The Holistic Health Project
There’s a mentality that women go to ‘find’ themselves later in life during challenging times. What many of us fail to recognise, is that many of life’s pressures impact us, and our future, in our 20’s and 30’s.
With more expectations than ever to be successful, settle down, have a body type that’s ‘in’ that week and have children before we’re even ready, many women are feeling burnout, anxious, stressed, lost, and unwell. Most terrifyingly, many are burying these issues to keep up with our fast-paced world only to find that they will manifest in some way and need working through later in life.
Now, with its seventh retreat under its belt, The Holistic Health Project is on hand to equip and educate those in their mid-twenties and thirties by offering the skills to tackle many of these obstacles early on in life. The ideal programme for women struggling with self-confidence, a lack of direction, fatigue from a demanding job, and for those looking for some time out and perspective.
Founded by Stephanie Kazolides, the project steps away from the traditional relaxation format associated with retreats, and instead offers a set of tools to help women lead a happy and healthy life through self-reflection, enabling you to reach your highest potential in areas where traditional education, therapy or experience may have failed.
Stephanie who herself experienced anxiety and depression over the years, wanted to create something special that would address the emotional and spiritual issues her peer group were experiencing.
She explains “We are told the best years of our lives are in our twenties and thirties. Yet, what we have found at The Holistic Health Project is that there is an enormous number of young adults reaching their quarter life stage and feeling anxious, confused, frustrated, lost, depressed and unworthy, on all levels of self, be it, mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. Most of us are living life fast asleep and following the herd because we think we should be doing it this way, rather than living in the way that is true to us.”
With an all-female team of experts in life coaching, yoga, meditation and naturopathic nutrition the project aims to explore what a healthy lifestyle looks like, taking a holistic approach, looking at the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of self to educate, empower and transform.
Held in the beautiful, quiet area of Benahavis, Spain the week includes;
*7 days’ accommodation in an Andalucian Style 4 Star Spa Hotel.
*3 plant-based, gluten, dairy & refined sugar-free meals per day that are beautifully balanced, packed full of flavour and won’t leave you hungry.
*Daily Mediation and Yoga Classes
*Daily Life Coaching/Nutrition Workshops
*Free access to the Spa (usage of sauna, steam room & Turkish baths).
*Free Wifi Access (although you’re advised to leave laptops at home)
I had the pleasure of experiencing the fifth Holistic Health Project recently, and can honestly say I have come back with new insights about myself and the people around me. Unexpected, for someone who’s already beaten depression, anxiety and an eating disorder.
During my week with the team, it was clear that women attend to work on a wide-range of issues which are addressed during the workshops and on a deeper level during one-to-one sessions at the tail end of the week. Typically, NLP practices and other exercises are tailored to each retreat group through the intuition of the facilitators based on the common themes that arise.
The frequent practice of yoga and meditation are also incorporated which helped to quieten my mind. However, one of the most transformational moments for me was an exercise to help you look at troubling situations with people in our past and present with different eyes and new found perspective. Alone this was life-changing, and I walk away with something that will help me in other situations I come up against in the future.
Others will benefit from the nutritional guidance that can support not only your physical but emotional health.
As I continue to process different aspects and reflect on the week; I won’t pretend it was always comfortable. Many exercises challenge you to let your guard down, and for me, let people in. However, I needed to go through each experience to bring to the surface and establish some of the residual things I had held onto unconsciously. Therefore, arriving with an open mind and heart is essential.
As the facilitators explain “deep resistance is based on underlying fear”.
While I don’t believe, any week-long retreat can ‘fix’ huge, deep rooted issues, or replace therapies dependent on the level of your situation or background. I do feel that The Holistic Health Project was as (if not more) powerful than a session of CBT, Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and other alternative therapies I had for many years to treat my depression and my eating disorder. Much of that comes from being able to relate to the facilitators and their personal experiences.
The one thing traditional therapies can lack is the bond between client and therapist. You often offload week by week to someone you don’t connect with, someone who gives little of themselves to the situation. That can lead to resistance during treatment because sessions can feel cold and sterile. The Holistic Health Project allows participants and facilitators to engage in open and honest dialogue within a safe and supportive environment.
For me, much of the real work began when I arrived home (and as such, the team are on hand should you need them for additional coaching post retreat). By researching, reading and exploring myself in greater depth since the experience, I can own, identify and work through old patterns of behaviour, and truly understand some of the habits or situations that have been holding me back in some areas of my life. I suspect additional processing and work to challenge myself will deepen that journey, give me a better understanding of what I want in my life and how to get there. Others may require further coaching or therapy to assist them with that process.
The Holistic Health Project is a gateway to clarity, the exploration of you and some of the issues that may have kept you feeling ‘stuck’ for some time. If you are accepted onto the retreat (there’s an application process) you will walk away with a new perspective on life and a collection of tools to help you on that journey.
I feel incredibly grateful to Steph, the whole Holistic Health Project team, and the amazing women I shared the week with.
Thank you for gifting me the experience.
The Holistic Health Project will be running the following dates 2017.
*April 6th – 12th
*Oct 12th – 18th
The team will also be announcing some new projects for 2017, open to all ages and covering various topics. Keep a look out on the Holistic Health Project Website for further details.
*£500 pp based on four sharing
*£800 pp based on a two people sharing
By application only. To apply, please contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org