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What do we mean by "deep" self-care?

Here's the truth: self-care feels good, but it's not enough.

What do you think of when you hear the words “self-care”? Honestly, what comes to mind?


Soaking in a warm bubble bath, having coffee with a good friend, or attending the odd yoga class… These are great steps to maintaining wellbeing, but in my opinion, they don’t quite hit the mark when we are serious about improving our level of wellbeing. I think the fact that many of us are tired of hearing these words further highlights the need for something more: something that goes deeper, beyond the surface level and gets to the root causes of stress.


Cue, the concept of deep self-care. When we practice self-reflection and nurture all aspects of who we are, self-care becomes about empowering ourselves with new information and valuable insights, and we're able to move towards true healing. This knowledge enables and supports us to create new habits and genuinely change the way we interact with stress to allow for greater wellbeing.


Today's blog explores the concept of deep self-care: what it is, how to practice it, and why it's beneficial to not just maintaining, but genuinely improving, our wellbeing.

What do we mean by deep self-care?

So, what is deep self-care?

Deep self-care is about creating the conditions for us to experience optimal health and wellbeing by listening in and understanding the language of our body, mind and being.

A distinguishing feature of deep-self care is a holistic approach, with a focus on nourishing all aspects of the “self” - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational. This approach acknowledges that these aspects of the self are intricately connected and should be addressed together to achieve wellbeing.

How we at Total Life practice deep self-care...

Deep self-care is something I really resonate with, and as a result it's woven into the very fabric of Total Life and our integrated model of wellbeing. Holistic by design, our model embodies deep self-care, with a focus on group work to enhance social connection and support. It centres upon three core aspects- movement, meditation and mindset.


Total Life Wellbeing Model

The role of circle work in practicing deep self-care

Circle work is the practice of joining together to connect with one another, while also reconnecting to self. Hugely impactful for facilitating deep self-care, circle work provides:

  • An opportunity to reconnect to self through nurturing mind, body and spirit. This involves slowing right down, cultivating the skills of stillness and silence and practicing listening within.

  • A space to connect with others in circle for mutual support and shared understanding. As social beings, we have a strong need for belonging, and can only truly flourish when we have healthy and strong connections to other people.

  • Group accountability and support to help strengthen your commitment to improving your wellbeing.


In my experience….


A few years back, burnout hit me hard. I’d come home from work and collapse into bed, shoes still on, and sleep until 7 or 8pm – only to make a piece of toast and go back to bed. I’d have stressed-out dreams then wake up startled, heart racing, after hearing the sound of my alarm clock signalling me to get up and get ready for another day at work.


Eat, work, sleep, repeat.


I wasn’t coping in healthy ways, and I committed to working on my wellbeing. I thought I was doing all the right things, cutting out the bad and including more of the good - beach walks, morning sun and journaling… but self-care was just not enough. After many months, nothing had shifted.


I had to go beyond surface-level self-care, do the deeper emotional work and allow myself to be cared for. How can we look after ourselves at a time when we are so depleted and needing human connection and support from the people around us?


I started yoga at my local studio, learning about Vedic philosophy and Buddhist ways of wellbeing. I worked with a psychologist to explore what had led to me hitting burnout, and also sat in silence for 10 days at a Vipassana meditation retreat.


This combination of experiences equipped me with the tools to begin a journey of awareness, growth and ultimately self-healing. Now it’s my mission to share this understanding of deep self-care with individuals and workplaces, and help curb the rates of chronic stress and burnout we're seeing in our society.


If my story and the concept of deep self-care has resonated, we have some VERY exciting news for you! Starting on Sunday 24 September I'll be hosting monthly virtual practitioner circles. If you’re ready to commit to a deeper level of wellbeing and make meaningful changes in your life, I’d love to welcome you into this circle. You can check it out and sign up here.


Take care,

Alexis



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Image by Jeremy Bishop
Burnout Coach Perth - Alexis.jpg

BLOG AUTHOR

Alexis Postans

WELLBEING CONSULTANT

Alexis Postans is a highly experienced therapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and the founder of Total Life Wellbeing. 

 

She is currently undertaking her third degree in Psychology and has worked in a variety of settings including mental health policy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, youth residential care, child protection, youth justice, adventure therapy and delivering wellbeing programs in schools.

 

Alexis is a skilled and experienced group facilitator and is passionate about improving the wellbeing of individuals, workplaces and society.

 

Aside from study and business, she can be found playing with her two young kids or enjoying a glorious WA sunset over the beach!

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