What is Self-Care?

This coming Sunday, 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. 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’:

Pillar 1
Health literacy – includes: the capacity of individuals to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Pillar 2
Self-awareness of physical and mental condition – includes: knowing your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol level, blood pressure; engaging in health screening.

Pillar 3
Physical activity – practicing moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports at a desirable frequency.

Pillar 4
Healthy eating – includes: having a nutritious, balanced diet with appropriate levels of calorie intake

Pillar 5
Risk avoidance or mitigation – includes: quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol use, getting vaccinated, practicing safe sex, using sunscreens.

Pillar 6
Good hygiene – includes: washing hands regularly, brushing teeth, washing food.

Pillar 7
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?


Learn more at isfglobal.org.

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.