It’s amazing what a day out at sea and some sunshine can do for your soul. It’s invigorating, awakening and soul nurturing.
A visit to the sea can be therapeutic in more ways than we realise. The combination of the inexorable crashing of the waves, the wide open spaces and the refreshing sea elixir is precious. The sea has so many therapeutic benefits that you may not even be aware. Growing up on the beaches of Australia, a swim in the ocean was just as good as a counselling session. One dive in and everything was fixed.
Dr Victoria Galbraith (Seacotherapy founder), has honed in on the sea’s healing benefits and created a new type of retreat that incorporates slowing down and practising mindfulness. It’s called Seacotherapy and I spent two days this month experiencing a taster retreat on the tip of the North coast of Wales. This is what I discovered:
Situated inland on the Island of Anglesey, I felt like I was miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And that’s what you want when you go on retreat. The thought of work needs to be a distant memory. The sound of ambulances are replaced by the “baaas” of the sheep and the only thing you can here at night are the interspersed creaks in the farmhouse.
Nestled in a four bedroom farmhouse called “The Outbuildings” the retreat accommodation was cosy and welcoming. Think exposed wooden beams, mezzanine dining areas and 360 views of lush green fields. Rooms are single or twin share, each with their own ensuite, fluffy dressing gowns and a bath if you’re lucky.
At Seacotherapy you can expect mindful coastal walks, creative activities, yoga, meditation and boat adventures. In the warmer months paddle boarding will be offered too. Each retreat will have a combination of different activities and all are optional. I especially enjoyed the mindfulness mediation activities – something I had never tried before.
Food glorious food! The owner of Seacotherapy has teamed up with Jaime Raftery(aka The Holistic Chef UK). You can expect creative dishes made with organic plant based food with restaurant quality presentation. We indulged in a vegan afternoon tea, 3 course dinner and a buffet breakfast of home made granolas and chia seed pudding. We didn’t want it to stop and we were all discussing how we could bring Jamie home with us.
Think laid back casual and comfy clothing. Yoga pants, sweaters, uggs. You will want to feel as relaxed as possible. For the outdoor activities you will need some warmer clothing and enclosed shoes and a pair of swimmers for Summer.
Even though I was only there for a retreat taster that lasted 24 hours, I left feeling revived, relaxed and restored. Victoria is one of the most gentle and grounded souls I have ever met and I only wish I got to spend more time in her mindfulness sessions. Her calmness seemed to be contagious. Integrating the healing benefits of the sea and mindfulness is definitely a winning combination. And the vibe she has created at her retreat is chicken soup for the soul.
The retreat really is for everyone. However if you are looking to have a break from reality, reset your perspective on life or just a gift back to your mind, body and soul; Seacotherapy is for you. We spend most of our life at work or asleep, isn’t it time you gave yourself a week of soul food? Escape the city, turn off your phones and get back to basics.
The closest train station to the retreat is Bangor, or if you have a car you can drive. The Seacotherapy team will pick you up from the station so it can be hassle free journey.
I had such a wonderful time pressing pause on life and enjoying the benefits of being mindful by the sea. The secret now is to try and keep this inner peace I have found when hustling about in London.
For more information on upcoming Seacotherapy retreats visit their website.
Phoebe was a guest of Seacotherapy in April 2016.
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