This coming July 24th is International Self-Care Day, making this the perfect time to check in on your own self-care and assess if there is room for improvement. Too often, self-care gets described as a face mask and a glass of wine. The truth is, self-care is the combination of healthy activities you can do to reduce your stress, improve your mood, support your health, and generally feel balanced day to day. Generally, self-care is what you do for yourself to support and maintain your mental and physical health. This can include everything from brushing your teeth to staying sober. The basic equation is healthy habits + taking care of minor and longterm conditions = self-care.
The International Self-Care Foundation has developed a framework for self-care around seven ‘pillars’ or ‘domains’:
Health literacy – includes: the capacity of individuals to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.
Self-awareness of physical and mental condition – includes: knowing your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol level, blood pressure; engaging in health screening.
Physical activity – practicing moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports at a desirable frequency.
Healthy eating – includes: having a nutritious, balanced diet with appropriate levels of calorie intake
Risk avoidance or mitigation – includes: quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol use, getting vaccinated, practicing safe sex, using sunscreens.
Good hygiene – includes: washing hands regularly, brushing teeth, washing food.
Rational and responsible use of products, services, diagnostics and medicines – includes: being aware of dangers, using responsibly when necessary.
Taking into account your recovery journey, what can you do this week to add to your self-care habits?