This post is written in collaboration with CIVANA, a health and wellness resort. All thoughts, words, and images are our own. We received a discounted media rate stay in return for this post.
A few months ago Lauren and I set out to plan a vacation, weeks later we were no closer to choosing a destination and were ready to call it quits and forget the entire thing, after all this was supposed to be fun.
Just before throwing in the towel we stumbled across a beautiful resort in AZ, CIVANA, that touted itself as a Wellness Resort. intrigued, we reached out to see about collaborating together on a piece about why vacations can be more stressful than anything else and how the wellness resort world is trying to change that.
Multiple studies have shown that vacations are good for us – while you might feel guilty about taking time off from work or other responsibilities, you shouldn’t. In the long run, it will help enhance both your professional and personal life. You might come back more productive, more creative, happier and less stressed – you’re even likely to feel happier in the weeks leading up to your vacation too, with something exciting to look forward to as Cornell University research discovered.
One 40-year study found that taking a vacation could prolong your life by helping to reduce stress levels. Of course, the key is to do it right as all too often, a vacation itself becomes a stressful event. How many times have you come home afterwards feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation? Going to a health and wellness resort is a great way to prevent that, returning refreshed and revitalized instead of drained.
After learning firsthand how CIVANA stands out, we felt it was important to chat about what makes this type of vacation different and why you should consider a health and wellness getaway for your next vacation.
While planning can be fun, it can also be stressful trying to make countless decisions like which activities to squeeze in and where to eat, especially if you’re on a special diet or just want to be able to enjoy delicious but nutritious meals. Staying at a health and wellness resort can remove that time and stress involved in planning. Many can provide just about all you need right on site. Some like CIVANA offer all-inclusive packages that not only make the planning process easier, but it can be easier on your wallet too.
Of course, there are many more benefits of a wellness vacation to consider as well.
The Benefits of Staying at a Health and Wellness Resort
The list of benefits that come with a health and wellness resort stay are long, some of which we hadn’t even thought about until we were there.
Nutritious foods. Wellness resorts naturally focus on healthy meals while providing tasty options for everyone, whether you’re keto, vegan or vegetarian, gluten-free or just trying to avoid all the junk in processed foods like GMOs, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats. Think colorful meals with farm-to-table produce, sustainable seafood, grass-fed meats and even some indulgent desserts. You won’t return home dreading the scale or feeling guilty, in fact you might come back a bit lighter while also having learned more about well-balanced eating.
Wellness Classes. All types of wellness classes are often available right on the property, making it easy to keep up your yoga practice, meditation and other workouts, or perhaps try something new. You might join a culinary clinic to learn the pro’s tricks of the trade for preparing tasty but healthy treats or design your own masterpiece, boosting creativity while exploring the significance of patterns and shapes in the universe. Creating is not only fun but it enhances wellness in a number of ways as it evokes mindfulness similar to meditation, reducing stress and anxiety.
Activities. At a health and wellness resort, there may be options for hiking or mountain biking too. Either are not only great exercise but getting back to nature allows one to connect with the mind, body and soul which can promote healing. Being active by walking (or pedaling) outdoors among picturesque scenery has even been scientifically shown to relieve stress by dramatically lowering cortisol levels – and, lower cortisol levels mean better weight management, better mood and better overall health. Other activities include everything from healthy cocktail mixology lessons to learning how to juice – bringing home new skills is a souvenir you’ll probably get a whole lot more use out of than you would a t-shirt.
While we were at CIVANA we took a cocktail pairing class. Between the sous vide duck breast and delicious beet cocktail, we were in heaven. We even ordered a sous vide machine to play with at home after being inspired from the class.
Spa treatments. A spa isn’t just a decadent way to treat yourself, it can be another good way to enhance wellness. Getting a massage can help relieve everything from physical pain to anxiety, reduce pain, improve sleep and strengthen your immune system. Reiki treatments may be an option for creating deep relaxation that allows the body to release stress and tension, promoting harmony and balance as well as easing physical pain. Cold plunges can help speed the recovery of an injury, improve circulation, boost energy levels and improve overall well-being among other benefits. Saunas also release toxins from your body and have been shown to decrease inflammation levels helping to treat all sorts of conditions.
One of our favorite things to do is a spa circuit that includes a sauna, steam room, hot tub, tepid pool, and a cold plunge. We’ve been to spas all across the U.S and are lucky to live close by to two of our favorite, Knot Springs, and The Society in Portland, OR. The ritual of moving through the circuit provides such an intense level of relaxation that we always leave feeling like a million bucks. CIVANA was no different, boasting a wonderful circuit of their own.
New Insight. Between the fun workouts, activities and spa visits, you’ll have little time to fill your mind with worrisome thoughts, bringing distance between yourself and any problems you might be facing at home or at work. Oftentimes this can bring new insight as well as helping to put everything into perspective. A break from the daily grind is often the key to making positive changes, looking at everything anew to make problem solving easier when you return home.
Feel Transformed, Not Stressed
With a health and wellness resort vacation, you might feel truly transformed, almost as if you’re walking on air, rather than stressed once you get back home. You’ve probably gotten much better rest than you’ve had in a while thanks to the reduction of stress that is well-known to lead to improved sleep and higher energy levels. Research conducted by former NASA scientists found that people enjoyed benefits weeks after their vacation, sleeping nearly 20 minutes more every night, and three times more deep sleep.
Experts have also shown that many people find they experience fewer stress-related problems like headaches, digestion issues and backaches after taking time off – it’s a no brainer that a health and wellness vacation is likely to bring even more positive effects. You might even discover that not only do you feel better mentally and physically, but you have the inspiration you needed to focus on your goals, more motivated than ever before.
Have you taken a health and wellness vacation? We would LOVE to hear all about it, drop us a note below!