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Take a Montecito At-Home Wellness Sabbatical


Yoga Meditation Concept, Woman Silhouette Meditating in Healthy Pose, Back View on Sun Light Rays

Getting away from it all is a great way to reduce stress, but what’s a Montecito homeowner to do in light of the coronavirus? The answer to that question is simple—take an at-home wellness sabbatical. No location is quite as picture-perfect as the American Rivera. Our sparse suburban feel combined with our perfect Mediterranean climate make Montecito a great spot to take care of yourself.

What is an At-Home Wellness Sabbatical?
Think of an at-home wellness sabbatical as a commitment to yourself. The idea is to create balance. That means you don’t have to completely unplug from work. Instead, concentrate on finding a way to work while focusing on your own health and wellbeing. That can’t be too hard for those of us who are fortunate to live here amidst all of this natural, cultural, recreational and architectural beauty.

How to Plan an At-Home Wellness Sabbatical
When embarking on a wellness sabbatical at home, success comes down to making a plan and sticking with it. The biggest challenge will be staying away from your usual home habits. But to make it a little easier, follow these 6 steps:

1) Make a schedule
Experts say in order to initiate healthier changes in our lives, it’s important to set up a wellness sabbatical with a clear two-week daily structure that addresses your specific needs. That means making a daily schedule. If you’re not sure where to start, The Santa Barbara Public Health Department offers locals a blueprint to health and wellbeing through a wealth of information and programs. Plus, our residents are naturally community focused, as illustrated by our many wellness-focused businesses from the Santa Barbara Wellness Center, which facilitates myriad options, from health and wellness educational programs and PSLF certification, to yoga and meditation classes.

READ: Santa Barbara Yoga Studios in the Age of COVID-19

Your schedule needs to include some sort of morning wellness ritual, a midday wellness break, and an evening relaxation, designed to nourish your body.

2) Prepare Your Space
You’ll want to do your daily rituals somewhere comfortable, well-lit, and quiet. Think home workstations filled with meditation chairs, free weights, essential oil diffusers, and salt lamps. By surrounding yourself with items that encourage you to pause, you may be more likely to stick to your commitment.

3) Let people know
Even though an at-home wellness sabbatical is all about you, in order to keep it that way, you need to let everyone in your life know about your plans. Just tell friends and family that you’re taking some time to recharge, relax, and rejuvenate and that you may not answer texts as quickly or check-in as often.

READ: The Art of Backyard Stargazing in Santa Barbara

4) Conduct an energy audit
You may be exhausted, but might not know what, exactly, is behind this. That’s where an energy audit comes into play. Begin noticing who and what is sapping your energy. Then practice saying “no” as much as possible to the people and situations that are depleting you. Another great tip: cancel as many meetings and appointments as you reasonably can for the duration.

5) Plan your food and beverages
As long as you’re devoting your time and energy to listening to your body, this should also include what you put in it. Plan your meals, snacks, and hydration ahead of time. Staying hydrated is a big part of that, and healthy snacks are a must.  Plus, have a few pre-prepared nutritious meals on hand.

6) Potential activities for an at-home wellness sabbatical
There are plenty of options here in sunny Montecito to fill your day during an at-home wellness sabbatical. But why not try something new instead of falling back into the usual methods you use to unwind? The area is filled with life-nourishing activities: from hiking and biking to boating and paddleboarding. One thing to avoid completely is watching or following the news. And, of course, make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

Follow these specific strategies and activities:

Morning questions
For many people, their workdays begin by reaching for their phone and checking their email, social media accounts, and/or the news. Instead, when you’re first waking up to a new day, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • What do I want and need today?
  • What are 3 goals or priorities that will contribute to my happiness and wellbeing?
  • How can I be the greatest version of myself today? 

When selecting the activities, group them based on whether they focus on your body, mind, or spirit. Using this approach, here are a few suggestions for your body:

  • Morning stretches
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Do a body scan
  • Breathe
  • Rest

Like deep breathing and paying attention to hidden beauty during a walk, many of the activities for your body also benefit your mind. Here are a few others to consider:

  • Practice gratitude
  • Find inspiration
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Meditate
  • Find humor

Part of taking an at-home wellness sabbatical is allowing yourself to spend time thinking through what gives your life meaning and purpose, and how you can get there. Here are a couple of suggestions for how to do this:

  • Be creative
  • Find meaning and purpose

READ: Santa Barbara Living: Testament to Why It’s a Top 100 City

What are some of the benefits of an at-home wellness sabbatical?

Everyone is aware that stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and make us feel miserable, sick, and exhausted. But those stressed-out feelings may have become so familiar that you’re not always aware of when you’re under stress. This puts you at greater risk of burnout. The goal of an at-home wellness sabbatical is to pause and reflect on how you’re spending your time and energy. Is it working for you? If not, take a couple of weeks off and press the reset button on your life. This simple act can help you realign yourself with your goals, values, vision, and with your own wellness needs. 

Not only does an at-home wellness sabbatical give you a chance to slow down and pay attention to how you feel, but it’s also a helpful way to repattern your brain so that new neuropathways develop to reinforce your new choices, By experiencing a more balanced and healthier lifestyle, you can also see how to easily integrate your new habits into your daily life.

READ: Ocean View Homes are Good for Our Health

Modernist Montecito estate with mountains in the background

As I mentioned, we are surrounded by beauty, which includes our diverse architecture. Take my listing, an Extraordinary Modernist Masterpiece, pictured above, as an example. This stunning property features wellness living at its best. Designed by esteemed architect Jan Hochhauser, in collaboration with the visionary NYC interior designer Barbara Hauben Ross, the property features breathtaking panoramic ocean, coastline, Channel Island and mountain views from nearly every room. Plus, there’s 5.51 picturesque acres, and an extensive list of indoor and outdoor amenities that combine to embrace an elevated interpretation of Montecito’s coveted indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

Are you ready to take an at-home wellness sabbatical in a new home in any of Santa Barbara’s amazing communities? Give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@Montecito-Estate. Now is a great time to make a move toward health and wellness.


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