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What is Self-Care?

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Self-care is a huge trend in mental health. However, there are many misconceptions about what it means to practice self-care. Read below to learn what self-care actually is, and how to practice it effectively in your own life.

Self-care is not about…

  • “Treating yourself” to things you are craving.
  • Spending a lot of money on the recommended self-care products.
  • ONLY improving your mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, self-care is about your ability to maintain your health, prevent disease, and cope with illness without support from a healthcare provider.

With self-care, the intention is to work toward improving your quality of health and life yourself.

There are seven pillars to self-care as outlined by the International Self-Care Foundation. If you are looking to improve in any of these areas, try applying the tips listed below or coming up with your own!

  1. Knowledge & Health Literacy
    • Learn about disease risk factors.
  2. Mental Well-Being
    • Spend quality time with loved ones.
    • Participate in your favorite activities.
  3. Physical Activity
    • Go on a daily walk.
    • Strength train.
  4. Healthy Eating
    • Increase intake of vegetables.
    • Limit intake of sugar.
  5. Risk Avoidance
    • Wear sunscreen daily.
    • Cut back on habits which increase risk of disease (e.g., smoking).
  6. Good Hygiene
    • Wash your hands before eating.
  7. Rational and Responsible Use of Self-Care Products and Services.
    • Follow instructions on medication labels.
    • Contact a pharmacist to explain what you do not understand.

You have control over many aspects of your own health. With the right intention and self-care practices, you can improve your health outcomes. Self-care may not always be simple or easy, but it is worth it.

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