Wylde Blossom Wellness Retreat serves up a slice of heaven at Gisburn’s Stirk House Country Hotel

My mental health has taken a beating lately.

So when I was invited to the Wylde Blossom Wellness Retreat & Christmas Market at the stunning Stirk House Country Hotel in Gisburn last weekend, I jumped at the chance.

This uplifting event, hosted by holistic beauty therapist Marie Garlick of Wylde Blossom Health & Healing, offered a fabulous opportunity for my mum and I to slow down and enjoy some much-needed “me-time''.

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Commenting on her mission to help lift people up, Marie said: “I’m on a journey to help create a better, happier world through positive mental health and connection”.

Guests enjoying the Wylde Blossom Wellness Retreat & Christmas Market at Stirk House Country Hotel in Gisburn.

As a full-time working mum, I’m always on the go, and “me-time” can be difficult to find. I love to keep busy, but this time of year can be hectic with Christmas right around the corner.

And I love Christmas - but who hasn’t felt the festive frazzle?

The December build-up buzzes with excitement as people enjoy parties, shopping and family visits. But for many people, it’s also a time of lists, stress and money worries - probably with a few coughs and colds along the way.

I take antidepressants everyday for OCD, so I know how ongoing stress can make you spiral if left unchecked for too long.

Energy healing at Wylde Blossom Wellness Retreat & Christmas Market at Stirk House Country Hotel in Gisburn.

Medication and therapy have been life-savers, but over the years I’ve found my mental health needs constant nurturing. And while medication takes the edge off my anxiety, a balance of lifestyle factors can help me to thrive.

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Marie’s mission is all about helping people to find peace and positivity through their lifestyle. The holistic and beauty therapist of nearly 30 years has been interested in alternative health remedies since the 80s, and her own mental health battle has inspired her to help others.

She said: “The experiences I had with depression, panic attacks and anxiety made me realise how important my role is in helping other people.

“I opened my salon, Serenity Relaxation and Beauty in Rosegrove, whilst battling bad anxiety and depression 20 years ago. So it was important to me that I focused on treatments going forward, and bringing mental health to the forefront, so that it could also help people with their struggles, too.”

Guests enjoying the Wylde Blossom Wellness Retreat & Christmas Market at Stirk House Country Hotel in Gisburn.
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Marie’s wellness retreat last weekend allowed me to dip my toe in the water and test out different self-care practices to see what could work for me.

Yoga was the perfect way to start the day, and my worries soon melted away. It was followed by meditation, which brought real calm to my morning.

With a renewed sense of clarity and focus, I experienced the full benefits of being creative, as we were shown how to make a foraged flower jar and then tried our hands at Indian wood block printing.

I had my aura read in an energy healing workshop, and explored sound healing, which uses different vibrations to help calm the mind.

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Holistic and beauty therapist Marie Garlick.

The retreat was finished with a delicious Christmas platter, followed by a stroll around the festive market.

The inspiring event not only offered a breather before the festive madness kicks in but also plenty of inspiration about how to bring a moment of calm to my everyday.

What better Christmas gift could I ask for than a calmer mind?

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The next wellness retreat at Stirk House is on Sunday, March 5th.

Guests enjoying the Wylde Blossom Wellness Retreat & Christmas Market at Stirk House Country Hotel in Gisburn.
The event was also raising money for Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.