I work at a wellness company and so it’s my (gluten-free) bread and (nut) butter to know the many ways that stress can interfere with us all living our best lives. It raises our blood pressure, interferes with our sleep, and parks itself deep on our complexions in the form of wrinkles. Despite all this, I showed up at the carpool meeting point for the Well+Good Retreat last Sunday, climbed in the driver’s seat, and could’ve motored out of New York City to the Cedar Lakes Estate in the Escalade I was driving on stress fumes alone.
But a funny thing happened once I arrived at Camp Well+Good, as we affectionately nicknamed it. I’d love to tell you that among the trees, my stress melted away; that I dipped my toe in the lake and stood barefoot in the grass and my worries got caught up with the wind and flew far from my my mind. Er, that wasn’t quite it. It was more like: A lot of different women showed up.
Women from all different walks of life. Women from all different parts of the country. Women who are yogis (ahem: Beth Cooke), and badass entrepreneurs (looking at you, Lauren Bille), and foodies-slash-beauty pros (get it, Sophia Roe). Women who wanted a vacation. Women who wanted to work on themselves. Women who just wanted some fun. And each of them reminded me that while you can quite literally retreat from your stress, wellness, in its purest form is the act of showing up to counterbalance all of the stress and the disappointment—and let’s be real: the indulgences—that life doles out.
To me, this retreat wasn’t about retreating, it was about facing things and looking them square in the face with a chilled-out pulse, a level head, and the Zen only savasana can bring and then realizing that these same stress-busting tools work in real life, too. Connecting with yourself on your yoga mat isn’t just a great time to physically get stronger in body and mind, it’s a chance to celebrate the fact that your body can do the the damn thing in the first place. Empowering yourself to acknowledge that 80 percent of life is great and 20 percent sucks and needs work, is intel that can yield actionable results. Understanding how your body digests different foods is information that can keep you from spending your life running to the bathroom and I really don’t know what more you want out of a wellness retreat than this kind of information, folks.
So despite finding myself a little in the red in terms of self-care leading up to the Retreat, I came back to the city with something better than vacation-brain and a million snapshots of a gleaming waters, to boot. I came back with a new perspective and practical tips that require me to show up for my life to curb stress in the name of totally free and freeing wellness.
And yeah, the trees didn’t hurt either.
Keep scrolling for a glimpse into the Well+Good Retreat at Cedar Lakes Estate.
At the Well+Good Retreat, every attendee got goods from Seed, Yoga Hustle, Society6, Madewell, Bombas, Meow Meow Tweet, Love Sun Body, Ursa Major, Teleties, Happiness Planner, Intelligent Nutrients, Soma, Urban Outfitters, Camp Collection, and Sunday Forever when they arrived in their rooms.
Everyone was also gifted day and night creams from ELEMIS, including star products from the new Superfood skin-care line, which incorporates some of the hit ingredients from your kitchen into its formulas.
There was plenty of makeup, too: W3LL People supplied us with all of the mascara and lip glosses that we could possibly swipe onto our lashes and lips.
In the mornings on the hilltops that overlooked, Shawangunk mountains, Beth Cooke led high-vibe yoga sequences set to rocking playlists. And all yogis were provided blocks, mats, and straps from Yoga Hustle to help strengthen their practice.
Post-yoga, we all headed back up to the Pavillion and sipped stress-busting lemon and cinnamon teas from the one-and-only Sophia Roe. But of course, the ingredients were so gorge they could’ve been plucked from the garden (and yeah, the succulents actually were plucked from the GRDN).
Depending on the day, we’d go hiking through the property, which actually used to be a summer camp for kids training for the Olympics back in the day.
Or, in true camp fashion, made necklaces with our names on them which totally worked double-duty as name tags.
In the afternoons, we sat in a community circle with cute pillows from Society 6 and Lauren Bille led workshops that helped us identify what our values were, culminating in a mission statement that helped bring what’s important to the forefront.
At night, we sipped Health-Ade kombucha mocktails that tasted like the most delicious punch dressed up with herbs plucked straight from the garden.
And then we dined al-fresco under the big-open sky in the garden at the Cedar Lakes Estate, toasting our new friends and making plans for what’s ahead.
If this has you convinced that you want to come on our next Well+Good Retreat, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more intel.
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