International Self-Care Day is July 24

self care on scrabble tiles

What is Self Care and Why is it Important?

You have probably heard the phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. Self-care is all about filling your cup!

Self-care is not selfish. Replenishing your personal resources is proactive restorative action. You are taking personal responsibility to fill your cup so you have the capacity to be there for other people in your life.

According to the World Health Organization, ‘Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with stress and illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.’ (WHO, 1998)

In other words, self-care is taking care of yourself in a balanced way so you can be the best version of yourself for yourself and others. Taking care of yourself will help you to be better prepared to manage stressors when they come your way and to have the capacity to help others.

What Does Self-Care Look Like Today?

  • Be flexible – it can look different each day (different activities, different amounts of time, alone or with others)
  • Be intentional – make a simple plan to care for each aspect of yourself (mental, emotional, physical, social)
  • Be social – invite a friend or loved one to join you for some activities – this motivates you and them
  • Be consistent – small, repeated actions over time create habits
  • Be patient with yourself – some days are harder than others

Self-Care Ideas:

exercise, yoga, prayer, meditation, journaling, reading, gardening, being in nature, drinking water, eating healthy food, getting adequate sleep, enjoying the sunshine, creating something, drawing, painting, listening to music, creating a new playlist, listen to a podcast, serve someone, reach out to someone, unplug, take a bath, take a power nap,  etc.