July 24 is International Self-Care Day. It is celebrated every year to provide focus on the importance of self-care and self-care programs around the world. The World Health Organization (1998) defines self-care as “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc), environmental factors (living condition, social habits, etc), socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc) and self-medication.
Self-care is actually political. The rise of self-care evolved partly from rallying cries of African-American lesbian writer, Audre Lorde. She said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and it is an act of political warfare.” Self-care is a way of saying that you matter, you are worthy.
Evette Dionne said in an interview in 2018, “Saying that I matter, that I come first, that what I need and what I want matters I think is a radical act because it goes against everything that we’ve been conditioned to believe.”
Self-care is not selfish. When you understand the complexity and importance of yourself, you can extend kindness and understanding towards others.
Promoting self-care is especially important today in the middle of a pandemic. The crisis could be very tiring to most of us. Isolation and adaptation to the new set-up where boundaries between work and home are blurred, it is important that leaders and managers implement self-care programs and promote mental health in the workplace. Helping ourselves in any conscious way is self-care, and it is important in order to offer our best and contribute productively at work.
This July 30, at 7pm to 8pm, let’s talk about self-care. Join us on Twitter by answering the following questions:
- Why is self-care important to you?
- What self-care programs are being implemented or should be implemented in your workplace or school?
- How can we promote self-care in our family, school, and workplace if they haven’t been implemented yet?