7 Best Self-Care Vacation Ideas to Try this Fall
Science has repeatedly shown that engaging in self-care keeps stress at bay and boosts well-being. In fact, simply going on vacation may be the best self-care practice of all: a recent study found that changing our location and experiencing variety and novelty make us happier.
So why not maximize the benefits with a dedicated self-care trip this fall? Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa in Delray Beach is the perfect place for it, with everything you might need for a relaxing reset. Yoga by the sea? Check. Pristine beaches? Check. A world-class spa? Check! Here we share all the many ways you can care for your mind, body, and spirit at Opal Grand.
Yoga isn’t just great for flexibility and strength, it’s also proven to relieve stress and boost mood. The conscious breathing and movement in a yoga class activates the vagus nerve, which helps control the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest” response. Add the warm breeze and calming blue hues of a Florida morning by the sea, and it’s the optimal recipe for relaxation. Opal Grand offers Sunrise Yoga with a certified instructor every Saturday morning, with yoga mats, towels, and complimentary tea provided. Check the website to find out about their seasonal wellness retreats.
A HEART-PUMPING WORKOUT
Much like yoga, but via different biological mechanisms, a great workout increases both physical health and mental health — improving the cardiovascular system, brain health, cognitive function, sleep, and overall quality of life. At Opal Grand, there’s always time to fit in your regular workout in the 24-hour fitness center, outfitted with high-tech cardio machines and free weights. To take it up another level, try the TechnoGym Bench, a functional training experience that includes elastic resistance bands, hexagon dumbbells, weighted knuckles, and a training mat; or the Workout Kit, with strength and recovery aids like loop bands, a foam roller, and a mobility ball.
A FULL-BODY MASSAGE
The Tammy Fender Holistic Spa at Opal Grand offers natural, plant-based luxury skin care developed over Tammy’s 25-year career in the wellness industry, serving as a holistic consultant and practitioner and working with celebrity clients like Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore. The newly designed, two-story sanctuary features a menu of body, facial, and massage treatments that support deep relaxation and healing. The signature facial treatment includes oxygen therapy, rhythmic massage techniques to enhance circulation, and stimulating foot reflexology.
Opal Grand’s pool deck is just steps away from Delray Beach, named one of Florida’s top 10 beaches by the Travel Channel, where you can soak up Vitamin D, nurturing minerals like magnesium, sodium, calcium, chloride, and sulfate — and a big dose of bliss. One study with more than 26,000 participants found that people living by the sea are 22 percent less likely to be anxious or depressed, compared to those who live about 30 miles away from the coast. Be sure to take a leap into the waves: Exercising in natural environments has been shown to have greater benefits for mental health because it combines the positives of exercise (see above!) with the restorative experience of being outside in nature.
PUSHING YOUR EDGE
Self-care also includes getting out of your box and creating new brain connections. Motor learning — doing something new that involves movement — is particularly effective in improving mood, memory, and cognition. When you’re on vacation by the ocean, there are lots of opportunities to build those synapses on the water: Learn to surf, get up on a paddleboard, hop in a kayak, or ride a boogie board. Waves Board Rentals offers a full array of non-motorized water sports equipment exclusively available to Opal guests, and also leads snorkeling expeditions for both beginner and experienced divers.
A WELLNESS WALK
For a calming and meditative self-care experience, take a Stroll for Well-Being through the gardens of Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. Each garden reflects a specific era, from the 9th century through the 20th, ranging from lush greenery to serene rock compositions. The museum’s therapeutic walking program offers guided walks based on themes like awareness, trust, possibility, joy and fulfillment. With journal writing and mindful pauses along the way, the walks are designed to encourage calm and self-reflection.
Start your day at Beach Market Cafe with a superfood-packed fruit smoothie or the best avocado toast. For lunch or dinner, head to the new signature restaurant Drift, featuring five distinct social and dining spaces: the main dining room, the chef’s gallery, two glass-enclosed private enclaves, a mixology room, and an outdoor verandah. Drift’s menu is influenced by local and fresh flavors from the sea, farm, and garden, like Roasted Vegetable Scramble with seasonal offerings, or the Ora King Salmon, perfectly cooked and prepared. It’s self-care on a plate.