July 24th is International Self-Care Day! This is the best time to pay more attention to yourself and devote your thoughts to emotional and physical harmony.
Let’s talk a little bit about the origin of this holiday and its ideology. International Self-Care Day (commonly abbreviated as ISD) was established by the International Self-Care Foundation in 2011. The idea was to elevate self-care awareness and encourage people to practice a healthy life-style. Moreover, the date itself 07/24 is symbolic. It represents the idea of wisely investing in your health and getting benefits from it 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. So, what exactly can you invest?
According to The International Self-Care Foundation philosophy, there are seven main components, or pillars, that constitute the core of self-care:
- Knowledge & Health Literacy – I can easily comprehend all information about my health. I know where to obtain it and may have an access at any time.
- Mental Well-being, Self-awareness, & Agency – I can achieve any goal that I set. My emotions are under control regardless of external factors. I have a high sense of self-esteem and a positive attitude.
- Physical Activity – I like to exercise and do it consistently.
- Healthy Eating – My meal plan is diverse and includes all necessary nutrition components. I enjoy eating healthy and try new recipes.
- Risk Avoidance or Mitigation – I eliminate unnecessary risks and take reasonable precautions against getting sick.
- Good Hygiene – I maintain a clean living environment and consume only fresh groceries and clean water.
- Rational and Responsible use of Products & Services – I follow all necessary instructions while using products and services. I am fully aware of the side effects and potential consequences of improper uses.
Each of these components refer to a specific aspect of health and corresponding activities that make our life more balanced and prevent illness.
Here are some examples of self-care activities you can practice:
- Check your latest medical records. Do you have all documents from previous doctor’s visits? Do you understand everything that is written in these records? If the answer is no, click here and look up “Health Literacy”. This website will help you navigate through medical terminology and give you basic knowledge about health care.
- Set your goals and objectives for the next couple weeks. Put them on paper or say them out loud. Look in the mirror. Are you fully satisfied with the person looking at you? Make a list of your own achievements and let yourself appreciate everything that you’ve done.
- Bring something new into your workout plan. For instance, try Antigravity Yoga or SkyFit. Check out the weather and go outside! Group training in nearby parks, mountain hiking, and beach boot camps would all be prefect alternatives to your routine workouts.
- Find some local vegan restaurants. Their huge variety of flavor combinations and unusual mix of ingredients might surprise you! Going grocery shopping? Put some more fruits and veggies on your list and cross out any products that contain solid fats (e.g. ice cream, cakes, and cookies).
- Take care of your skin. Especially in the summer! Your skin is your largest organ so make sure it’s sufficiently protected. Go a little deeper than simply using sunscreen and do your research on after sun care products. Check out what OSHA has to say.
- Call your Dentist. Scheduling professional cleanings and regular appointments will help prevent oral disease and leave you with a healthy, pearly white smile!
- Check the expiration date on all your medications and beauty products. More often than not, items expire before you’d expect. Don’t hesitate to dispose of them once you notice; they may not work as intended after their expiration date. (Click here for guidelines on how to safely depose of unused medicines.)
Hopefully these examples have inspired you to recognize the importance of self-care and celebrate International Self-Care Day today, and every day! Be creative and add to the list – write whatever you think might benefit your health and make you happy 24/7.