Self care is a noun and a verb. It centers around a person’s goal to maintain health. Self care includes a variety of ways to preserve a person’s wellness. It’s a simple concept, but the definition is crucial to note. The Oxford dictionary defines self care as “The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health.” The World Health organization respects the ability of families to provide for each other. They’re an excellent health education resource. The World Health Organization has a good idea of what self care is, and they’re not afraid to express that to us. WHO defines self care as “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.”
The World Health Organization understands that self care involves seeing a health provider regularly to prevent disease. That’s one of the aspects of self care that will promote health. Being mindful of healthy eating and monitoring your blood pressure are other ways you can manage self care. These are literal definitions of self care, but the reality is that term means something different to each individual. The most crucial aspect of it is that you pay attention to what your mind, body, and spirit need and give that to yourself. Healthy people engage in a self care day. They are dedicated to positive daily living where they consider their needs. It’s crucial to note that cultural beliefs influence self care. In American society, we value healthy eating. We see physical and mental health as a part of self care. However, other cultural beliefs differ when it comes to health and wellbeing. It depends on where you live in the world as to what the definition of self care is for you and your society. It’s okay to embrace the diverse meanings of the topic. They’re all valid, and the World Health Organization would agree. Individual families and communities have varying definitions of self care, as well.
When we think of the definition of self care, there are many factors involved. Some of those include emotional health, physical health, enough hours of sleep, good mood and energy, and a healthy diet. Much of caring for yourself involves attending to your body and mind. You want to protect your physical being against disease or illness and maintain physical and mental health. It’s crucial to think of the mind-body connection when you consider attending to your needs. Healthy people practice self care by integrating these two elements. Your physical body is essential to maintain, as is your mental wellbeing. These are two factors that dictate your overall health.
Some people don’t like to be alone. Many individuals love to be around friends and family. They consider themselves social beings and may identify as extroverts. Introverts are more comfortable decompressing with alone time. No matter what type of person you are, having time by yourself is crucial for self care. You need to take space from others to get to know yourself. It’s not healthy to be always surrounded by people. Self care means spending time with yourself and your thoughts. It could mean going for a run to stay fit. It might mean taking a bath or reading up on health literacy. Spending time alone gives you the chance to relax and ground yourself. It’s time to ingest information about the world. Find books you like to read or articles that stimulate you. You can read exciting health information in a scientific journal if that’s your thing. There are so many ways to practice self care that is fulfilling to each of us. Alone time is an essential part of self care.
When your living conditions are unclean or messy, that could negatively influence your self care. Maybe you’re feeling depressed, and it’s hard to manage cleaning your space. You know that cleaning your house will help you and improve your health, but it feels impossible. Some people don’t understand how severe depression is and how it negatively impacts a person’s ability to care for themselves. Feeling depressed can impact a person’s physical health, as well. When you’re living in an unsanitary place, or you’re too depressed to bathe, that can lead to infections or long term disease. Mental and physical health are connected here. Additionally, you’re probably not going to engage in physical activity if you can’t handle basic self care, such as hygiene or cleaning your home. It’s a catch 22 because physical activity can be an excellent form of self care, and it helps people with a depressed mood. Your living conditions directly influence your physical and mental health. If you notice that your home is in disarray, that could be a sign of a mental health issue. An essential part of self care is attending to your mental wellness. Take action and get the help you need.
Simple Self Care Definitions
You might be confused as to what self care is. Here are some simple ways to define it.
These are some simple definitions to help you answer the question, "What is self care?" But they're not the only ones. You can think about what the practice means to you and write down your own definition. Self care means staying healthy. It means that you know your health needs. Health literacy is part of self care.
Health literacy means you can secure and understand relevant healthcare information so that you can make decisions about your wellbeing. Part of health literacy is that a patient can follow the instructions for their treatment plan. When you are health literate, you are able to engage in active self care. You know what you have to do to take care of yourself, and you are able to follow instructions to do so. Many of us take for granted that we speak the language of the country we live in. There are many people who live in the United States that don’t speak English and have difficulty following treatment plans. That’s why health literacy is a crucial movement that we need to foster in every country. Every human being has the right to good healthcare and the right to understand their treatment plan so they can maintain wellness. If you go to the doctor, you are taking a step towards self care. You should be able to understand the instructions the doctor is giving you so that you can follow them and stay healthy. Health literacy can assist with this process.
Eating the right foods and sleeping enough contribute to self care, though health is so much more than the food eaten in a day, and that should certainly be acknowledged. When you eat properly according to your individual needs, your body gets enough nourishment, and you can maintain health. If you’re not consuming healthy food, your body and mind suffer. It becomes difficult to properly maintain health. For example, if you eat a lot of sugar, it can be difficult to wind down at night. It’s good to eat a balanced diet so that your body gets what it needs. It doesn’t mean that you can’t eat sweets. Just make sure that you have healthy food in addition to sugary snacks. If you consume too much caffeine, it can be challenging to go to sleep at night. Sleeping is a huge part of self care. You want to get enough rest during the evening so you can function well the next day. If you’re having trouble sleeping, that could be a sign of a larger health issue. It’s crucial to see a doctor if you’re suffering. It’s not so easy for people to see a medical professional if they don’t have good health care coverage. That’s a scary situation to be in for many people. The lack of healthcare for citizens is a huge problem in many countries, including the United States. If you do have healthcare coverage and you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, it’s crucial that you see a medical professional because a lack of sleep can influence your mental health. Part of self care is making sure you get enough rest, and if you’re not sleeping, your mental health will suffer.
We could all use more lessons in self care. Mental and physical wellness are crucial parts of being a human being. And there’s a learning curve when it comes to self care. Even if you have a solid routine to care for yourself, you can always improve upon it. Sometimes self care and the routine surrounding it needs to change. What works for you during one part of your life may not work after a while. You could explore these issues in mental health counseling. One of the best places to find out how to care for yourself is in therapy. Online therapy is an ideal space to discover ways to engage in self care. The skilled mental health professionals had BetterHelp know how to guide you toward caring for yourself. Maybe you’re new to this concept of self care. That doesn’t mean that you are helpless. An online therapist is dedicated to helping you find strategies that will keep you mentally and physically well.
All in all, self care is a broad concept. We all need to receive care, whether it’s from ourselves or others, and what that looks like can differ extensively depending on who you are. Even the things we see as fundamental principles of self care can vary in some ways among different people. Seeking individualized guidance from a medical or mental healthcare professional when needed is important to ensure that you’re caring for yourself in the best way possible, and reaching out for help from others can be a form of self care.
How do you define self-care?
The World Health Organization defines self care as, “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.” However, self care interventions can be vast and may include many different practices, including those that help an individual meet basic needs and beyond, thus taking care of themselves as a whole person. The international self care foundation (https://isfglobal.org) highlights seven pillars or areas of self-care. These seven pillars suggest that self care involves mental well being, knowledge and health literacy, physical activity, good hygiene practices (such as brushing one’s teeth and showering), risk mitigation or avoidance, and the rational, responsible use of self-care products and services (IE, taking medications responsibility as opposed to self medication).
What does self-care mean to us?
Self care is a broad concept. It can include but isn’t limited to things that you do in your daily life to promote health prevent disease and feel physically, mentally, financially, socially, or spiritually well. Common examples of self care practices include getting enough sleep, eating consistently throughout the day, going to therapy, attending regular medical appointments and screenings as recommended, attending a religious service or engaging in a personal spiritual practice, if applicable, socializing with others, highlighting community involvement, physical activity, and establishing a work-life balance.
What works for one person, and what’s in line with one person’s beliefs or needs when it comes to self-care, may be completely different from that of another human being. For example, a fundamental piece of self-care for someone who lives with a mental health condition could be doing what they know helps most when it comes to managing symptoms - this can take trial and error, as managing symptoms for one person may look different from the way it looks for another.
Many possible self care practices are more accessible to some individuals than others, which is one example of why health and well being are far beyond personal responsibility. With this in mind, it is crucial to work toward a world where more people are able to access social activities, a work-life balance, adequate access to food, and other resources.
On a similar note, self reliance is sometimes highlighted in society past what is healthy. The fact is that we all need support from others, too, and that changes in healthcare systems can advance health, promote disease prevention, and overall support community empowerment. Health status is contingent on more than self reliance, and we can work together to make the world a place where more people are able to get their needs met. Socializing in and of itself is correlated with better mental and physical health outcomes.
Some individuals who feel as though they must do it all on their own face concerns such as shame, stigma, self medication, and other negative outcomes. If this is the case, help is available. Though self medication can take various forms, one way self medication can manifest includes substance misuse*. When you need or might benefit from support in any capacity, asking for help is encouraged.
*If you or someone you know lives with a substance use disorder or might be, please contact SAMHSA at 1-800-662-HELP.
What are 3 examples of self-care?
Fundamental self-care typically includes one’s basic needs, such as the food eaten by an individual, sleep habits, and personal hygiene. That said, this isn’t by any means where self-care ends. It can also include taking care of one’s emotional health to the best of an individual’s ability, rest, and engaging in hobbies or leisure activities. Those are three more possible examples of self-care that might be beyond what a person would normally expect self-care to look like. What is considered self-care can be incredibly vast, and there are resources if you are looking for a more systematic view of what self-care can encompass or why it matters. One example of what could be considered a conceptual framework for self-care is the self care matrix, which identifies and frames various elements of self-care as well as its totality. When healthcare professionals discuss or recommend self-care activities, it should generally be done with the ability of individuals or the ability of individuals families in mind. With the ability of an individual or the ability of individuals families in mind, self-care can be tailored to specific individuals and communities.
Why is Selfcare important?
The fundamental principles of self care that many people think of include actions such as sleep, drinking enough water, and maintaining personal hygiene. Among other reasons, self care is important because it can help you:
Aspects of self care often aim to promote health prevent disease maintain emotional wellbeing or social connectedness and so on. What a person can do to promote health prevent disease maintain emotional wellbeing and social connectedness and otherwise care for their own health can be contingent on many different factors and privileges they may or may not have.
What are 5 self-care strategies?
Taking care of your own health can help you be your best self, which benefits you as well as other people in your life. Five examples of self-care strategies include:
Health promotion is about more than physical health alone and also involves taking care of your mental health. If you need self care help, you may benefit from talking with a mental health care provider such as a licensed psychologist or therapist. With a health care provider such as a therapist, you can discuss coping strategies for high-stress times, self management or self care habits that are within your control, self efficacy or ways to increase self efficacy, social habits, ways to navigate specific challenges in your life, such as coping with chronic disease, interpersonal relationships, grief, how to navigate a mental health condition or concern, and so on. While some self-help and self management tools can help with mental health concerns, the support of a health care provider such as a licensed psychologist, therapist, or counselor can be vital at times. A medical or mental health care professional can not only help you understand what may be beneficial in terms of self monitoring but can also help you understand how to put that self monitoring into practice. Appropriate self care can help you live longer and maintain a better general quality of life, and it is something that you deserve.
What are the 8 types of self-care?
Self care interventions can take different forms, and practicing self care might look different from person to person. Furthermore, it encompasses not just physical health or wellbeing, but other various aspects of health and wellness, including emotional well being. Here are eight types of self care or self care practices that you may want to incorporate into your life to support your well being:
When we talk about self care, it’s imperative to keep in mind that health and well being are complex and beyond personal responsibility. It isn’t just the food eaten or the movement done that informs health and well being. Socioeconomic factors, environmental factors, and other things beyond our control also go into the status of our mental and physical well being. This must inform normative guidance moving forward, which sometimes suggests that health is within personal control past the extent that is true. In reality, community empowerment and community involvement can advance health, and no one needs to do it all on their own. It is important that healthcare professionals or healthcare providers are mindful of this when working with clients and that healthcare systems start to acknowledge disparities to a greater extent. It’s not to say that self management and self awareness don’t matter in health promotion or chronic disease management. Instead, it’s to say that that’s not all that makes a difference when it comes to health. It’s important for a healthcare provider to be able to listen and receive new information as it relates to these topics.
Some healthcare professionals or healthcare providers are more informed than others when it comes to these topics. In some cases, those hoping to focus on their own health who have the ability to do so may choose a healthcare provider or healthcare professional they see for medical care based on the specific population or concern they focus on. For example, those working on their own health by going to therapy might choose a trauma-informed provider if they’re seeking help for trauma, or they might look for mental health care professionals who work with a specific demographic group that they’re a part of. This way, the healthcare professional a person sees may be more apt to understand a person's daily life and all of the experiences that can inform or influence their well being.
Those working with communities to promote health, prevent disease and so on, too, must acknowledge potential disparities that a particular community might face - and anything else that might inform their overall well being - whether those are environmental factors, socioeconomic factors, or something else.