That means resisting the urge to doggedly plough on and get the job done, burning the midnight oil, retreating from socialising, skipping exercise, ignoring my family, so I can get back on an even keel that doesn’t even exist – is a complete fallacy – because there is always stuff to deal with, always something going wrong, always lost bunnies, leaks, diabetic cats, someone wanting money. 

So, I’m going to do something that feels unnatural. I’m going to leave my desk, walk to the woods, sit down, close my eyes, listen to the birdsong, be grateful for my first-world problems, and breathe, like I learned to breathe on the retreat. And I will tell my editor that the piece will be late. I will find Bunny, cook dinner, have an early night, exercise when I wake up, have a cold shower, and return calmer, more composed, grateful for the simple pleasure of writing, rather than resentful of deadlines. 

How did that go, then? Better than expected. A few WhatsApp exchanges with the lads from the retreat helped. I received some encouraging words from Anthony Mullally, the rugby league champ-turned-wellness guru who runs them at Bedruthan Hotel and Spa in Mawgan Porth, a surfing hamlet just north of Newquay.

Wellness for all

Mullally is not your archetypal wellness guru. He doesn’t drink kale, or hug you for too long, or walk around in sandals. He’s 6”6, has a Scouse twang, biceps the size of my head, long ginger hair and the look of a man whose ancestors arrived in England on a longboat. He also once killed a chicken with his bare hands to prove his manliness (another story), something he winces at now, as a veggie (food at the retreat is exclusively vegan).

I get the sense that guys like Mullally could help bring the wellness movement down to earth, broaden its appeal, make it more accessible to the kind of men who are congenitally suspicious of kale. 

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