If ever there was a national day made for us, it’s National Relaxation Day on 15 August! Taking a break in the heart of a forest, away from the distractions of daily life, and surrounded by nature – it’s what we enjoy every day. Here’s what makes us experts in total relaxation...
We often talk about the exciting activities that there are to do in the forest to get your heart pumping – cycling, gorge walking, and canoeing, for example – but sometimes all you want to do is just slow down for a few days. Stop, take a breath, and enjoy the moment. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of ways you can do that too!
Stress is one of the key concerns in today’s world. 85% of UK adults experience stress regularly, and 54% of those are worried about the impact it has on their health. Stress causes our bodies to release a hormone called cortisol which leads to feelings of fatigue. Prolonged stress can cause heart problems, digestive issues and lead to mental health concerns. In fact, 51% of adults who feel stress reported feeling depressed and even more reported feeling anxious.
The health benefits of relaxing
Taking some time to relax has fantastic health benefits for your body. Relaxation and meditation have been shown to help give your immune system a boost. So, avoid catching that summer cold by finding a quiet spot in a flower-filled meadow, or by a babbling brook, and try a little meditation.
There are plenty of woodland walks through the forest. Our team in the Forest Retreat can provide you with local knowledge on the best routes to find beautiful views, secret hideaways, or the nearest pub for a well-deserved drink. Gentle exercise also has a neurochemical benefit, reducing the levels of stress hormones in your body, such as adrenaline and cortisol, and stimulating increased endorphins, your body’s natural happy hormone.
If you’d like some guidance in really connecting with the natural world around you, try Forest Bathing. Our Forest Ranger at Blackwood Forest is a qualified Forest Therapy guide and can help you to open your senses. Research shows that Forest Bathing really helps to reduce stress levels and can have a positive impact on mood and depression.
Ways to slow down in the forest
We all have different ways to relax, and you’ll find most of them available in the forest. If you just want to get the children away from the screens, there’s no better distraction than time spent outdoors, adventuring with the Forest Rangers, building dens, and climbing trees.
Of course, if you’d prefer to get away completely, then enjoy a couples retreat, where you can focus on spending time reconnecting with each other. Our Golden Oak Hideaways are designed for romantic breaks, set up for two and complete with little extras and special touches. Romance is not just good for the soul – it’s great for your health too, as studies show kissing also reduces the levels of cortisol in your body.
If you live a hectic life, you might just need a spot of pampering. Close your eyes, lie back and let our qualified therapists massage away your stress with our In Cabin Spa. Choose a hot stone massage, a full body scrub, or a revitalising facial. With over 20 treatments, you’ve got plenty of options.
Sit back and enjoy the view
Every cabin has a decking area where you can sit back in your chair with a good book or enjoy the view. Some of our cabins look out over the woodland, others over loch or millpond. Whatever your view, you’ll find nature up close. You may even be joined at breakfast by the friendly squirrels, or a family of ducks.
If the chair seems a little too ordinary, slip into your own private hot tub. Let the warm water sooth muscles and relax your mind, while you gaze up at the night sky. Taking a dip in hot waters helps to increase blood flow, which can reduce stiffness and pain in your joints.
Don’t forget to bring your family pet on holiday with you! Our pet-friendly cabins have plenty of space for your pampered pooch to enjoy, and spending time with your dog has a calming effect on your nerves. Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets, while playing with your pet can lower blood pressure and increase the serotonin and dopamine in your body, helping to relax you.
Finally, one of the most important parts of a Forest Holiday is to take all the stress out of it. So, to help you have more time to relax and less to think about, pre-order your food with a fresh vegetable box, barbecue packs, or have dinner delivered to your door.
For a truly indulgent treat, forget cooking altogether and let our chef create a delicious meal for you, right in the comfort of your own cabin. They’ll do all the washing up, so all you need to do is enjoy yourself.
Take some time to catch your breath, relax, and put yourself first. Book your weekend or midweek break now to immerse yourself in peace and tranquillity...