On July 24th, help us celebrate the importance of self-care to the health of all Canadians
International Self-Care Day fosters the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Self-care is the foundation for managing life-long health. Since 2011, Self-Care Day activities have been organized around the world. On July 24th, we are encouraged to exercise, eat healthy and take breaks.
What Is Self-Care?
According to the World Health Organization, self-care is:
“the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.
Why Is This Important?
Self-care is a lifelong habit and culture. It is the practice of individuals looking after their own health based on the knowledge and information available to them. It is a decision-making process that empowers individuals to look after their own health efficiently and conveniently, in collaboration with health and social care professionals as needed. (Source: http://www.selfcarefederation.org/)
The advantages of self-care can be felt 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, the benefits of self-care are life-long and do not just relate to a single day. Recognizing July 24th merely provides an opportunity to make known or describe self-care in action programmes.
Focus on Mental Health
We are aware of and often talk about the importance of adopting a healthy balanced diet and participating in regular exercise in order to maintain our physical health. It is oftentimes easy to overlook that these steps are also important for our mental health and well-being.
Self-care activities aimed at improving our mental health can include:
- Soothing activities (e.g. massages)
- Getting adequate sleep
- Spending time with friends and family
- Making time for fun activities (whatever it is you enjoy doing)
- Supporting each other
- Dialogue and conversation
Types of Self Care
If you’re looking for ways to integrate self-care into the different facets of your daily life, explore this seven-pillar framework (developed by the International Self-Care Foundation, a UK Charity).
Includes: the capacity of individuals to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.
Includes: knowing your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol level, blood pressure; engaging in health screening.
Practicing moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports at a desirable frequency.
Includes: having a nutritious, balanced diet with appropriate levels of calorie intake.
Includes: quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol use, getting vaccinated, practicing safe sex, using sunscreens.
Includes: washing hands regularly, brushing teeth, washing food.
Includes: being aware of dangers, using responsibly when necessary.