Burnout retreat: sustain yourself through mindfulness

Many of us have experienced burnout and its debilitating effects on the mind and body. This 4-night stress retreat offers practical resources to help nourish you in your daily life and work.

Sustaining ourselves through burn out - a Sharpham Trust retreat

I found it so nourishing and it has cast aside demons and let me see a more positive future...thank you for facilitating my recovery

                                                                                           - stress retreat participant 

Prolonged stress can cause feelings of exhaustion, overwhelm, depression or a lack of motivation as well as anxiety over life's demands. The physical effects of burning out can also include insomnia, headaches and migraines or stomach and digestive issues.

This retreat offers a mindful approach to burnout, helping to boost your resilience, support your life's balance and offering strategies to help you say no to more stress.

It takes place in the very special setting of The Coach House, in the grounds of Grade I-listed Sharpham House, Devon, surrounded by tranquil gardens within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Sustaining Ourselves through the cycles of burn out - a retreat at Sharpham

This burnout & stress retreat is for you if

  • You need rest, replenishment, renewal and inspiration
  • You've experienced stress or are becoming concerned about the early signs of burn-out
  • You tend to drive yourself, resulting in regular feelings of stress, exhaustion, anxiety and overwhelm
  • You want to increase your personal resilience and self-care in a safe and supportive setting
  • You'd benefit from reflection and connecting to nature and your creativity, far away from the busy-ness of your day-to-day life and work
  • You're interested in creatively enquiring into your relationship with your work in the world
  • You want to explore how to remain active in your purpose to make the world a better place whilst overcoming cycles of burn-out
  • You'd like to meet and learn from others on a similar journey

Sustaining Ourselves through Mindfulness - a retreat at Sharpham

During this retreat you'll

  • Experience a unique synthesis of mindfulness, creative enquiry and nature-connection to enhance your personal resilience, taking on skills and tools to use in your life and work
  • Explore a contribution to the world through self-care and self-compassionSustaining Ourselves - a Sharpham retreat
  • Learn or deepen your experience of how meditation and mindfulness can support your daily life and the balance between ‘being and doing’
  • Learn to say NO with a good heart (and a clear conscience)
  • Recognise and become familiar with the early signs of burn-out and stress, exploring tools and strategies to avoid repeating the cycle
  • Learn how acting from a place of urgency and desperation can be counter-productive to your effectiveness - and explore alternatives
  • Share lovingly prepared home-cooked meals
  • Have time for personal reflection and exploring your own work-rest balance

Experience our 5-night silent meditation retreat at Sharpham

Facilities in The Coach House

A double ensuite room in The Coach HouseThe Grade II-listed Coach House has been sympathetically converted to create accommodation in four wings surrounding a central courtyard.

The Coach House has 18 bedrooms, 12 of which are en-suite. The 6 others share 3 bathrooms, one for each pair of rooms. 

We have an accessible ground-floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom in the Western Wing of The Coach House. Please contact us to book this.

The Eastern Wing features a lounge, library, kitchen and has a contemporary timber-frame extension which serves as a dining room and meditation/meeting space.

The extension has large French doors which open out on to a patio and garden with direct access out on to the south-facing lawns.

Retreatants have the opportunity to explore the estate and the gardens. Not all of the gardens or the estate have disabled access, so do contact us to discuss your needs and what is possible.

retreatants meditating at The Coach House

Mindfulness in nature at Sharpham

When you experience Sharpham's inspiring and nourishing environment, we hope you'll connect spiritually with the natural world, so you’ll:

  • become aware of how we are all part of nature - not artificially separate from it
  • pay attention to and appreciate the natural world surrounding us
  • explore nature through your senses and your natural creativity
  • Tread more lightly on our finite planet, developing a respect and reverence for all living things

Click here to read our ethos and principles

Experience our 5-night silent meditation retreat at Sharpham

What you need to know

If you decide to stay with us, we’ll send you a list of what you need to bring for this retreat in your Welcome Letter that we send out after you've booked.

You can also find out more about staying with us on our Frequently Asked Questions page, including

  • accessibility information
  • why we encourage you to come on your own and not with partners or friends
  • what the difference is between our retreats

See our Coach House Covid-19 measures here

Experience our 5-night silent meditation retreat at Sharpham

Our food & your dietary needs

We have a fully stocked, mostly organic and vegetarian kitchen. The main meal is at lunch time and is prepared by our cook supported by retreatants. We try to use produce from our gardens as much as possible which retreatants help grow.

We can accommodate gluten-free and/or vegan dietary needs. However, our kitchen is not gluten, dairy nor nut-free. We do not provide gluten-free bread, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Please make sure you include dietary restrictions and any food allergies on your Booking Form. We may need to communicate further with you about specifics. The booking form is sent as a link once you have booked and paid for a retreat.

Our water is provided from our own spring, UV treated and filtered.


Your physical and mental health

Although meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in managing stress, depression and anxiety our retreats might not be suitable if you are experiencing major depression or other clinically diagnosed psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and for our booking process.

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-serve basis.


The whole experience has left me with a sense of confidence in my ability to improve my well-being and find more balance

                                 - retreat participant

Stay in the striking converted stable block The Coach House


This retreat is a rich fabric woven of spaciousness, structure and choice.

With that in mind, all of the sessions are optional with the exception of the Morning Group Circle which we ask everyone to attend. Our aim is that you come away with the insights, tools and mindfulness practices that most support you to find balance within yourself, with others and in the world.  

The guiding principle of this retreat is choice: inviting you to experiment in real time with meeting your needs based on self-knowledge, awareness and self-care.

Typical retreat schedule (subject to change)

Day 1: Arrive between 3-5pm for Welcome Meeting at 5.15pm and settling in

Mornings Afternoons
7.20am - wake up  2.15pm - personal / free time
7.50am – meditation 4.00pm - creative enquiry
8.30am - breakfast / tasks 5.20pm – meditation
9.50am – movement 6.00pm - supper
10.45 – morning circle 8.00pm – evening session and deep relaxation
1.00pm - Lunch  


Final day: depart by midday


The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9pm – 9am and on one full day in each retreat.

Sharpham is a small slice of is a much-needed spot of quietness and positive energy and I could not recommend it more


I found it so nourishing and it has cast aside demons and let me see a more positive future...Thank you for facilitating my recovery


The whole experience has left me with a sense of confidence in my ability to improve my well-being and find more balance


One of the most beautiful, nurturing and life-affirming opportunities that I have given myself and shared with others



The creativity of the format was inspiring, surprising, unformulaic and soulful


This was truly food for the soul, and much appreciated

This retreat takes place in The Coach House, a historic Grade II-listed building behind Sharpham House set in a Capability Brownian landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.

Click here for our How to Find Us page on this website.

Click here to view, print or download directions and a map to The Coach House

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to The Coach House

Aerial shot of Sharpham House

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-served basis.

Just to let you know, we have poor mobile phone coverage – which we see as a virtue. While there is wi-fi in The Coach House, we encourage you to disconnect from ‘the network’ so you can fully retreat when you’re here.

We are 3 miles from Totnes – famous for its Transition Town movement

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty



We take sustainability seriously.

All of the hot water and heating in The Coach House is produced by a state-of-the-art biomass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic solar panel arrays on barn rooftops feeding into Sharpham energy.

Eco-gardens at Sharpham

Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.

The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that retreats at The Coach House are accessible to all - regardless if income. 

All rooms are comfortable single rooms, with either an ensuite or a shared bathroom. All meals, bedding and towels are included. Rooms are randomly allocated, unless you have medical needs relating to your room allocation. If you have such a need, let us know on your booking form which will be sent to you once you have booked.

Supported Rate: £495

The Supported Rate is for those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate 

Standard Rate: £570

Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Coach House and helping retreatants of lower incomes to access our retreats.

Benefactor Rate: £645

If you are able to pay the Benefactor Rate, you'll be supporting others who cannot afford to benefit from a Coach House retreat on The Sharpham Estate. Your choice to pay this rate will help us with the running costs of The Coach House, enabling us to continue our charitable work connecting people to nature and fostering mindfulness and wellbeing, as well as caring for the land, wildlife and wider estate.


Limited 50% bursaries offering reduced-price retreats are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.

Our bursary fund relies on donations. If you’d like to help another person to go on retreat here through our bursary scheme, you can give online quickly and easily by clicking here

Kanada Elizabeth Gorla

Kanada Elizabeth Gorla

Kanada is a leadership & transformational change coach, mentor and facilitator.

With more than 20 years' experience facilitating individuals and groups, Kanada is a long-time meditator and mindfulness practitioner. As a self-employed, single working mum, Kanada has walked the path toward ‘sustaining herself’ as a daily practice.

With her own social business Shine, she helps individuals, teams and organisations to flourish, building personal and collective resilience, well-being, self-leadership and engaged citizenship. Her work as an activist includes launching the Pachamama Alliance Be the Change Symposium in Canada and assisting in training the first group of Be the Change UK.

Kanada is a Senior Associate with Embercombe, a leadership centre where she co-leads The Journey, Catalyst and Speaking out; an Associate with Common Purpose American Express Leadership Academy for emerging leaders in the 3rd sector; and course leader on bi-annual residential programmes with cohorts from On Purpose and Executive On Purpose.

Sophy Banks

Sophy Banks

Sophy has an eclectic background in many aspects of creating healthy culture for individuals, groups and communities. She teaches at Schumacher college, runs workshops, and offers organisational development and conflict facilitation. Originally trained as an engineer, she has worked as computer systems designer and trainer, psychotherapist, and family constellations practitioner.

In 2005 she moved to Devon and helped to set up Transition Town Totnes (TTT), one of the foremost projects in a movement for positive visioning and action in communities, that has spread to over 40 countries and been tried in thousands of communities in some form. Sophy set up the Heart and Soul group of  TTT, and spent 10 years bringing insights from her many inner practices (including meditation, grief tending, mindfulness and nature connection) to the Transition Towns movement. During her time working for Transition she saw many highly skilled people reaching a place of burnout, and has been on that edge herself. It became a central part of her enquiry into how we can create life enhancing, positive culture together – and the reasons we sometimes don’t.  She sees that mindfulness is an essential tool for healthy systems, not only for individuals but also in groups and communities.

Sophy was a keen footballer in east London for many years – too old to slide tackle any more she enjoys growing as much food as she can, and still just about gets up the Devon hills on her bike.

Rupert Marques

Rupert Marques

Rupert has practiced in the insight meditation tradition for nearly 25 years in Europe, America and Asia. His primary teachers have been Christina Feldman and Joseph Goldstein. The work of Toni Packer and John Tarrant have also been influential in his practice and teaching. He teaches at various retreat centres in Europe and beyond. For the past 4 years Rupert has lived and worked at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to exploring the role of the Dharma in the movements for social justice and ecological sustainability. At Ecodharma he directed the Nature based Practice strand of their work that marries contemplative practice with a range of approaches within the field of experiential ecopsychology in a wilderness setting.

Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 731803

Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.

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