Absolute Sanctuary | The Fitness Wellness Resort

A new ear of wellness – Mental Wellness

When people talk about wellness the image conjured is one of blissful massages, soulful yoga classes or sitting in Zen. However, wellness is more than that and even to those privy to what it really means, one key dimension of wellness largely ignored but surmounting in importance is Mental Wellness.

Over the last decade, mental health issues have been rising remarkably and the statistics are startling: In 2019, over 15% of the world’s population suffered from mental and substance abuse disorders, with depression the leading cause affecting 280 million people worldwide. Stress, anxiety, and burnout were reportedly rising across all age groups in all corners of the world.

To add salt to fire, Covid19 descended on us with a big thud, such that both the United Nations and World Health Organisation (WHO) have warned of a looming mental health crisis, being labelled as the “ Second Pandemic”. Fears and anxiety about the virus, measures restricting movements, social distancing and lock downs have shaped our lives for the last year and a half, upending livelihood and causing feelings of grief, stress and anxiety. At one point or other you and I have both feared, grieved and disconnected.

There is a way to address this and that is to build our mental wellness or mental fitness.

Defining Mental Wellness: Mental Wellness Versus Mental Health

First off, a clear distinction needs to be made between mental wellness and mental health. Mental health is the absence of mental illness whereas mental wellness is more than that. People tend to associate mental wellness with activities like meditating or mindfulness practices. Mental Wellness as defined by the Global Wellness Institute “is an internal resource that helps us think, feel, connect and function to build resilience, grow and flourish”. Simply put it incorporates mental, emotional, social, and psychological dimensions: how we think, feel, connect, act or function. It recognises the holistic nature of our health and well-being and more importantly, the link between the body and mind.

People who are mentally fit have a zest for living and a sense of meaning and purpose in life. They are well balanced, confident, have resilience and the ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.

The Journey to Mental Wellness: Self Care

So how does one embark on a journey towards mental wellness? The key is self-care.

Self-care refers to the constant engagement in strategies to promote your own physical, mental, and emotional health. This incorporates physical care, social care, mental care, spiritual and emotional self-care.

1– Physical Care

As we all know, the mind is connected to your body and physical self-care includes how much sleep you’re getting, how you’re fuelling your body and how much physical activity you are doing.

MOVE: The benefits of exercise are frequently discussed but the link between that and mental health is often overlooked. Exercise decreases sensitivity to the body’s reaction to anxiety, promotes growth of new neurons which plays a role in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is also a proactive way to release pent up tension and reduce feelings of fear and worry. More importantly exercise decreases stress hormones like cortisol and increases the “feel good”hormones, endorphins, giving your mood a natural boost.

FUEL: You are what you eat as the saying goes and this also goes for your mental well being. What you eat or not eat affects the way you think and feel. An unhealthy diet can disrupt sleep, sap your energy, and weaken your immune system. A wholesome diet low in sugar and rich in healthy fats can give you more energy, improve your sleep and moods.

REJUVENATE: Getting enough sleep is a necessity and not a luxury. Skipping a few hours of sleep can take a toll on your mood, energy, and ability to handle stress. Adults should aim for at least 7 hours of good quality sleep a night. The key here is quality. We need to unwind before bed to get the best quality of sleep which means taking a break from the stimulation of screens at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Our Recommendations:

2 – Social Care

Humans are social creatures; we need the company of others to feel and function at our best. We are not meant to survive in isolation for long. Social care is about connecting with, interacting with and contributing to other people and our communities. The pandemic has made face-to-face social interaction almost an impossibility for some. Though technology has made it easier with WhatsApp and zoom calls nothing beats meeting in the flesh. As restrictions begin to ease , it’s time to make an effort to reconnect in person (social distancing and precautions prevailing).

Our Recommendations:

3 – Mental Self-Care

Do you make enough time for activities that mentally stimulate you?

We need to fill and nourish our minds positively to stay mentally healthy. Mental self-care includes doing things that keep your mind sharp.

Our Recommendations

4 – Emotional Self- Care

Emotional self-care refers to how we cope with uncomfortable emotions like anger, anxiety and sadness. It’s about mastering your emotions, remaining calm and centred and finding inner peace. Mindfulness and stress management techniques are tools one can explore for emotional self-care.

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully aware of the present moment i.e., being “in the now”. Mindfulness can be achieved through meditation but also just by focusing on the present moment and quieting your inner dialogue. It can be as simple as taking the time to notice things around you as you walk in the garden, by the beach, when you’re out for a run or walking the dog. Research has shown that mindfulness-based practices have relieved symptoms of depression, increased emotional regulation, reduced anxiety, stress and improve memory. Make sure that meditation practices are done under the guidance of an experienced teacher as they can bring about difficult feelings or thoughts and without proper guidance, work opposite from the intended.

There are plenty of literature on stress management techniques ranging from Pranayama, to progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and visualisation techniques which one can explore. Pick one which you are most comfortable with and can see yourself maintaining it for the long run.

Our Recommendations

5 – Spiritual Care

Spiritual care does not necessarily equate to religion. It is about having a set of values, principles and beliefs that provide a sense of purpose and meaning to life and using them to guide your actions. Everyone derives meaning and purpose in different ways that involve benefiting others as well as yourself. In biological terms, finding meaning and purpose is essential to brain health as it can help generate new cells and create new neural pathways in the brain.

Our recommendations:


Embarking on your journey

With the knowledge of the tools you can use, how do you go about building mental wellness?

Pace yourself! Aim to do just one or two of the recommended activities that appeal to you first. Slowly work your way to incorporate more activities across all the 5 self-care areas, building up a habit. Most importantly, go easy on yourself.

To kick start your journey to mental wellness, there is no better way than to immerse yourself in a supportive environment under the guidance of a team of wellness experts. Here at Absolute Sanctuary, our programs such as sleep well, mindfulness, Anti-Stress & burnout or Rest &Rebalance can help set you on the path to build and strengthen your mental wellness. All the better now that Thailand is opened to fully vaccinated travellers as of 1st November 2021.

To welcome guests back, we are running a promotion of 50% off room rates and 20% off program rates for stays till March 2022*.


It’s time to awaken your senses, reconnect with nature, start new laughter and experiences. Our team at ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY awaits to support you on this journey.

*Terms and conditions apply.
Please contact for more information.

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