What’s a ‘wellness sabbatical’ and should you take one?

November 29, 2019 11:15:07 AM

With stress, anxiety and burnout being one of the leading causes for sickness in the workplace, it’s easy for your health to take a backseat when you’re moving up the career ladder.

But now a new type of travel trend has emerged as the perfect solution for workers who face regular Sunday evening ‘fear’.

Dubbed the ‘wellness sabbatical’, it’s a solution to burnout that extends beyond a two-week holiday, and according to holiday specialists Health and Fitness Travel, it’s one of the key travel trends for 2020. Here’s everything you need to know…

What’s the difference between a normal sabbatical and a wellness one?

Sabbaticals aren’t a new concept. Traditionally, they’re an extended period away from work – organised and agreed on by you and your employer – where you can travel and explore the world.

The tricky thing about sabbaticals though is that there’s lots of planning, organising and moving around involved, and depending on your itinerary, it can be just as full-on as commuting into your job.

A wellness sabbatical is all about taking your foot off the gas to reboot and recharge. Much like a wellness retreat, your time off might involve a programme of meditation, detox, healing, spirituality or fitness. Think less boozy Full Moon parties on the beach, and more restorative yoga sessions.

So you still have to work?

That depends. Unlike a traditional sabbatical, many people embark on a longer-term wellness programme where they stay connected to their emails but are able to sort through them in a healthier and more relaxed environment – like a mountaintop cabin overlooking nature.

With workplace culture changing, many professionals can work remotely, which means they can do their job from anywhere that has a strong enough WiFi connection.  The idea is that a change of scenery can boost productivity, relaxation and offer a wider perspective.

Where should I go?

Many people design their own wellness itineraries based on their specific needs, but plenty of longer-term retreats catering for those on sabbatical leave are beginning to emerge around the globe. Here are three to have on your radar…

1. Life Reset at Sha Wellness Clinic, Spain

A month-long programme that draws on the principles of both western and eastern medicine, using genetic tests and ancient healing practices to help pamper and de-stress..

2. Luxury wellness sabbatical, Asia 

This three-month itinerary takes in Japan’s hot springs, a yoga retreat in the Himalayas and meditation in Vietnam. You’ll also be immersed in a lush landscape of tropical jungle in Sri Lanka.

3. Sleep retreat at Kamalaya, Thailand

If getting a good night’s sleep is an issue, this slow-paced holistic getaway might just be the answer. Here, holistic naturopathy (like acupuncture, massage and Shirodhara) is teamed with practical lifestyle changes to help you get a healthy eight hours per night.