20 burned-out frontliners invited to Honor’s Haven wellness retreat to learn techniques to restore, empower & relieve stress

Guests engaged in Healing Qigong retreat at Honor’s Haven
3 women posing while hiking near Honor’s Haven Retreat
Women engaged in indoor yoga session at Honor’s Haven Retreat
Women doing indoor exercise session at Honor’s Haven Retreat
Group of people at ECO Healing Park near Honor’s Haven Retreat
Group of people doing activity in a forest near Honor’s Haven
A woman on a swing in a forest near Honor’s Haven Retreat
Group of people sitting in front of a waterfall, Honor’s Haven
People sitting on a staircase in a park near Honor’s Haven
Man meditating in the forest near Honor’s Haven Retreat
People meditating at Shawangunk Hiking Park near Honor’s Haven
People meditating at Shawangunk Hiking Park near Honor’s Haven
Woman meditating outdoors near Honor’s Haven Retreat
Woman meditating outdoors near Honor’s Haven Retreat
Few People meditating in the forest near Honor’s Haven Retreat

Honor’s Haven recently opened its doors to 20 frontline healthcare workers for a complimentary wellness retreat.

The retreat was conceived as a result of surveys given to healthcare workers working closely with Covid patients and their families that found that an alarming number of frontliners are now reporting mental health issues, physical symptoms, and negative emotional responses, such as compassion fatigue and questioning their career path.  

“There is a fear that many will leave the healthcare profession altogether once they have space to process their experience,” said Honor’s Haven’s General Manager Julian Lee. “These people have done so much to help everyone else — we wanted to step up and help them.”

In mid-March, a group of 20 frontliners — all suffering from physical, emotional, and mental symptoms ranging from feeling numb or disconnected to having frequent and debilitating anxiety — arrived at Honor’s Haven for a restorative and transformative retreat in hopes of finding some relief.

A team of wellness experts guided the group through Body & Brain integrative mind-body classes and activities. The Body & Brain practice combines physical stretching and movement; breathing techniques; and mindfulness, dynamic and progressive relaxation meditation methods.

Other highlights of the weekend included playing on the forest swings, sharing meals together, guided outdoor meditation by the waterfall, and walking up the “120 Steps,” which signifies a commitment to improving wellness.

The frontliners were also given free time to reconnect to nature on the center’s beautiful 260 acres of rolling hills, gardens, and lakeside “Healing Park,” as well as time to enjoy the resort’s other wellness amenities.

“We hope that these frontliners will take these resilience tools home and to their workplaces to continue to empower themselves and others,” said Honor’s Haven’s Director of Wellness Programs Bama Kim, who led the retreat. “Our goal is to share these methods with healthcare organizations to create a culture that supports all those dedicated to helping others with effective stress relief programs.”

The retreat proved helpful for the healthcare professionals. “It made me reconnect to my old self as if I was in my childhood days again, being happy and free,” said S. Amurao, of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System. “I felt free from pain, worry, and anxiety.”

“What I liked best was the time given to accept stress and disappointment and let it go,” said S. John from Crown Heights Center for Nursing & Rehab.

“When my ‘normal’ coping mechanisms were not working, this gave me alternative methods on how to cope,” said N. Motolinia, of Boston Children’s Health Physicians.

Honor’s Haven mission is to be a place for an authentic human connection and integrative personal development, where people can improve themselves and better appreciate others. Honor’s Haven seeks to achieve this mission by offering an environment and experiences for holistic wellness, transformational leadership, and greener hospitality. By meeting this goal, Honor’s Haven intends to have a positive impact on the entire industry — beyond its location and the neighboring communities — to create a harmonious, sustainable world for all.