Should You Take a Wellness Sabbatical in 2020?

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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 regularly dread the start of a new workweek.

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 and wellness sabbatical?

Sabbaticals aren’t a new concept. Traditionally, they’re an extended period away from work – organized and agreed on by you and your employer – during which you can travel and explore the world. The tricky thing about sabbaticals, though, is that there’s lots of planning, organizing, and moving around involved. Oh, 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 program of meditation, detox, healing, spirituality, or fitness – or all of the above. Think less boozy beach parties, more restorative yoga sessions.

Photo: Courtesy of @sydneybrown_xo

So I still have to work?

That depends. Unlike a traditional sabbatical, many people embark on a longer-term wellness program during which they stay connected to their e-mails, 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 and relaxation, and offer a wider perspective.

Laptop computer
Photo: Courtesy of @lichipan

Where should I go?

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

SHA Wellness Clinic
Photo: Courtesy of SHA Wellness Clinic

Life Reset at SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain
A month-long program that draws on the principles of both Western and Eastern medicine, using genetic tests and ancient healing practices to help pamper and de-stress.

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.

Kamalaya Sleep Enhancement, 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.

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