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Kindness and Acceptance Self-Compassion

International Self Care Day

By Arya Jodh

International Self Care Day, or ISD, occurs every year on July 24th to represent taking care of oneself all the time; 24 hours, 7 days a week. Created by the International Self-Care Foundation in 2011, the day serves as a message that self care should be practiced all the time, as well as an opportunity to promote self care within the media. Countries around the world have dedicated activities and celebrations promoting self care on this day. In 2019 the World Health Organization created Self-Care Month beginning on June 24 and ending on July 24 to coincide with ISD, further promoting both national and regional initiatives.

Self care itself is defined as taking an active role to maintain your well being and happiness, especially important during periods of stress. Self care can take many forms based on individual needs and wants, and it is crucial to a healthy lifestyle to include time to practice self care. There are 6 types – emotional, physical, social, practical, mental and spiritual. 

Emotional self care addresses any activity that helps you reflect and process ones’ complete range of emotions. Physical self care entails anything that improves your physical health, from taking care of an injury to sleeping longer. Social self care includes any activities that maintain and improve relationships in an individual’s life. Practical self care can take many forms, but anything that prevents future stress or pressured situations falls into this category. This can be completing assignments ahead of time, or planning a budget, even organizing a workspace. Mental self care is slightly different from emotional self care, as activities that stimulate the mind fall into this category. Finally, we have spiritual self care. Anything that makes one think beyond themselves and their lives is considered spiritual self care, whether the activity is religious or not.

In daily life it can be easy to push personal needs to the backburner, however practicing self care in daily life can improve well being and ensure a balanced lifestyle, whether it’s something small or a major change. The first step is figuring out what you can do to decrease your stress, and how you can implement it in your life.

Categories
Teen and Parent Wellbeing

Inspiration for New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of each new year, January signifies change and turning over a new leaf as many create New Year’s resolutions such as having a balanced diet, dedicating time to hobbies, working out at the gym, or even arriving at school on time. With the prioritization of work and education in many people’s lives, self-care takes a backseat to hustle culture as we are pushed to our limits.

However, with many awareness campaigns promoting January as Mental Wellness Month and National Mentoring Month, the importance of caring for our mental wellbeing while helping others is slowly becoming normalized. Mark the following dates on your calendar so you can follow along and stay updated as well!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Mental Wellness Month

Mental wellness affects all aspects of our lives; from how we act and make decisions to how we are feeling on a certain day, maintaining a healthy mindset is key to living a healthy life.

As the American Mental Wellness Association suggests, health can be improved in four dimensions of our life: the biophysical, social, spiritual, and psychological. For a New Year’s resolution, you can choose any of the following fields to improve upon as there are a myriad of suggestions available. 

  • Improving biophysical health can consist of adopting a healthy diet consisting of correct calorie intake and receiving nutrients from all five food groups to help reduce excessive stress and avoid physical illness.
    • Other ideas: Regular exercise, Restful sleep, Avoiding illegal substances  
  • Improving psychological health can consist of practicing self-care, which is divided into seven categories: sensory (taking a hot shower), pleasure (watching a movie), spiritual (meditating), emotional (journalling), physical (stretching), social (volunteering), and mastery (cleaning). It is recommended to perform self-care for a minimum of half an hour per day. Self-care will look different for everyone, so engage in an interesting activity you would enjoy!
    • Other ideas: Avoiding burnout, Avoiding perfectionism, Mindfulness
  • Improving social awareness can consist of surrounding yourself with an active support system that will provide stability, encouragement, and advice when you are in need of it. Support systems can include anyone, but always remember to reciprocate the support that you receive!
    • Other ideas: Maintaining a positive environment, Committing to a sensible number of events
  • Improving spiritual health can look like having a set of healthy, realistic dreams and aspirations that keeps you motivated and encourages you to keep moving forward. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate your current goals when they feel like they are unrealistic!
    • Other ideas: Good set of morals, Belief in a higher being

For more ideas, check out The American Mental Wellness Association » Staying Healthy.