How a well-cation could benefit you this autumn

Sophie Haslett
Assistant Content Editor

Originally from London, Sophie re-located to Sydney in 2015 and hasn't looked back since. With a love of travel, fashion, food and fitness, she is constantly on the lookout for the next weekend adventure or the next cafe or bar to fall in love with. She shares her lifestyle, fitness and travel tips with The Guide.

"I’m going to bed at 10pm, rising before an alarm and enforcing a strict digital detox at least 30 minutes before sleep."

I breathe in deeply and gaze out over the billabong, reaching for my phone as if by second nature. Taking a photograph of the wild bushlands and the view from my cabin, I click to open the snap in Instagram before reading the two fateful words no social media addict wants to see. ‘No service’. While the Billabong Retreat is just 45 minutes from central Sydney, I feel as though I could be a million miles away.

This is just one of the reasons why well-cations have soared in popularity in recent times. Places like the Billabong Retreat offer you the opportunity to switch off both your technology and the inner echelons of your mind. During the three days that I spend on a yoga retreat programme there, I practise dynamic yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Coupled with a (delicious) vegetarian and plant-based diet and a total lack of alcohol, I emerge fresh-faced, re-energised and relaxed. And that’s before I even talk about my sleep.

For those (like myself) who can find sleep an issue during their busy working lives, I can promise you a well-cation will cure all of your nocturnal stress. I have never had better sleep than I did during the two nights I spent at Boroka Downs in The Grampians. With floor-to-ceiling windows, absolute silence and a stunning view of wallabies, birds and incredible scenery, I felt peaceful and much how I would love to feel every night I clamber into bed. And yet I still normally find myself lying there browsing Twitter …

Having now been on two well-cations, I feel like a sceptic converted. I’ve been going to bed at 10pm, rising before my alarm and enforcing a strict digital detox at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep. I’ve also been inspired in the kitchen to cook more vegetarian food (not just risotto), and to look after myself when it comes to avoiding too much refined sugar. The benefits of a well-cation are myriad, but I think the best thing I’ve found is that I’m more productive. Turns out that giving your mind a break is sometimes the best way to focus it when you get back.

Three of the best wellcation resorts in Australia

BEST FOR MINDFULNESS: Billabong Retreat, Maraylya, NSW – 45 minutes from Sydney.

BEST FOR GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL: Boroka Downs, The Grampians, Victoria – 3 hours from Melbourne.

BEST FOR A COMPLETE LIFESTYLE OVERHAUL: Kangaroo Island Health Retreat, Kangaroo Island, SA – 3.5 hours from Adelaide.

The information on this website is intended to provide you with general information and opinions, rather than expert advice. Before relying upon any of the information on this site, please ensure it applies to your circumstances, and if in doubt, please seek professional advice. The views and opinions of the individual contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of L’Oréal Australia. If you’d like to give us any feedback regarding the information on this website, please contact us at: [email protected]