Self care means different things to all of us. It may be simply taking a long bath, taking time to meditate, or going for a run. I believe self-care to be an activity that we consciously do to improve our health, emotional, mental and physical and basically makes us feel at peace. But the textbook definition 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.World Health Organisation
The International Self-Care Foundation‘s idea of self-care is a great foundation to base our practices to improve our health on. The International Self-Care Foundation came up with “The Seven Pillars of Self-Care” which includes a range of behaviours that ideally everyone should do:
- Knowledge and health literacy. To understand information about health and disease, leading to making healthier choices.
- Mental wellbeing, self-awareness and agency. To realise ones own potential, to apply knowledge and take action.
- Physical activity. Taking part in regular exercise.
- Healthy eating. Keeping to a healthy diet and reaping the benefits.
- Risk avoidance or mitigation. Avoiding activities that increase disease, or worse death.
- Good hygiene. Keeping clean and avoiding disease.
- Rational and responsible use of products, services, diagnostics and medicines. Safely using products or services required to maintain health.
For me, self care is taking time to myself, singing loudly and dancing even though I’m not the best at either, reading, going for a walk, cuddling with my cat, pamper days and calling my family and friends. These are all on my list, ‘happiness activities’, that I keep in my diary, where I see it all the time and I schedule at least one of them everyday.
Take time for self-care, because you can’t look after everyone else if you don’t look after yourself first.
Have a nice day!