Emirates Woman - - Health / Disconnecting -

things keep­ing me propped up. I'm not alone: a re­cent study from the Pew Re­search Cen­tre, found that more than a quar­ter of women con­stantly feel rushed. In a bid to em­bark on a life­syle makeover, I reached out to the ex­perts. “Work and life should be con­nected in that you bring your whole self to what­ever you do. But when it's ex­pected that em­ploy­ees at­tend events or have to work late, then bal­ance is go­ing to be more dif­fi­cult to es­tab­lish. I've found this to be the case in Dubai,” says De­nis Mur­phy, an in­ter­na­tional life coach who re­cently gave a talk on Fear­less Liv­ing at Dubai's BOLDtalks Woman 2015.

“All women, es­pe­cially work­ing women, have a lot of multi-task­ing to do,” says Dr Tina Korm­bach, a natur­o­pathic and home­o­pathic prac­ti­tioner with the DNA Cen­tre for In­te­gra­tive Medicine and Well­ness on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Is­land. “Women are bal­anc­ing their fam­ily, a house­hold, work com­mit­ments, a so­cial life, and ideally ‘me time'. The lat­ter is of­ten cut down to the very min­i­mum.” That ‘me time' Korm­bach men­tions? Ac­cord­ing to the same study, a whop­ping 91 per cent of all mil­len­ni­als now dis­re­gard the con­cept of re­lax­ing en­tirely.

This can lead to a dan­ger­ous cy­cle cul­mi­nat­ing in a com­plete lack of work/life bal­ance. “First, we don't have the energy we once did. Then we're wired but tired, con­stantly grab­bing for sugar, cof­fee, car­bo­hy­drates, and stim­u­lants to pick us up, and bev­er­ages to keep us en­gaged at par­ties,” says Holly Turner, a well­ness coach at Phuket Cleanse in Thai­land. All the caf­feine and chem­i­cals serve only to make things worse, un­bal­anc­ing our bod­ies and dis­turb­ing our sleep. “The fi­nal stage is when you're gone, shat­tered. When you have no more,” says Holly. In other words: you're of­fi­cially burned out.

Once things get this far, the road to re­cov­ery might be more com­pli­cated than book­ing a week on a sun lounger. “We see a lot of women with high stress lev­els who re­quire treat­ment for fa­tigue,” says Korm­bach. It's of­ten be­cause they are try­ing to take on too much.” If the sen­sa­tion of be­ing over­tired, over­wrought and over-caf­feinated sounds fa­mil­iar, or if you've ac­tu­ally reached burnout, what should you do about it? Sim­ple: re­treat. Or rather, go on a re­treat. More than just a hol­i­day, re­treats em­pha­sise an el­e­ment of detox­i­fi­ca­tion, re­boot­ing and start­ing afresh. “They are about giv­ing our­selves the gift of pick­ing up and go­ing some­where to let go, and just giv­ing your body a chance to heal,” Tuner ex­plains.

“Re­treats prob­a­bly save lives,” says Mur­phy with­out an ounce of irony. “It sounds a lit­tle dra­matic, but I am sure if some women didn't find a way to shut off from work, they would burn out or lash out.

But not all re­treats are cre­ated equal. Be­fore you start look­ing into re­treats, get an idea about what you want out of one. Is it re­lax­ing, detox­i­fi­ca­tion, yoga or move­ment based? Some­times ad­ven­ture or do­ing some­thing you have never done be­fore can be the most re­lax­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Holly Turner rec­om­mends find­ing a re­treat that con­cen­trates on our minds, as well as our bod­ies, in or­der to help us re-learn our nat­u­ral rhythms and sig­nals. “To­day ev­ery­one is striv­ing to be bet­ter,” says the well­ness ex­pert. “They're work­ing harder, try­ing to have that edge. They want great bod­ies, great so­cial lives, ev­ery­thing, and this is fan­tas­tic. But it's im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to how our bod­ies feel. Our health is ev­ery­thing.” ■ Feel­ing ex­hausted and des­per­ate for a break, I did just as Turner rec­om­mended; I took one. Land­ing at Phuket Cleanse, a Thai re­treat that fo­cuses on raw ve­gan food, high lev­els of fit­ness train­ing, and a healthy dose of men­tal re­bal­anc­ing, I found a re­laxed oa­sis run by two pas­sion­ate ex­perts. On day one, I car­ried my phone around with me like a child. Af­ter hik­ing up a moun­tain to en­joy spec­tac­u­lar ocean views, then sprint­ing along the beach for some high in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT), I found my­self sit­ting at the lunch ta­ble scrolling through work e-mails. The food was ex­quis­ite but I was dis­tracted. Old habits re­ally do die hard. But as the week went on, I started leav­ing my phone in my room more and more. Ini­tially, this was due to lo­gis­tics; there just wasn’t time to go online. Days kicked off with green juices at 7am. Then came some form of med­i­ta­tion or men­tal re­flec­tion, fol­lowed by sev­eral hours of fit­ness classes rang­ing from yoga to Muay Thai. At lunchtime guests sat to­gether around a long ta­ble laden with an ever-chang­ing menu of healthy dishes, dis­cussing life’s big ques­tions, ahead of af­ter­noons de­voted to yoga, beach walks or ac­tiv­i­ties like learn­ing to make raw, ve­gan cho­co­late. Ex­quis­ite din­ners were fol­lowed by themed talks (cov­er­ing top­ics like emo­tional eat­ing and find­ing your life part­ner), mas­sages, and fi­nally tum­bling into bed for a deep and sat­is­fy­ing sleep. The sched­ule changed daily, so it never be­came bor­ing, and there was also no pres­sure to par­tic­i­pate – I could at­tend ev­ery­thing or noth­ing, depend­ing on how I felt that day. By day three I was sleep­ing eight hours a night, mov­ing con­stantly, eat­ing well and in­ter­act­ing with the most fas­ci­nat­ing group of strangers. The ab­sence of any stress al­lowed me to con­cen­trate on some of the big­ger ques­tions we were be­ing asked to dis­cuss, and to re­mem­ber that hit­ting ‘like’ on another In­sta­gram post isn’t in my list of top life pri­or­i­ties. In an en­vi­ron­ment de­signed to help me re­con­nect with my­self, I fi­nally learned how to dis­con­nect from my ev­ery­day life. On day four I de­lib­er­ately locked my phone in the safe. It stayed there un­til I checked out. phuket­



Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.