Unwind Your Mind
A Back-to-Passion Retreat
by the Ocean.
Break free from the hustle and join us for a deep dive to learn the skills, strengths, and serenity to overcome the urge to perform. Tap into your inner power and switch to the calm and productive flow within you.
24 - 30 September 2023
The afterglow of the summer heat provides the ideal environment to unwind and reflect.
Immersed in Nature
Discover stunning beaches, picturesque forests, and charming villages close by.
Revitalize your Mind and Body
With just a 300m stroll from our retreat villa, the beach is at your doorstep, providing you with the perfect opportunity to unwind and experience the relaxing power of the ocean.
Our carefully designed programme includes beach exercises and activities that foster a connection with nature and yourself to recharge your batterie.
DIscover & Develop
At the heart of our retreat is coaching. As qualified psychologists, we merge nature-based healing with cutting-edge psychology to tackle stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. Our retreat offers immersive sessions combining group coaching and individual experiential learning, guiding you from performance pressure to joyful, balanced productivity.
Discover the transformative power of riding waves as part of our retreat experience. Waves for all levels help you learn to overcome fears, build confidence, and connect with the natural flow.
Forge new connections with like-minded individuals during our campfire night and community activities. Share stories, laughter, and experiences as you form a support network that lasts beyond the retreat.
Hey, can you relate?
What if you could move from hustle to flow and passion?
Life can be tricky at times and we understand. That's why we have created something very special for those experiencing constant inner rush and seeking personal growth.
Our unique retreat experience is designed to guide you through a transition from performance pressure to balanced productivity, infused with joy and self-efficacy.
This immersive journey combines the healing power of nature with cutting-edge insights from psychology, equipping you with the skills, strategies, and tools you need to overcome the urge to perform and embrace a more serene and fulfilling way of life.
And what's more, you'll even have the opportunity to make the absolute flow experience through surfing, as we will be located right by the sea!
Meet your Coaches
Hello! I'm Benedikt, a psychologist and coach who specializes in helping people find the clarity, motivation, and inspiration they need to create a life they love.
Whether you're feeling stuck or looking to connect more deeply with your body and emotions, I'm here to help.
My coaching helps you to overcome blockages in a holistic way and to stand up for the life you know or you don't yet know is possible, whether for yourself, in your relationships or in your career.
With Follow The River, I share the 13+ years of experience of my own personal development, as well as the knowledge that stems from working with clients, psychological training and my research work as a positive psychologist for the European leader of positive psychology, Dr. Ilona Boniwell.
Benedikt ScHmidt, M.Sc. - Psychologist
Hey! I'm Jessica, Neuropsychologist, Surf-Therapist, and Mental Health Consultant. With a curiosity for the lives of those around me, I aspire to create a secure space and exciting opportunities for people like you who are willing to dive deep into their inner world to make a significant change in their lives.
As a person with a big curiosity for discovering people, places, and opportunities, I know firsthand what it's like to feel conflicted internally. What is the right choice for me? How can my passions align with my career? What is my purpose in life?
After several twists and turns in my path, I discovered my current calling in combining my passion for traveling, psychological coaching, and surfing into my profession and relocating to live by the ocean.
Presently, I specialize in accompanying people who seek to regain inner balance, establish radical self-understanding, and increase their sense of self-trust to experience pure joy in life.
Jessica Dickes, M.Sc. - Neuro-Psychologist
What other People say about the Team
With an unerring eye for and on the resources of his counterpart, Benedikt manages to accompany and explore even difficult topics with great ease - and does so with a lot of empathy.
Dr. Vera Popper - Psychologist, Consultant
Jessica's approach to let go of emotional baggage was truly transformational for me. She has a gift for helping people gain clarity and insight into their lives, and she creates a safe and supportive space for exploration and growth. Her calm and open-hearted manner makes it easy to feel secure and open up to truly explore yourself.
Stephen - photographer
With Benedikt I ended up learning information about myself that I never would have guessed was there. I was able to separate what my culture was pressuring me to do, and what was actually my own highest self.
Kate - Musician
Jessica guides you with great sensitivity and respect towards the root of the problem that you want to solve. I've always felt in very capable hands throughout the process. Thank you!
Vanessa - Marketing Assistant
Welcome to a Place where you can Nourish your Body, Mind, and Soul
Unwind, recharge, and rEconnect by the ocean
Escape to a tranquil haven among the pines and ocean air. The beautifully renovated 180m² villa offers a welcoming living space that opens onto a sun-drenched-terrace and pool.
With just a 300m stroll to the beach, it's the ideal place for you to harness the healing power of nature and promote your balance and well-being, leaving you refreshed and ready for a calmer and more confident chapter ahead.
Optional bike rentals available for those seeking to explore the picturesque surroundings.
come for the Food, stay for the experience
We believe in nourishing the mind, body, and soul, and that includes the food we eat. That's why we're thrilled to partner with Talora Rouffaud, a private chef and caterer who creates comfort food in a creative and meaningful way.
Her cuisine is not only delicious, but also sustainable and seasonal, with vegetarian and vegan options as well as a focus on reducing waste, working with local producers and artisans. With Talora, you can look forward to a creative menu filled with assertive and refined flavors.
Discover AN atmosphere of support and growth
At our retreat, we want to cultivate of a sense of community, where like-minded individuals can come together and support each other on their journey towards balance, self-awareness, and fulfillment.
Throughout your stay, you will have the opportunity to engage in enriching discussions, share experiences, and learn from one another in a welcoming atmosphere.
During this one of a kind ocean retreat,
you'll have the opportunity to:
Included in the retreat:
Before you join us for the retreat, we'll guide you through a preparatory phase to ensure you are fully ready for the transformative week ahead. We provide you with useful resources and exercises that help you to establish your personal objectives for the retreat.
This process allows you to gain the most from your experience and ensures a smooth transition into the retreat atmosphere. Be prepared to embark on a self-exploration journey with the added support and tools for your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Each day of your retreat will begin and end with a freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner, showcasing the best of our local, healthy, and vibrant cuisine. On Thursday, we will break from our routine and indulge in a unique culinary journey, immersing you in a traditional French dining experience at a charming local restaurant.
As the sun sets, we gather around a warm beach bonfire for our welcome dinner. This is followed by a Feel-Good session, offering an opportunity to unwind, connect, and set intentions for the week ahead.
Today we focus on aligning with our future selves. We start with a deep relaxation exercise on the beach, using trance states to open ourselves to new insights and experiences. This leads to a powerful vision-building session, where we establish our Big 5 life goals. Our day concludes with a guided meditation to identify our personal triggers and blind spots, laying the groundwork for day 3.
We delve into the transformative power of acceptance and forgiveness, starting with a process to transform limiting beliefs. Our journey continues with Inner Child Work and Shadow Work, integrating different aspects of our personalities and past experiences.
Today, we emphasize the power of the present moment. Starting with nature therapy, we leverage the natural world to transmute inner blockages. The day culminates with an evening of sound healing, ecstatic dance, and a silent walk, followed by a sensory exploration with a blind dinner.
With morning yoga on the beach, we bring focus back to our bodies. The day includes Surf Therapy and exercises designed to cultivate self-appreciation and handle difficult emotions. It's all about embodiment and self-compassion.
On the final full day of our retreat, we build charisma and self-confidence, both individually and within groups. We explore practical habit formation and strategize effective plans. As we uncover our core selves, we finish the day with a guided Future Self Journey meditation.
Our retreat concludes with a reflective closing circle on the beach. This offers space for gratitude, shared experiences, and farewells. A final reflective meditation session allows us to consolidate our learnings before we reveal a special surprise bonus.
This retreat is not only about the daily activities. You'll also have ample time to explore the beautiful surroundings, go on leisurely walks, or simply relax by the pool. Optional bike rentals are available for those seeking to explore the area further.
In the evenings, you can engage with your fellow retreat members or take some time for personal reflection. We aim to provide an experience that caters to all your needs, providing you with a safe and supportive environment where you can focus on your personal growth.
Our aim is for you to leave the retreat feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and equipped with new tools and insights to implement into your everyday life.
The nearest airport is Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (BIQ), which is approximately a 30-minute drive from Labenne-Océan. Upon arrival, you may choose to rent a car, take a taxi, or use a ridesharing service to reach the retreat. Alternatively, you can also travel by train to the Labenne train station, which is well-connected to major French cities. From the train station, it's a short taxi or rideshare journey to the retreat location. Detailed directions and transportation options will be provided upon booking confirmation.
We understand that our guests may have specific dietary requirements or allergies, and we strive to accommodate these needs. When booking your retreat, kindly inform us of any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have. Our dedicated private chef will ensure that your meals are thoughtfully prepared with your requirements in mind, allowing you to enjoy delicious, nourishing cuisine without any concerns.
Please note that any bank transfer fees or charges will be deducted from your refund.
If for any reason the retreat is cancelled by us, you will receive a full refund of the retreat cost, but we cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, such as flights or transportation.
We recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect against any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
Surfing: With some of the best surf spots in Europe, the area around Labenne is a surfer's paradise. Grab a board and connect with the ocean!
Cycling: Explore the beautiful forests and captivating coastline of the Landes region on a bike. Unwind as you follow the gentle paths and trails through nature's embrace.
Running: Set your own pace as you explore scenic trails and paths, allowing the rhythmic motion to bring clarity and energy to your mind and body.
Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and take a walk through the stunning Basque Country. With both coastal and inland trails, there's plenty to explore.
Yoga: Take advantage of nearby yoga classes or find tranquility on the beach to stretch, relax, and rejuvenate your body and mind.
Beach relaxation: Simply kick back and relax on the sandy beaches of Labenne and Seignosse. Soak up the sun, read a book, or take a nap in the warm, salty air.
Golfing: The community has an 18-hole golf course designed by French architect Pierre Thévenin and American architect Robert van Hagge. This course is celebrated as one of the finest in France.
Visiting Étang Noir: Wander through the quiet splendor of this nature reserve, delving into the rich flora and fauna from the comfort of a wooden boardwalk.
Visiting Étang Blanc: Uncover the tranquil charm of Étang Blanc, nestled amidst pine and cork oak trees, and indulge in activities like fishing and rowing.
Surf therapy, a dynamic blend of physical activity and interaction with nature, offers immense therapeutic benefits (Britton et al., 2020; Hignett et al., 2018). It is not just a recreational activity; rather, it's an intervention that uses the power of the ocean to promote mental health, provide physical exercise, and foster social connections. Surf therapy can help individuals manage stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms, enhancing their overall well-being (Britton et al., 2020).
The physicality of surfing also promotes fitness, coordination, and balance. Participants learn to navigate waves, cultivating resilience and adaptability - skills that can translate to everyday life situations (Hignett et al., 2018). It's a form of mindfulness, too, where one focuses on the here and now, which aids in reducing negative thought patterns and promoting a sense of calm (Perestelo-Perez et al., 2017).
Furthermore, surf therapy offers a supportive community, promoting social interaction and shared experiences. It can break down barriers, encourage communication, and build self-confidence (Hignett et al., 2018). The natural environment itself acts as a powerful healer, helping individuals reconnect with nature, grounding their experiences and fostering a sense of tranquility.
Offering surf therapy can therefore not only enhance your mental and physical health but also foster a sense of belonging, resilience, and connection with nature. It is an inclusive, empowering, and transformative experience, suitable for all ages and backgrounds. So, why not embrace the waves, face the challenges, and experience the healing power of the surf?
Britton, E., Kindermann, G., Domegan, C., & Carlin, C. (2020). Blue care: A systematic review of blue space interventions for health and wellbeing. Health promotion international, 35(1), 50-69. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/day103
Hignett, A., White, M. P., Pahl, S., Jenkin, R., & Froy, M. L. (2018). Evaluation of a surfing programme designed to increase personal well-being and connectedness to the natural environment among ‘at risk’young people. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 18(1), 53-69. https://doi.org/10.1080/14729679.2017.1326829
Perestelo-Perez, L., Barraca, J., Penate, W., Rivero-Santana, A., & Alvarez-Perez, Y. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of depressive rumination: Systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 17(3), 282-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2017.07.004
Absolutely! Our Unwind Your Mind Retreat is designed to be accessible and enjoyable for participants of all skill levels, including beginners. As your dedicated instructors, Benedikt and Jessica are there to guide you through various workshops and meditation activities, ensuring that you feel comfortable and confident in your practice.
As for surfing, while we don't provide formal lessons, Jessica will be on hand to offer tips and assistance during the scheduled surfing sessions, helping you navigate the waves with greater ease. With the retreat's location offering easy access to beautiful beaches, beginners and more experienced surfers alike can take advantage of their free time to further explore the exciting world of surfing at their own pace.
Regardless of your prior experience, rest assured that you'll be well-supported throughout your journey, as we believe in fostering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.
You are more than welcome to extend your stay in the area and continue to explore the beautiful surroundings at your leisure. However, please note that it is not possible to extend your stay at the retreat villa itself. We encourage guests who wish to arrive earlier or stay longer to make arrangements for alternative accommodations nearby.
The schedule during the Unwind Your Mind Retreat is carefully designed to provide a balanced blend of engaging activities, self-reflection, and relaxation. Each day typically starts with a healthy breakfast, followed by a morning session that may include mindfulness exercises, workshops, or group discussions to help you develop the skills and strategies for a more serene and fulfilling life.
After the morning session, you'll enjoy a nourishing lunch prepared by our talented private chef, Talora Rouffaud. Afternoons are often dedicated to exploring the healing power of nature, with activities such as beach exercises, surfing lessons, or leisurely walks in the picturesque surroundings.
In the evenings, we gather for a delicious dinner, followed by community events or free time to relax and reflect on the day's experiences. Campfire nights provide the perfect opportunity for you to connect with fellow participants, share stories, and forge lasting friendships.
Please note that the schedule is subject to change and may be adapted to suit the needs and interests of the group. Rest assured that our priority is to ensure a well-rounded and transformative retreat experience for all our guests.
While we understand the importance of staying connected in today's digital world, our retreat is designed to offer a refreshing respite from the constant buzz of technology. By not providing WiFi, we encourage our guests to disconnect from their devices and reconnect with themselves, nature, and the present moment. Embrace this opportunity to experience a digital detox and let your mind, body, and soul benefit from the uninterrupted serenity that our retreat has to offer. For those, who need to stay connected digitally, 4G is available in the house and the sourroundings.
Our retreat is designed to cultivate a personalized and intimate experience, allowing each guest the space and attention they deserve. To ensure this, we limit the number to nine participants.
The retreat will be held entirely in English. But don't worry if English isn't your first language. We strive to make all our activities clear and accessible for everyone. So, wherever you're from, you're more than welcome to join us!
Yes, we are planning to hold another retreat next year. If you're interested in reserving a spot for next year's retreat, please click here. This will open a popup where you can provide your contact information, and we'll keep you updated on the details and registration process for next year's event. We look forward to having you join us in the future!
As two dedicated psychologists with a desire for nature, meaning-making, and uncovering the unique stories of those we encounter, our mission is to craft an environment for ambitious individuals. We strive for helping others to reconnect to their innate power, refocus on what matters, and achieve fulfillment in their lives. We created this ocean retreat because we believe in a world where life is more than just a to-do list.
Make life a treat – Jessica & Benedikt