With the busy nature of the world we live in today, it is easy to forget about ourselves as a priority in our lives; spending time on making sure your loved ones have everything they need, we can easily overlook taking time to make sure we are taken care of. This practice of maintaining our well-being is called self-care. As the WHO (1998) defines it, self-care is:
‘Self-Care is a lifelong habit and culture. It is the action individuals take for themselves and their families to stay healthy and take care of minor and long term conditions, based on their knowledge and the information available, and working in collaboration with health and social care professionals where necessary.”
In order to practice self-care, we need to devote specific time in our hectic lives to “mend” and “nurse” our physical and mental health. The ISF has developed seven frameworks “pillars” or “domains” to help individuals easily identify and classify what exactly we need to nurture:
- Health literacy:
- the capacity of individuals to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions
- of the physical and mental condition – includes: knowing your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol level, blood pressure; engaging in health screening.
- Physical activity:
- practicing moderate-intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports at a desirable frequency.
- Healthy eating:
- includes: having a nutritious, balanced diet with appropriate levels of calorie intake.
- Risk avoidance or mitigation:
- includes: quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol use, getting vaccinated, practicing safe sex, using sunscreens.
- Good hygiene:
- includes: washing hands regularly, brushing teeth, washing food.
- Rational and responsible use of products, services,
- diagnostics and medicines – includes: being aware of dangers, using responsibly when necessary.