Self-care is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider (World Health Organization). Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, an associate professor and chair of the department of psychological and educational consultation at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, says the need for self-care is obvious. “We have an epidemic of anxiety and depression,” she says. “Everybody feels it.”
Self-care is a lifelong habit and culture. It is the practice of individuals looking after their own health based on the knowledge and information available to them. It is a decision-making process that empowers individuals to look after their own health efficiently and conveniently, in collaboration with health and social care professionals as needed.Global Self-Care Federation
The pandemic over the last year and a half has showed us all that self-care behaviours are the true first line of defence in public health emergencies. A 2020 study found that 95% of Canadians agreed that they need more tools to care for themselves and a strong, resilient, publicly funded healthcare system for when they can’t. So, in January 2021 Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada published the Blueprint for a National Self-Care Strategy calling for efforts to improve health literacy and provide greater access to self-care opportunities for all Canadians.
In the mean time, there’s a lot we can do for ourselves and our families. The Community Access Network came up with these great tips to teach your children about self-care, and Selfcare.ca describes 7 pillars to self-care. Check out the links below for stats, resources, and supporting links for each of these critical areas:
- Health Literacy
- Physical Activity
- Risk Avoidance
- Healthy Eating
- Good Hygeine
- Optimal Use of Products and Services
And of course, if there’s anything we can do to support you here at Creating Together, remember you are not alone – we work with a number of organizations across the city and can certainly connect you with the resources you are looking for.