July 24: Happy international self care day! In this article, we will be exploring the psychology behind self-care and the importance of caring for yourself both physically and mentally. We hope that you have a meaningful self care day today! :)
What is Self-care?
Self-care is not about being selfish or making everyone listen to you on that day. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need and want to accomplish in the day.
Self-care is all about taking steps to tend to your physical and mental health needs to the best of your ability. The World Health Organisation has defined self care as
“the ability of individuals, families, and communicates 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 Self-care Important?
Self-care is any step you take towards better understanding health information you need to make appropriate decisions about your health and well-being. This means both checking your physical health thoroughly and taking care of your mental health is a part of self care.
Emotional self care: saying "no" to things that cause unnecessary stress, or setting up dates with friends.
Physical self care: prioritising sleep, or adopting a healthy exercise/diet routine
Spiritual self care: meditating or keeping a gratitude journal.
What is International Self Care Day?
July 24 is international self care day, which has been established since 2011 and the purpose of this day is to spread awareness of the importance of self-care and sharing knowledge and ability to be active about your well-being with others.
It also helps enable and further health literacy and knowledge to help individuals to acknowledge the importance of well being and to be proactive with their own mental health.
Self care day can also be a treat for yourself after a busy day / week! Everyone deserves to take a break and self care day can be the day that you do something nice for yourself!
The WHO has estimated around 400 million people worldwide don't have access to the most basic health services. So, international self care day's main purpose is about recognising and acknowledging the need for innovative health strategies that go beyond traditional models for healthcare.
Benefits Of Self Care
Better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.
Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.
This is because when you exercise, sleep better, find a meaningful purpose in life, get outside and connect with nature it boosts your health, as you are reflecting on yourself as well as just getting some fresh air.
How To Start A Self Care Routine
Determine which activities bring you joy, replenish your energy, and restore your balance.
Start small by choosing one behaviour you'd like to incorporate into your routine in the next week.
Build up to practising that behaviour every day for one week.
Reflect on how you feel. Add in additional practises when ready.
Get support through sharing practises from loved ones, a coach, a licensed professional (like a therapist or dietician), or through your healthcare plan, community, or workplace.
Self care is important for our overall health and we highly encourage you to spend once a week to really just focus on yourself and your loved ones! We hope that we were able to spread the awareness to others who might not realise the important of self care!
Finally, Happy International Self Care Day, and we hope you have a meaningful day today just to take a second to reflect and be grateful for everything that you have done and be proud of how far you have come throughout these two difficult years!
Researcher: Tiffany Ngai; Editor + Thumbnail + Text Transcription: Megan Kwok