If you look around at the people in your life you might notice one thing: everybody seems to be stressed out, a lot. In fact in the U.S. alone, more of us are feeling an overwhelming sense of stress due to rising inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and global uncertainty.(1) Self care can help us deal with these stressors but first we have to understand exactly what it is, and what it is not.
The idea of self care seems to be on trend, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. I believe a lot of us realized we needed to change how we’re living our daily lives when everything shut down because we didn’t realize how rushed and stressful our lives really were.
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.”(2)
I agree with this definition, but I would add mental health as well. To me, self-care includes everything related to staying physically and mentally healthy—including hygiene, nutrition, stress management, and seeking medical care, therapy, and counseling when needed. It’s all the steps an individual can take to be proactive in taking care of their own health and well-being.