International Self Care Day is celebrated on July 24th and is the opportunity for many to implement new additions to their daily routine that benefit their health and well-being.
What is International Self Care Day?
International Self Care day was founded in 2011 by the International Self Care Foundation, and it emphasises the advantages of self-care and how to implement it, so it lasts 24/7 rather than just one day a year.
The term ‘self-care’ was only used by medical professionals in the 1950s, and was even considered to be unnecessary and unhealthy by the West in the 1960s. However, today, the term is used widely by many, especially on platforms such as TikTok as people are taking charge of their own self-care.
Tips for Self Care
There are many aspects of our lives that can get in the way of self care. For example, taking care of others, work and social commitments but in order to do these things, we need to be in a great mental and physical health.
It can be overwhelming to know where and how to start implementing some self-care steps into your day to day life but here are a few tips that can help you get started:
Prioritising your sleep
When we don’t sleep enough, we can become irritable, sensitive to stress, have limited patience and become overly emotional. A good night’s sleep means our immune system becomes better at fighting off infections as our body’s immune response can only happen when we sleep.
Decreasing Caffeine Intake
Too much caffeine can lead to less than ideal effects such as an increase in anxiety leading to feelings of nervousness, rapid breathing and excessive levels of stress. It can also cause some people to experience fatigue immediately after the caffeine wears off as well as frequent urination and a rapid heart rate.
To avoid this, monitor the amount of caffeine you take and limit it to around 250mg a day unless you’re used to consuming more.
Staying active not only helps your body physically but also mentally too. It boosts your sense of well-being, alongside releasing endorphins that sharpen your focus and aids sleep. Try a different type of exercise or join a class to change up from your regular routine and challenge yourself, such as yoga. Yoga links movement with breath, which can often be affected when stress levels are elevated.
A simple walk
Taking short walks for 30 minutes everyday can reduce excess body fat, improve endurance and reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease. Walking in areas with plenty of trees are additionally great for our health as they release a chemical called terpene. This chemical is associated with the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system that helps our body de-stress and relax.
Monitor your personal signs of stress
It’s important that when you feel overwhelmed, overloaded and overworked, you look out for signs in your mental and physical health that may indicate you need to take a break. These signs may range from headaches, migraines and stomach pain as well social signs like withdrawing from family and friends. If any of these signs appear, responding with micro habits like a short walk will help prevent a big burnout.
Indulge (in moderation)
Once in a while, it’s perfectly okay to indulge and give into something that you’ve wanted for a long time. Whether that’s a pair of shoes, a nice smelling candle or food from a fancy restaurant. It’s essential to remember that indulging is a temporary fix and that long term/frequent over-indulgence can do more harm than good.