If we add to the cabin fever feelings we are experimenting through this lockdown the collateral damage of mental health issues that the COVID-19 Pandemic confinement and Social distancing will leave after the world manages to control this unprecedented outbreak, there will be a lot of pieces that somebody will have to pick up and sort out in order to get humanity back on track into a more healthier existence. Wellness Retreats post covid are MORE IMPORTANT than ever before for our mental health.
On top of the issues explained above, some new research presented by The Lancet Psychiatry suggests that many patients hospitalized with the coronavirus and admitted to intensive care units are likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder months or years after they are released. More over, people in ICU with COVID-19 will find it much more traumatic as they won’t have any relatives next to them to support them nor develop any sort of bond with health care workers as they are all behind their protective gear.
In the US alone, according to a report carried out by the Kaiser Family Foundation it was suggested that nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.
In the UK, experts are already calling for Yoga to be clinically prescribed on the National Health Service (NHS) as a measure to tackle depression and help millions of people overcome this major problem. This initiative is backed by last year’s Harvard scientists research where they found that half an hour of exercise a day, including yoga, can lower the risk of depression by 17 per cent, in a study of nearly 8,000 people.
So, Yoga and Wellness professionals will be the next front line tackling the mental illness wave the world will inherit after the Pandemic and one key ingredient they will provide is retreats to get people back in body and mental shape. This is a perfect combination according to neuroscientists as when we travel, we rewire our brains. This is because new experiences are the key to building new neural pathways in the brain key to contribute to the recovery from depression. According to last year’s report by ABTA it was revealed that wellness tourism was growing more than twice as fast as general tourism and with this future mental health crisis it will continue to rise even higher as people will need to getaway for a good fix. This fits right in with yoga and meditation retreats!!!
Time will tell if international travel will resume soon, but this uncertainty won’t stop retreat leaders putting their spread to help their clients and people in need. As many venues have struggled due to the loss of business through this time they will now be willing to rise their game to offer something greater to those that will be the first venturers when lockdown is eased. Staycation may be the first port of call for retreat leaders and there will be a great offer in terms of venues to provide amazing healing experiences to guests that want to invest in their health.
Obviously, work and finances will be very difficult for many people for months after the illness, so having a relaxing escape domestically will become of greater importance for those that will need that pampering. This will be an opportunity to escape for a complete relaxation experience, but also a way to get new strategies that can help them cope better in everyday life and move into recovery.
Many retreat leaders are planning ahead their wellness offer for when lockdown finishes and according to experts in the retreats arena those small independent venues (between 10 to 25 guests) that will offer intimacy, authentic experiences and cover all the sanitization precautions post COVID-19 will be the ones that healers will go for instead of crowded hotels and wellness resorts. This will offer them strict sanitization standards and exclusivity for the peace of mind of their guests feeling more valued and safer.
Prioritising the slow tourism and supporting local entrepreneurs will go hand in hand with the recovery of world’s tourism, and of the wellness retreats being able to offer something authentic, sustainable and tuned in with the recovery of guests making of their experiences more appealable and not linked to potential stresses that sometimes travel involves.
It’s time for us to rejoin the living and invest in our our mental health and wellness so I’ve planned my first retreat since Covid-19 changed out lives.