I feel like a broken record. When people ask me how I am, I find myself giving a rote response that conveys my happy state, but also my exhaustion levels.
I hate that I’ve become that person – the one who is always telling people how busy and tired they are. It’s so boring.
I have two small children, a two-year-old business, a husband who leaves the house before the sun comes up, a home in constant need of tidying and cleaning, a garden that needs weeding, a car that needs selling, bills that I need to remember to pay… you get the picture.
My life is plentiful and happy and I’m grateful every day for all that I have, particularly my beautiful, exhausting family. But I know the signs and if I don’t stop soon, it’s all going to come crumbling down.
I’ve been to Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat on the beautiful Gold Coast hinterland, twice before and I know that it’s the only place on this planet where I actually make myself the focus.
I come away from a few days at Gwinganna feeling energised, healthy, rested and clear of mind. I have no doubt the Chill Out Weekend will be just want I need to push the reset button on my life.
Three nights of bliss in a deluxe suite overlooking Gwinganna’s tranquil orchard with no access to television and very limited mobile reception forced me into a digital detox.
I didn’t like it at first, as my phone has become somewhat of an addiction. But after a day I got used to it and I admit, it felt liberating to not be so reliant on it.
Add to this not having to cook, clean or do anything for anyone else and a significant weight had already lifted from my shoulders.
Mornings at Gwinganna are set aside for activities and the afternoons are what they refer to as Dreamtime.
Rising at dawn at Gwinganna is something I highly recommend, even if all you want to do is stay in bed during your break away from the world.
The sunrise over the ocean in the distance is so beautiful and taking part in a guided group Qi Gong session gets a big tick from me – the movements are graceful, simple and definitely something you could learn to practice at home. You then choose between activities to take part in before breakfast.
Some, such as hiking, cycling or water running are more high intensity and others, such as a gentle walk or yoga, are calmer and more nurturing. The incredible staff, all of whom are welcoming, down-to-earth and sensitive to the individual needs of each guest, encourage you to listen to what your body needs.
If you’re the sort of person that thrashes it out at the gym every day, going against your grain and partaking in the gentler activities is probably what your body needs. If you lead a pretty sedentary life and don’t like the idea of working up a sweat, it might be time for you to take the leap and try something new. Gwinganna is amazing at giving you the tools to turn old habits on their head.
Not surprisingly, Dreamtime is the part of the day guests look forward to the most and in my experience, the award-winning spa and all of the many and varied treatments available, absolutely lives up to its stellar reputation.
The Hot Stone massage and Vitamin Renew facial were both to die for, but it was the Ayurvedic aromatherapy treatment, Abhyang Fusion, that really stood out for me.
Topped off with a heavenly scalp and face massage and I left the spa feeling more centred, happy and calm than I had been in god-knows-how-long.
When you think of food on a health retreat, words like bland are the first that come to mind, but Gwinganna also turns this theory on its head. There’s no caffeine, alcohol or anything processed and I can hand-on-heart say that every meal is delicious.
Most of the produce is farmed on the Gwinganna property, so it’s fresh, seasonal and chemical free. Never has ridiculously healthy food tasted so good.
Gwinganna is now in its 10th year and in 2015 was named AsiaSpa’s Best Eco Spa. And this year, this little slice of paradise is a finalist in the Best Eco Spa category of the World Spa Awards, which will be announced in Italy in September.
The programs on offer at Gwinganna cater for everyone. Choose between a number of packages, including a four night stay that helps you tackle ‘Triple S’ – sleep, sugar and stress or go all out and take part in a seven night tailored detox.
For one weekend only, there’s a specialty program on organic living from October 6-9 that I would jump at the chance to attend if I were you.
Visit gwinganna.com for more information or to book your very own retreat. I can’t wait to plan my next one!