Until the next International Self-Care Day

An annual opportunity to put a spotlight on the benefits of self-care.

My #SelfCarePromise

As we prepare to celebrate International Self-Care Day on July 24th, the aim of this year’s #SelfCarePromise theme is to promote the benefits of science-based self-care and encourage individuals around the world to commit to integrating wellness practices into their day-to-day routines so they can live healthier, happier lives.

But, what exactly is self-care you might ask?

Well, self-care is more than just self-indulgence and allowing yourself to enjoy the occasional treats — there’s an entire ecosystem of health associations, global health companies and healthcare providers working to improve the healthcare experience through policy change, systems change and technological and digital innovations. In fact, the World Health Organization recognizes self-care as a means of strengthening national institutions, generating health sector innovation and improving access to medicines.

The work then being undertaken by health professionals and organizations is all the more pivotal when we consider the unprecedented strain our public health facilities are under as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Establishing national frameworks for the promotion of self-care can have positive upsides for society and equally serve to ensure the continued viability of national health systems.

The power of self-care lies in its capacity to empower individuals and health professionals in managing people’s health. This ultimately represents better choice, better care, and better value.

The communities engaged in self-care help make health systems more efficient, by optimizing the use of digital health solutions and community pharmacies. This means that hospitals can accommodate for genuine emergencies, and doctors and nurses can attend to patients in need through a variety of mediums, including remote consultations.

Public health is the biggest winner when we improve the well-being of our communities. By encouraging people to seek health knowledge, to recognize symptoms and treat minor conditions, we are cultivating a better self-care system which complements our existing healthcare system.

However, as individuals, we don’t need to wait for health authorities to impart this information on us before we make our own decisions. We can lead and take steps to adopt healthier lifestyles through taking simple action.

Making a self-care promise, means that you are committing to a healthier life that protects you and those around you. My own self-care promise is to stick to my 10,000 steps a day, use apps to keep track of my progress and stay motivated in my health journey.

Our health is truly our wealth, so let this year be the year that you make that positive change for yourself.

Make your #SelfCarePromise today at selfcarepromise.org.

by Judy Stenmark

Director General of The Global Self-Care Federation