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Back to Life

Kids flying the nest? Now what?!

For starters, take a (crispy, autumnal) leaf out of our wellbeing expert Sandra Watson's book. Here's why we should all embrace September.

autumn leaves

I’ve always been quite fond of September. Rather like new year, I tend to approach it with a quietly renewed vigour, perhaps realising that we’re into the final trimester and that there’s still loads to be accomplished before we ‘break up’ for Christmas. Maybe it’s the new school year vibe that’s been ingrained in me since childhood, now brought to the fore once again by having a Mudlet who rules the roost all summer, leaving us craving some sense of normality and routine again come September.  Whatever, I like this month, new pencil case, or not.

I thought I was alone in this, since friends always stare at me aghast, berating me for wishing the summer away. Until I met Sandra Watson, the super-inspiring woman behind Devon-based Heart & Sole Wellbeing. You might remember I went on one of her brilliant coastal retreats last year – if you didn’t, you can read about it here.

Sandra acknowledges the significance of the seasonal shift and that, for some, Autumn is the ending of this year’s life and signals the start of a period of dormancy for the colder, darker months. It’s the season of change and, for some, that can leave us asking ourselves, ‘Now What?’

Especially if you’re about to see your kids fly the nest and you get a knot in your tummy every time you even think about what next?

stones balanced on beach

But if that’s you, then now’s the time to meet Sandra and learn how to tackle the coming months and turn, what might feel like quite a miserable, hibernation-inducing time ahead into a time to embrace. Autumn, for Sandra, is the makeover season, a time of significant changes. In gardening terms, it’s a time after all, to bed in new plants. Externally, not much appears to be happening, but underground the roots are growing and anchoring in preparation for a showy bloom in the Spring. Yes, January brings a new year, numerically speaking, along with the obligatory call for change, but September is the real time for transformation, for moving out, for moving on, for moving up, for new universities, new schools, new courses, new jobs, new friends.

Watching kids progress through their educational years is always a great reminder of the passage of time.  But ‘Back To School’ season normally brings with it changes in all households, making September a momentous month where we suddenly have more time to ourselves and begin to look inwards at our own lives and our own prospects.

Heart and Sole Retreats

And that’s why Sandra has chosen September as the month to reboot her amazing retreats, aimed at helping guide women towards getting the most out of their lives around this time.  I really recommend one, particularly if you’re looking for that little boost to help kick start a new project, or plans and help add energy and momentum to existing ones. Maybe the summer holidays have left you feeling frazzled? This is the perfect way to press the ‘reset’ button on your life.

From an idyllic contemporary beach house in South Devon, moments from the South West Coastal Path, you’ll meet like-minded women and spend some ‘you-time’ working on improving fitness and nutrition, learning how meditations, mindfulness, and confidence-building can help mind, body and soul. And, ultimately, you’ll have the time to work on creating a future that you’ll feel excited about, rather than apprehensive.

Traditionally, these retreats run across a whole weekend, but you might like to try her brand new one-day Wellness Experience, which starts at 9am with fresh juices and concludes at 8pm with dinner and a beachside fire. Starting at £80, with options to upgrade your experience, it’s the cost of a massage, but with potentially life-changing benefits. Money very well spent, I reckon.

Fancy it? The next one-day Wellness Experience will be taking place on Thurs 27 September, swiftly followed by a weekend retreat on Fri 28 –  Sun 30 September. For all details, visit, or get in touch with Sandra on: 07876 774397. 

Find more ideas here


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