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  • Louise Bloomfield

3 Ways to Integrate the World's Best Wellness Retreat into Your Life

Inspired by Oprah's recent trip to a world-renowned spa, this article explores how to integrate the principles of the world's very best wellness retreat into your life.

I recently read an article on where Oprah talks about a "life-changing experience" visiting a one of the world's best spas: Palazzo Fiuggi in Italy. She says, “I’ve been to many spas over the years—I’ve relaxed and retreated, deep-tissued and shiatsu’d, woken up with the birds for yoga and cardio, starved, meditated, cleansed. But never have I ever experienced anything like this.”

Whilst the spa looks and sounds utterly incredible, I was stuck by Oprah's description of her experience, and how her reflections about what made it so special are actually the fundamental principles of self-care. Surprisingly, much of Oprah's reflections about what she enjoyed most can be recreated at home, without visiting a world-renowned spa. It's about the intention, the why not the what. Ultimately, those principles can be integrated into our every day lives ensuring we can all self-care every day.

You’ve heard me say (a lot!) that self-care doesn’t need to be expensive and take loads of time – it can be tiny little things we do every day to care for ourselves. It doesn’t need to be luxurious spa breaks (although they are very lovely!); it can be something as seemingly small as giving yourself space to take a couple of deep breaths to reset during your busy day. It could be something as boring as choosing your clothes for the next day the night before so you don't feel rushed in the morning. Stuff your future self will thank you for. It could be saying no to something you don't want to do. It could be noticing we're getting a headache, noticing we're dehydrated and giving ourselves the glass of water we need. It's simple stuff: it can be small or boring, it can be opulent and extravagant.

Remember yourself. Check in with yourself. Give yourself what you need.

1. Go to the Water

Oprah talks about the healing waters at Palazzo Fiuggi. Whilst many of us don’t have access to healing streams from fresh springs, we can enjoy the benefits of water from the tap at home and make it magical. When we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a glass of cold water can help ground us, a long bath can help relax us, and a hot shower can reinvigorate us. This reminds me of a story from Elizabeth Gilbert:

“Years ago, when I was going through a really hard time, a friend of mine gave me some beautiful advice about how to best take care of myself. He told me, “When an animal in the wild has been injured, it has only two strategies for how to heal itself: It can rest, or it can go to the water. Right now, try to do as much of both as possible.” Rest. And then go to the water. Drink the water. Submerge yourself in the water. Touch the water. Look at the water. Then go back to sleep. Repeat as necessary, until healing occurs”.

I’m sure our water at home can be healing, transformational, even magical, if just we let it. Give yourself a glass of water and notice the difference it makes to your mood, thoughts, feelings, and body. Take yourself to the water.

2. Connect with Others

Oprah reflects that she believes "everything in life is better when you share it" and she invited some of her best friends to visit Palazzo Fiuggi with her. Many of us may not have the funds to treat our friends and family in this way, but the principle is clear. Connecting with others, sharing experiences together, is essential for our wellbeing. As much as I am an advocate for spending time with ourselves, there is much evidence to support the essentiality of being with others too. Our humanness demands that we, as social animals, spend time in the company of others.

An important part of self-care is connecting with others. Call a friend. Go for a walk together. Have a good catch up. Check in. Have you ever had that moment of realisation that just being with someone you love, not really doing anything in particular, just makes you feel good? Do more of that. And if you don't have someone that makes you feel that way, that's ok. Sometimes life can be lonely. Be brave, you are worthy of connection. Find a class or activity with others in your community; something you enjoy, and reap the wellbeing benefits of doing it in the company of other likeminded people. That's self-care.

3. Give Yourself Attention and Care

Oprah also reflected on the importance of attention and care. For me, that’s what self-care is all about. That's it, in a nutshell. Self-care is giving ourselves attention and care, consistently, and on purpose.

Remember yourself. Then check in with yourself. And then give yourself what you need. We deserve our attention and loving care.

Self-Care Sunday Mini Retreats

I created the Self-Care Sunday series of workshops to help you find ways to self-care that work for you and your busy lives; easy intentional self-care practices to encourage you to give yourself the attention and care you don’t just deserve but need!

I can’t promise a luxurious four hands massage, a mud bath, nor a heated waterbed at my workshops, but I can promise an afternoon of connection, attention, care, and kindness. Simply by attending a Self-Care Sunday workshop, you’re gifting yourself your attention, at least for an afternoon. I will guide you through mini self-care practices carefully crafted to equip you with strategies to care for you once you go home.

Oprah talks about the amazing food at Palazzo Fiuggi. Whilst I can't offer menus customised to your individual wellness journeys, I can offer scrummy homemade cake courtesy of my wonderful baker friend, Georgina! And cake should be included in all our wellness journeys, right?

Apart from the beautiful and aspirational escapism, the thing I love most about Oprah's article is that no matter where we are, how much time or money we have (or don't have), we can embed the same self-care principles into our lives. Many of us may not be able to afford to experience one of the world's best spas, but we can all self-care.

As Oprah says, “The biggest lesson? This body, mind, and soul we’ve each been gifted with deserve our loving care. Whether at a far-flung spa or right here at home, we need to find the time and space it takes to rebuild, recharge, and renew".

Take good care of you.


Get in touch for more information on my Self-Care Sunday workshops, or check out my Events to book.

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