Self-Care is the New Healthcare 

Self-Care is the New Healthcare 


Self-Care is a loaded term and often is seen as less than or a “soft skill.” It’s not just a bubble bath, or checking out from responsibilities to sooth our burntout selves. It’s checking back in to the responsibility we have to ourselves and our well being.

The hard truth is, we have to be the ones to listen to what we need. We have to be the ones to plan our appointments and care plan. At Vangool Wellness we want to be a key support and advocate for you too, but at the end of the day, we want to empower YOU to know how to regulate and respect what you need. To empower you to take back your power and voice in systems that make us feel like “we don’t know our own body.”

Self-care is a process of reclaiming and remembering our inherent worthiness. You are worth taking the time for, you are worth fighting for, you are worthy. Self-Care is proactive instead of reactive.
Self-Care is saying YES to yourself and listening to the wisdom of your body, the whispers before they’re shouts. It’s being in loving communication with your body and self and it involves learning the tools to regulate our nervous system.

I am on a mission to reclaim and reframe the word self-care. As a recovering workaholic, high achiever, and serial burn-outer. I became keenly curious about how to sustain doing the things I loved at a high level without being in the cycle of burnout. I would cringe at the word self-care because it felt like weakness. Until the science began to reflect what the inner knowing and emotional part of me knew to be true. Self-care is simply tools that help us give ourselves more of what we need, in the moments, weeks, and hours that we can. It’s being aware of our body throughout the day and being more connected to body intelligence, not just mind intelligence. In this way, we regulate our nervous system and are in the stress response less often, and therefore, living in a sustainable way for our mind, body, and spirit.

Self-Care Challenge

  • Say YES to self, listen to the whispers of your body.
  • Create SLOW in your life and settle into trusting what you know to be true.
  • Take more time BEING and less time DOING.
  • Counter the hustle of this season and be radical in your choices to lean into ease. Value doing less, more than you value doing more.
  • Plan ahead, schedule in your self-care time and let it stay in your schedule as a priority, not an ‘extra’ or ‘if I have time’.

As we head into our clinic busy season, we encourage you to plan ahead for your self-care so we can give you the care you need in the time that you need because you’re worth it.

“This step of saying yes to self is saying, I am worth fighting for. I am worth healing for. I am worthy.”- Adrianne Vangool from “The Journey of Self-Care to We-Care”

Want to learn more about self-care and nervous system regulation tools? Copies of The Journey of Self-Care to We-Care are availble at the clinic, McNally Robinson, Turning the Tide, or Amazon.

Plan ahead and book your self-care appointment

As 2023 is coming to an end, think ahead to book the self-care that you need. Physiotherapy, PhysioYoga, Yoga Classes and Massage Therapy available.

Burnout & Living a Life on Purpose, with Purpose

Burnout & Living a Life on Purpose, with Purpose

Burnout is more than just a lack of self-care. It is the cumulative effects of all the times that we say “Yes”, when we mean “No”; and the collection of unprocessed stressors that live within our being. It is the neurophysiological expression of exhaustion. It is the physical manifestation of compromised beliefs and choices big or small made from outside of our centre.

Instead of reacting to situations; what if we prophylactically practiced discernment? And as such made decisions that align with our purpose and felt right within our own body.

What does a “Yes” feel like in your body? What does a “No” feel like in your body?

Start by tuning into what your body feels like during the day and when you have to make decisions.

How do we cut through the noise of obligation; the guilt of letting people down; and the fear of missed opportunities?

To find these answers, we need to come back to the “Why”. Why we do what we do? What is the ‘Why’ behind the doing?

We dilute our impact; we water down our effectiveness (visions, dreams, & purpose) every time we make a decision far from our centre. Decisions made from the periphery out of fear, obligation, or wanting to be liked, do not result in fulfillment, growth, or success. They result in burnout and every little compromise adds up. We need to remember that we do not need to be for everybody; wee need to be for somebody. In knowing this, we can then reach those we are designed to reach. The more specific and clear we are on what is true for us, the easier the decision making processes becomes. It’s no longer energy sucking and draining, but affirming and purpose fulfilling. It feeds us, rather than feeding on us.

Overtime the creative well stays full and making decisions big and small become easier. When we practice living from our centre, we become clear on who we ARE and what matters to us. Choosing what aligns with us in our work or personal lives becomes a natural process rather than a collection of difficult choices.

Of course burnout occurs, we all are or have been in a state of burnout in one form or another this past year. The demands on women specifically have been extremely intense. 

In the book Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski, the twin sisters write about what we can do when burnout happens and how we can navigate the stress cycle. The contents of this book are very affirming, especially in the context of what I do as a Physiotherapist and Yoga therapist (Physio-Yoga Therapist) where the focus is on treating the whole person, not just a part of the person. Working with the complex interplay of physical, psychological, emotional and social factors inherent to the human experience. I’ll summarize some of the concepts discussed in the book, what I have witnessed working with clients, and some of the things we can do to navigate the stress cycle as we work through burnout.

First we cannot separate our body parts or systems from each other. What do I mean by that? 

When someone experiences stress or pain, the body systems coordinate and communicate with each other. Our nerve endings send messages to our hormonal system (endocrine system) which result in stress hormones moving through the body. Our stress response is designed to be effective short term. Some examples include helping our blood to clot so we don’t keep bleeding; blocking pain through shock; elevating our immune system response so we don’t get an infection immediately from an injury. You can thank your stress response for delaying that cold or flu until you’re on holidays. Our stress response was meant to be short term; fight, flight, or freeze. However, as we have experienced, we are often in a constant state of stress and in many cases pain: mental, emotional, and physical pain. The physical manifestations of emotional pain and stress are real. Chronic stress amplifies our pain response. In chronic states of stress, we start to see the physical manifestation of burnout including: immune system suppression, fatigue, physical pain, and even multi-system effects (these may include elevated blood pressure, altered insulin responses in the form of acquired diabetes, heart disease, digestive issues, reproductive issues, and more).

So why do we get stuck in the stress response? We may have moved beyond the stressor; but our body may still be stuck in the hormonal and neurophysiological experience of the stressor. In this case, the physical body and the emotional body need to process the experience of the stressor to be free of it. How do we do that?

This can be done with any injury or stressor big or small, acute or chronic.

Move your body: The release of endorphins with activity help to interrupt the messages of the nervous system, hormonal system (endocrine system), and immune system responses that are stuck in a state of chronic stress. Switch the channel through movement that is safe and healthy for you. Take the controls and turn off the auto pilot.

Breath deeply from your pelvic floor: The pelvic floor is the first muscle to tighten in the stress response. Deep belly and pelvic floor breathing stimulate the relaxation response or your parasympathetic response (a.k.a rest, digest and nurture response). I like to use the cues: breath easy, deep, and soft to nourish your nervous system. It is no wonder that many people can experience physical responses to chronic stress in the form of pelvic floor dysfunction, lowered sex drive, and digestive issues. However it just as amazing to see these symptoms improve through something as simple as breath work. The breath is the window into the nervous system and hormonal systems, but sometimes we need support to access the breath in this way.

Connect: Yes with self, but also with safe and nourishing social interactions with loved ones, friends, and those you can talk to without needing them to solve your problems. Those people you can be vulnerable with and have the deeper heart/soul conversations. This person may even be your counsellor.  

Create and Collaborate: I love to create through collaboration, but you don’t have to be creative to find an outlet of expression. You may express yourself through daydreaming, journalling, or writing. This is why so many have taken to baking and cooking during the pandemic! A very delicious form of creative expression :). 

Fresh air!: We’ve all been doing more of this and as it gets colder, let’s keep connecting outside and taking those mindful moments in nature to simply witness the beauty around us.

The goal is to interrupt the pain and stress pathway and allow the space for our mind and body to process through the experience of the stressor; whatever that stressor may be.

Activities or therapies that combine breath, movement, connection, and creative expression can help us move through the neurophysiological expressions of stress and pain.

If we can stay ahead of the stressors we can hopefully avoid burnout. If we cannot, then the reservoir runs dry. This is where the hard work of discernment comes in. We may need to quit somethings that aren’t serving us to create space for more of the things that do. We may need to let go of some relationships and add in others. We may need to do the brave work of looking inside, so we can do the things that feel right, but may not be easy. The result will be worth it. Having the energy to live a life on purpose and with purpose.

Moving through the stress cycle can be done independently, but sometimes we need help to move through stuck and ingrained patterns. At Vangool Wellness we offer a variety of wellness service to support you on this journey of healing and nourishing your nervous system through TCM Acupuncture, Physiotherapy, Physio-Yoga, Pelvic Health Physiotherapy, Yoga classes & Videos, Massage Therapy, & Reiki.

Accessibility is important to us. Visit Vangool Wellness Youtube Channel with Free tools to help you cope with COVID. See below for ways to connect with us and how to access our resources to help you navigate burnout and cope with the daily stressors of COVID. Let’s move away from burnout and into purpose and healing. 

-Authored by Adrianne Vangool Physiotherapist & Yoga Therapist