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An interview with Freya Berwick (Co-founder, Sense of Self) Images: Sense of Self

You've probably heard of Sense of Self, a bathhouse sanctuary in Melbourne’s inner north. Providing an antidote to what’s come to be known as 'wellness', their beautiful space explores the notion that "idleness is essential to activity". A space to 'just be'? You bet that's something we can get around. We spoke to Co-Founder, Freya Berwick to learn more about it.

Sense of Self Bathhouse

What is the story and inspiration behind Sense Of Self's beginning?

Mary and I met doing a Masters Of Entrepreneurship. Mary was a film maker and had just done a bathing tour of Europe and North Africa so came in to the masters with a bathhouse of sorts in mine. I had just spent three years in Norway where I renovated and re-launched a hotel and restaurant, so came into the masters seeking to do something that mixed service and design to create an exceptional experience. Sense Of Self was then born from a shared enthusiasm for experience creation, and a recognition that we need to create spaces for people to truly disconnect (or reconnect), but at a relatively accessible price point. We wanted to create a space for people to just be by removing the beauty, performance, and exclusivity lenses that are often applied to spaces for wellbeing.

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Sense Of Self has a great ethos, why is it important to you?

Because if we want people to truly experience connection during their time at Sense Of Self, then we have to mean it! Bathing is a very vulnerable experience, so needs very careful and considered curation, which for us is guided by our values of belonging, balance, agency, no BS, and the new standard of wellness.

Sense of Self - Overall Bathhouse

What does self-care mean to you?

I guess the most encompassing definition is listening to what my body needs.

We adore the notion that "idleness is essential to activity", can you tell us a bit more about this?

Us too! It is an acknowledgement that rest and idleness is as equally as important as activity. There seems to be an over-valuing of activity and output, which in the absence of rest can only lead to burnout, fatigue, and disconnection.... so you gotta make time for nothingness!

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Finally, do you have any self-care advice or tips to help others learn to relax and unwind?

A bath? Ha! Honestly though, my biggest tip is to try and put the marketed idea of what self care looks like out of your head to instead try connect with what it is you are wanting in that moment. It is really stressful when you try to take care of yourself but feel anxious about whether or not you are doing it 'right'. For me personally this is anything to downhill mountain biking to walking aimlessly around the streets to really loud music.

Sense of Self founders

You can find more about Sense of Self here.

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Self Care™ Originals respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country on which we work, the Wurundjeri Willam people, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.