining and plenty of relaxation spaces. Book now.

      Use fresh air to ease stress

      A great way to re-energise is to head for the great outdoors. Spending time in the fresh air, whether the country or the coast, can work wonders to clear the cobwebs and restore balance. The peaceful environment coupled with the sights and sounds of nature can really boost your wellbeing. Choose a wellness retreat that makes the most of its coastal or rural location, offering nature trails to explore or access to the best of the area, so you can really make the most of your time away.

      For example, the South West is a wonderful region for enjoying the Great British outdoors. The area extends across the glorious counties of Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, taking in spectacular countryside and stunning coastline, including the English Riviera. It’s also renowned for having a warmer climate than the rest of the UK.

      Why not try? Located on the edge of the lovely Cotswolds and surrounded by parkland, Delta by Marriott Cheltenham Chase in Gloucestershire offers plenty of beautiful countryside right on the doorstep. There is also a superb spa and health club to enjoy. Book now.

      Use a soothing massage to alleviate tension

      If your body’s storing up too much tension, a soothing massage can be a wonderful way to ease those tight muscles. There are lots of different types of massage, each of which brings its own benefits. For a gentler experience, opt for a lighter pressure treatment, such as a Swedish massage or back, neck and shoulders massage. If your tension is more deep-rooted, a robust option, such as a deep-tissue massage might do the trick.

      Many of our spa breaks and packages feature the choice of a massage, so you can complement your mental health retreat with some tension-easing time in the treatment room. We also offer a range of spa vouchers that include a massage, so you could add on a treatment.

      Why not try? Dunkeld House Hotel in Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross offers one- and two-night spa packages that include the choice of a 45-minute full body massage or Indian head massage, each of which are wonderful for relieving stress and tension. The hotel is also a superb choice for a restful spa retreat, with its location on the banks of the peaceful River Tay adjacent to lovely Tay Forest Park. Book now.

      Many of the indicators we’ve discussed can also be a warning sign of something more serious, physical or mental. So, it’s important to seek help from your GP or a mental health specialist. If you have any concerns, a good place to start is the Mental Health Foundation, which offers general advice, resources and a list of support services.


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