Karen Simmonds, who has run a travel business for 25 years, explains the value of rest.


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Have you ever been on a retreat? I can think of many reasons why it is important to take time out every now and again. As busy individuals, it is important to rest and savour the goodness and serenity of our beautiful world. Nature is a great healer and finding a place where you cannot be disturbed by the regular stresses and strains must be one of the doctor’s orders!

Do you ever long for the opportunity to disconnect from technology? These days we are bombarded by a constant noise and stimulation of everyday life. It’s so important to break away from this to reduce stress, improve mental clarity and allow creativity to increase. I have found taking myself outdoors for a walk in the woods or by a body of water as the most soothing therapy and a refreshment to my soul.

It’s so important to break away from technology to reduce stress, improve mental clarity and allow creativity to increase.

As a business owner, mother and wife I know all too well that I need to focus on my own well-being and self-care. If I don’t, those around me know about it! A retreat can help improve our physical and mental health providing the break from the daily routine. It doesn’t have to be for a particularly long time like jetting off to the other side of the world or a luxurious five star property with spa facilities and wellbeing programmes. You can fill your own cup with gentle selfcare, in a peaceful place allowing God’s peace to calm your soul, letting serenity in. There’s a bonus to attending a retreat as it allows you time to meet new people, enjoying fellowship and new friendship with others.

Participating in a retreat can help us gain new perspectives and insights. There is always the opportunity learn new skills. I can vouch first hand that this help us grow and develop as individuals. Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to rest and recharge? A break from our daily routine helps us feel more energized and refreshed. Who wouldn’t want the chance to have someone else do the shopping, cooking, clearing up and cleaning?

Retreats enhance personal development. They provide a space to reflect on life and set new goals. This can help us achieve personal and professional growth, and make positive changes in our lives.

There are many reasons why I would advocate taking a retreat. Having run a travel business for nearly 25 years where we organise our client’s holidays (NB – the word “Holiday” is from the words “Holy Day” which is linked to being directly from God or as connected with him. What is not to like?)

The word “Holiday” is from the words “Holy Day” which is linked to being directly from God.

The Bible tells us we are told to take sabbaths and rest. Jesus took retreats to remain focused on the goal, build his life and fellowship as well as talk to his father in a quiet place undisturbed. He is our greatest example and if he practiced a retreat, so must we!

This autumn I am co hosting a couple of retreats located on the bank of Loch Tay in Scotland. There is time to relax, walk, swim, paint and sleep. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in nature and roam throughout the spectacular countryside surrounding the lodge, ancient woodlands, cascading burns and the nearby Waterfalls of Archan, all looked over by the brooding Ben Lawers mountain range. You are cordially invited to take a step into the great unknown, and emerge rejuvenated, creative and powerful.

There’s more information on this retreat and others here. Karen has kindly offered a ten per cent discount to Woman Alive readers. Simply quote PREMIER10 when making an enquiry.