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Burnout retreats are the latest wellness cure for white-collar wipeout

By Mark Ellwood

20 Apr 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

The WHO has recognized burnout, caused by chronic stress, as a condition since 2019—post-pandemic, cases are higher than ever. Bloomberg reports on the elite, rehab-style clinics treating sufferers.

Passing out at 36,000 feet was the wake-up call for Jenny Graham. The businesswoman, who worked for multimillion-dollar concierge firm Quintessentially Ltd. in London, had struggled with insomnia and stomach upsets for some time, but she dismissed it as typical stress. “I was just pushing, pushing on the ambition trail,” she says now. But when she woke up in a stranger’s arms somewhere over Middle America, she recognized there was a bigger problem.

Doctors, including a neurologist, eventually confirmed it. Bloodwork, EEGs and an adrenocortex stress test all supported one diagnosis: Her body was burned out. Cortisol, the stress hormone, was rampant—leaving her permanently turned up to 11. It was a life-changing moment, setting her on an entirely new career path. In May the 38-year-old Graham, along with co-founder Jenny Morris, will open the first Deep Rest “home,” a planned chain of resorts aimed expressly at treating people suffering those precise symptoms of burnout.

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