Guest Post: Why a Getaway Can Be a Chance to Heal

Words: Henry Moore

When life is wearing you down, don’t insist on buckling down and pushing through. Sometimes, it’s a chance to get away that you need, even when there’s a lot on your plate. And while that advice holds true for everyone, it’s especially so for people on a journey to sobriety. Addiction recovery is a challenge like no other, and self-care is central to successful recovery.

It’s not hard to understand why prioritizing your emotional and mental needs is so important during recovery, but why vacation? Taking a break from your usual routine (and usual stressors) gets you into a different headspace where it’s easier to take stock of your life and your goals. While it’s certainly possible to achieve a break from the status quo on a staycation, getting away makes it a whole lot easier.

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When you exchange your home city for a vacation destination, you immerse yourself in a world where your health and happiness is the number one priority — not something you tend to after the workday is over. During addiction recovery, that means plenty of time to introspect and connect with your reasons for staying sober. You can reignite a lost passion or do something that scares you as a way to boost your self-esteem. Alternatively, you can plan a vacation focused around spiritual experiences to find inner strength and a sense of purpose. No matter your goal for vacation, there’s an experience out there for you. Here are some other ideas:

  • Head to a recovery-centered retreat for a getaway focused on self-healing. You’ll have an opportunity to disconnect from the world and all its baggage and instead reconnect with your true self — all while surrounded by a supportive community that’s navigating the path to sobriety alongside you. According to an article in Alcoholism Research Quarterly, spirituality is an important component of maintaining sobriety long-term.
  • Escape to the wilderness for a vacation that’s as mentally stimulating as it is physically engaging. Outdoor adventures push your limits, so you can prove to yourself just how much you’re capable of. If you have a pet that’s helped you get through dark times, an outdoor vacation is the perfect way to show him how much he means to you (and you’ll have a great trail companion too!).
  • If fitness has played a big role in your recovery, plan a trip to a race or event where you can show off your hard-won gains. Training and competing in a big event reminds you of just how strong, resilient, and driven you are, both in sports and life.
  • Travel with a sober travel group to discover new destinations and connect with a supportive community you can lean on long after you’re home. According to SAMHSA, encouragement from peers is essential to lasting substance abuse recovery. When you have a network of sober friends, you have people to turn to in times of need and a newfound sense of belonging after leaving a toxic community behind.

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These four options are only the tip of the iceberg; there are countless vacations that can be tailored to the needs of someone recovering from addiction. The important thing is keeping your recovery at the center of your trip. Avoid triggering destinations and activities, surround yourself with people supportive of your recovery, and seek out activities that are both fun and personally meaningful. You might feel like you’ve earned a vacation from the recovery process after so much hard work, but letting your mind falter only puts your progress at risk. When you make your sobriety a priority for your vacation, you’ll come out the other side stronger and more dedicated than ever.

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Guest Post: Why a Getaway Can Be a Chance to Heal

Study, Snow + Shanghai

Wow! What a busy couple of months it has been!

I celebrated my 25th birthday on the 28th of July (hello fellow Leos!) and was absolutely spoiled by all my friends, family and my beautiful partner Nick.

I also attended a few furnishing and décor exhibitions as part of my role as Editor at Furnishing International. I absolutely love discovering new businesses and the faces behind the brands. This very rewarding role will now see me head to Shanghai, China in September – a nerve-racking yet exciting prospect as it will be my first time travelling alone. Any tips or tricks from anyone who has travelled to China, please feel free to comment below to educate this rookie! My visa has been granted, flights booked and accommodation sorted. All that’s left is to pack!

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Many tried to discourage me from embarking on a career in journalism however I am now thankful that I stayed true to my passion. If it were not for my qualifications and position in this role, I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to travel to Shanghai and explore a new city.

I was saddened to have lost my one year anniversary gift from Nick on the way home from one of the Melbourne furnishing exhibitions however. A beautiful fine chain necklace, which must have somehow broken and fallen from around my neck on the train ride home. I was absolutely devastated by this – but I am now slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will not be able to retrieve it. As Nick loves to say, ‘it is, what it is!’

I also went to the snow for the very first time and absolutely loved it! We couldn’t have picked a day with better conditions – sunny blue skies and fresh, fluffy snow in plentiful amounts. Check out some pictures below:

My crystal healing course has also been going well. I am very much enjoying learning about how to practically help people by using crystals and by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. My Instagram and this associated blog will now be geared towards all the things I love more so. You’ll get to read and see inspiration for all the good stuff – yoga, meditation, crystals and self-care.

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On a final note, I have also been keeping busy with the launch of my very own copywriting and social media business. Be sure to check out www.contentsavvy.com.au for all the details!

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Love and light everyone,
– you’ll be seeing a lot more of me on here!

X Cat

Study, Snow + Shanghai

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

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All you crystal junkies out there, listen up! If you have never been to Byron Bay before, what I’m about to show you will BLOW YOUR MIND!

The Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens are located about 30 minutes away from Byron Bay in the town of Mullumbimby.

FUN FACT: Iggy Azalea was originally from Mullumbimby.

DOUBLE FUN FACT: Iggy Azalea’s actual birth name is Amethyst!

Well how bout dat, COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!

Crystal Castle is basically a theme park for all spiritual / crystal lovers out there. If you’re not open minded or into this kind of thing, save yourself the $28 entry fee. I understand it’s not for everyone. Wish I could say the same for me, but we all know that I loved every minute of it and walked away with $200 worth of crystals (special mention goes to Nick for the early Christmas present). Hi, my name is Catherine and I’m a crystal-holic. Don’t judge.

Ok, I promised myself not to ramble on with this post, I’d rather bombard you with beautiful pictures so you can all see the tranquillity and beauty of this place for yourselves. Make sure to visit if you’re ever in the area!

img_6152Crystal Guardians: World’s tallest geodes standing at 5.5m tall and weighing 20 tonnes.

  Rose quartz: Feeling the love.

Flower up: Garden walks.

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The Castle: How’s the serenity?

Om: World Peace Stupa.

Happy place: Crystals.

Oh Look!: More Crystals!

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Who dat, who dat?: Amethyst Cave.

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Last but not least: cash me outside in the bamboo reeds. So zen.

Hope you all enjoyed the humour and happy snaps within this post!

Remember to laugh & love this week.

Until next time,
Love & Light –

x Cat.

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

A Byron Retreat

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Within my last relationship, for as long as I can remember, all I wanted was to book a small holiday and getaway.  It didn’t have to be as big as travelling overseas, nor did we have to go interstate, I would have been happy retreating to a small Victorian beach town. There was something about going on an explorative adventure with the one I loved which really appealed to me. Critics will tell you to hold off on going away with your partner because it can ‘make or break’ you, but I never saw it that way. I saw it as an opportunity to create new memories, and gain new experiences, learn new things, smell new smells, and expand our pallet with the tastes of new regions.

Unfortunately, the more I wanted and expressed this to him, the less he wanted to go away with me. I couldn’t understand after being in a relationship with me for three years, why he was always dismissive and disinterested in the idea. When it came to his mates asking him to go on trips however, he would greet the topic with much more enthusiasm. Was there something wrong with me? Was I not fun enough? This issue alone caused an array of insecurities within me as I struggled to understand the cause of his indifference. Perhaps this was one of many red flags, which ultimately lead to the demise of our relationship.

>> Fast forward two years >>

Step by step, I take in the sights and smells of the lush green leafy environment around me. Walking trails leading us through age old rainforests provide a tranquil and calming surrounding, leaving us at one with nature. A wild wallaby greets us as we explore the trails and wild bush turkeys scurry along the paths. The buzzing sound of insects increase as we walk by ponds scattered with lily pads and lotus flowers. Native birds sing to each other amongst the treetops. Finally, we reach meditation point – a bench overlooking the water, the epitome of stillness and mindfulness. Despite being at the peak of a relapse with my anxiety – I feel so safe and happy, I’m finally away with someone I love.

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Nick asked me to be his girlfriend after dating exclusively for 9 months. To be honest, we were exclusive from the first day we met. I lay down the law pretty quickly one that one … hey, can you blame me for not wanting to share my men!? Luckily for me he doesn’t like sharing his women either! This set up automatically provided us with a foundation of trust that we were able to build upon as we continued to get to know one another.  As I alluded to in my previous post, I have never dated anyone who knows the full extent of my anxiety, until I met Nick. He has taught me that I am worthy of love and being cared for wholeheartedly, despite having an anxiety disorder. I don’t feel like I need to hide the extent of my anxiety from him, if anything, he encourages me to teach him more about it so we can work together to better manage it. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to feel as though we are combating this as a team.

You can just imagine my excitement when Nick suggested we go on a little trip together – a little retreat to help us relax before the busy Christmas period. I think I teared up when the topic was suggested. To think that someone who I had been dating for 6 months ‘unofficially’ – wanted to go away with me! I almost had to look twice, behind me, to make sure he wasn’t talking to someone else! And despite feeling very anxious the morning we were leaving, Nick held my hand, told me he loved me for the first time and said that we will get through this together. He asked me to be his girlfriend in this moment. #keeper #goals

The Byron at Byron Bay Resort & Spa offered the perfect getaway for optimum relaxation and tranquillity. I highly recommend this resort for those considering visiting the Byron Bay region and surrounds. Essentially, the resort is built within luscious rainforests, so you truly feel as though you are living amongst the trees. Walking trails within the resort allow you to explore the various wildlife, trees and fauna and there is even a trail leading to a beautiful lake. Another trail leads you to the lovely Tallow Beach – where Nick and I were lucky enough to spot a baby whale.

I can’t stress enough how vitalising this trip was, not only in helping me with my anxiety, but also for our relationship. I believe the trip brought us closer together, it was a well-deserved holiday after a tumultuous previous year (2015).

Being at one with nature is good for the soul, and I really felt this to be true while we were in Byron. Next week, I will post about our beautiful visit to Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens. All you crystal lovers out there – keep an eye out for that one!

In conclusion, I want to speak to those of you unsure or afraid of going away with your partner. Stop doubting yourself and the integrity of the relationship. Get out there and make new memories. You might discover something new about yourself or your partner that makes you fall in love all that much more. As far as I’m concerned, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Don’t let fear stop you from creating the best memories life has to offer.

Until next time,

Love & Light,

X Cat.

A Byron Retreat