Mental health specialist Katy Griffin relocated to Cornwall for her own work-life balance and now teaches others how to live more healthily and cope better with stress. EDITED BY CAROLINE WHEATER. PHOTOGRAPH ADJ BROWN

I moved to Newquay three years ago from Derbyshire for the sea and the surf and a better work-life balance. My mum used to hitch-hike there in her early twenties and she would tell me funny stories from her trips when I was growing up in the Peak District. We holidayed in Newquay as a family in my early teens, so it has always been on my radar.

With 12 years’ experience as a mental health clinical nurse specialist, I launched my own wellbeing practice, Thera-Sea, in 2018. Now, I run stress management retreats to demonstrate the therapeutic effects of being in nature. We go to an off-grid, waterside location on the Roseland Peninsula, by the River Fal, where guests can unwind by wild swimming, moonlight kayaking, foraging, learning bush craft, cooking on an open fire and camping outdoors. As we sit at a large wooden table overlooking the river, I deliver evidence-based workshops to equip people with the tools they need to manage stress and to apply these learnings to their daily lives. Being healthy is about much more than exercise and diet and includes relaxation, mindfulness, sleep hygiene and healthy relationships. Making simple changes can have long-lasting effects.

When I’m not hosting retreats I work from The HOHouse – a really cool, co-working space in Newquay. I find the people there inspiring – it hosts local businesses such as The House of Artists and Tide + Seek – and I’m always filled with new ideas and enthusiasm. The best thing about living in Cornwall is the outdoors way of life. I have eight beaches within close walking distance – I love Fistral and Great Western beaches in particular – so a day rarely goes by when I don’t surf or swim in the sea. I also love hiking the coastal path and exploring new spots in my campervan. I have an amazing group of friends who are adventurous and always up for a road trip.

Find out more about Katy’s workshops and retreats at or call 07958 276247.