Why Attend a Private Wellness Retreat?

I have been hosting small group Camino de Santiago hiking retreats and Meditation with Horses retreats for more than a decade, here at my house in the southwest of France. Last week, I came across this post in a group: “Would you go on a private wellness retreat?”

The response was such an overwhelming “Yes!” that I started wondering why so many people are interested in attending a retreat on their own. Would I want to attend a solo (private) retreat?

I can see the attraction of a tailor-made private retreat: escaping from the ever more urgent demands and digital overwhelm of everyday life, spending a few days on my own, focusing on my own needs, taking activities at my own pace and in my own time, with one-on-one attention from the retreat leader…the idea has a certain appeal.

My research revealed that a variety of solo (private) retreats are offered in various parts of the world. I discovered that people attend private retreats

  • To prevent/recover from burnout. A solo retreat offers you the privacy to gain deeper insight into yourself, your values, and your purpose in life. Spending time alone, away from the distractions and demands of daily life can empower you to identify your strengths and weaknesses clearly and adjust your lifestyle to avoid/bounce back from burnout.
  • To process overwhelm. If you feel overwhelmed by the multitude of decisions you face in your personal or professional life, a solo retreat can provide a secure environment where you can make important decisions with greater clarity and confidence.
  • To deal with past traumas, grief, or emotional injury, in a safe and supportive space. Being alone enables you to confront your emotions, process difficult experiences, and begin the journey towards healing, health and wholeness.
  • To reconnect with nature. Spending time alone in nature can be intensely rejuvenating and restorative, helping you to find inner peace, serenity, and rediscover your sense of awe and adventure.
  • To get unstuck. During a solo retreat, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your past experiences, evaluate your current circumstances, and set meaningful objectives for the future.
  • To escape your stifling, boring and monotonous daily routine. A private retreat allows you to explore a new location, a different culture, and alternative habits and gain a fresh perspective on your life, in your own time and at your own pace.
  • To unleash your creativity (and increase your ability to solve problems.) With time to yourself, you can often reignite the spark of inspiration that may have dimmed in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
  • To expand your spiritual practice. A solo retreat can enable you to commune with your innermost self and explore your relationship with the divine in a profound and meaningful way.
  • To disconnect from digital overload: If you struggle with technology addiction, a solo retreat provides a much-needed break from the constant bombardment of information allowing you to reduce your stress levels, reconnect with your senses and engage fully with the present moment.

A private wellness retreat offers a break from the demands and stresses of daily life, providing you with the chance to rest, relax, and replenish your energy reserves. It can be a catalyst for personal transformation, enabling you to confront challenges, overcome obstacles, and develop new skills, habits or perspectives.

Convinced of the possible benefits of solo retreats, I have added this option to my collection of onsite retreats in the southwest of France. I now also offer the option of adding a private coaching session to my online retreats.

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. – Arthur Schopenhauer