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Resiliency Programs Debut to Help People Deal With Today’s Uncertainty


Photo: Canyon Ranch Woodside

After a year plagued with uncertainty, many are struggling to adapt to a new reality. From trying to keep a small business afloat to worrying about job security or dealing with a job loss, from helping with homeschooling to stressing about the future, there is no shortage of things to worry about these days. One of the best skills we can build to deal with the uncertainty that surrounds us is resiliency, which is defined as the ability to adapt and overcome life’s everyday challenges. Fortunately, we don’t have to go it alone, as many spas are introducing resiliency programs to help guests recover from the uncertainty, stress, trauma, and tragedy that have become so commonplace this past year. Here are some of the programs that can help you boost your ability to cope.

Miraval, with award-winning spas in Tucson, AZ, Austin, TX, and Lenox, MA, recently debuted Path to Resilience: Cultivating Mental Wellbeing in the New Year. This multi-step program incorporates new and signature programs to help spa-goers foster positivity and balance. According to Simon Marxer, director of spa and wellbeing, the program came as a result of all three spas experiencing an increase in bookings upon reopening, revealing rising interest in Miraval’s programming as an antidote to the growing uncertainty in the world today.

The program addresses the key pillars of wellbeing that have emerged as a result of the pandemic:

  • Building a renewed connection with yourself and your community to overcome common stressors
  • Growing appreciation for the outdoors to connect with nature and reset.
  • Creating healthier habits surrounding digital devices  

“Miraval, and spas in general, can help guests find balance and re-center their minds and souls, so they can find ultimate renewal in 2021,” says Marxer. “The activities featured in Miraval’s new Path to Resilience program have been curated to help guests cultivate positivity and mental wellbeing after an unprecedented year.” Some of the offerings include New Habits For a New You at Miraval Austin; Unleash the Power of Your Soul, Commit to Vibrant Living, a workshop using healing tools from ancient spiritual traditions at Miraval Arizona; and Awakening Your 2021 Superpowers, a workshop that helps you discover your unique spiritual gifts using Chinese Astrology at Miraval Berkshires.

According to Marxer, everyone can benefit from resiliency training. There are also many ways in which you can build resiliency. “I find that gratitude is an easy way to break the cycle of stress, worrying, and negative self-talk and foster a more positive outlook,” says Marxer. “Practicing gratitude can be as simple as writing down three things each day for which you’re grateful.”

Wanting to give guests the tools to deal with the social, health, economic, and political changes this year has wrought, Canyon Ranch Woodside is debuting Resilience: From Stress & Anxiety to Strength & Renewal, which takes place April 8 to 12. Mindful wellness and personal growth expert Jonathan Ellerby, Ph.D., will lead the retreat, sharing how to go beyond quick fixes and to focus on creating lasting change. “There are a lot of things in the world we cannot change right now, but we do have the freedom to choose how we will respond to these things,” says general manager Kristi Dickinson. “Resilience is about responding versus reacting.” Made up of lectures, experiences, discussions, and more, the retreat gives participants a time out in which to reconsider their life and set intentions for moving forward.  

“Resiliency is the new holy grail for wellness,” says Ellerby. “Most of us grew up in a culture that was more linear, more success-oriented, and somehow came to believe that there is a finish line in which we have ‘enough.’ The American dream most of us grew up with was about achieving and holding onto something—marriage, wealth, health, fame, relevance—until death.” According to him, we are now waking up to the reality that life is actually a journey. “There will be rich times and lean times,” says Ellerby. “There will be easy years and horrible years, and at the heart of that is not what we have or what we do, but how we do it, are we resilient and finding goodness in our lives, regardless of the conditions. With resilience as a goal, the most important things like love, joy, energy, connection, and wellbeing will be with us regardless of what comes or goes.”

A hallmark of wellbeing, resiliency is taking center stage at resorts and spas worldwide, including Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which recently launched its Journey to Resilience, designed to help guests recover from life’s adversities. Providing a holistic experience, the program is designed to empower guests to face life’s challenges with confidence and adaptability. Mandarin Oriental also recently introduced its Inner Strength — Outer Strength wellness initiative, which helps guests create positive changes and build both mental and physical strength, across its spas worldwide. “The adversity in 2020 has led all of us to reprioritize personal wellness,” says Jeremy McCarthy, group director of spa & wellness. “Developing our reserves of strength during times of uncertainty is crucial to avoid illness, manage stress, and be better able to support others.”    

About The Author

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent,,,, and, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.