International Self-Care Day — July 24

The International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) has designated July 24 every year as International Self-Care Day (ISD) to symbolize that the benefits of self-care are experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7). The benefits of self-care are life-long. 

Each year, ISF comes up with a theme for International Self-Care Day, and the theme for 2016 is “Get Better With Self-Care.”  Since 2011, many countries have organized events for ISD including China, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam. Some Countries, like the United Kingdom, have organized self-care weeks.

The ISF’s goal is for ISD to be recognized by the United Nations as an official commemorative day. The Senate of the United States agreed to a Resolution to designate July 24 as International Self-Care Day.

For more information:

What is Self-Care?

Self-care can be defined many ways and can mean different things to different people. The International Self-Care Foundation provides multiple examples of definitions, found here. Different definitions emphasize different aspects or elements of self-care. One way the World Health Organization defines it is:

“Self-Care is 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 conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.”

There are seven pillars of self-care (courtesy of the International Self-Care Foundation):

1. Health literacy – the capacity of individuals to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions

2. Self-awareness of physical and mental condition – includes: knowing your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol level and blood pressure; engaging in health screening.

3. Physical activity – practicing moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling or participating in sports at a desirable frequency.

4. Healthy eating – includes: having a nutritious, balanced diet with appropriate levels of calorie intake.

5. Risk avoidance or mitigation – includes: quitting tobacco use, limiting alcohol use, getting vaccinated, practicing safe sex, using sunscreen.

6. Good hygiene – includes: washing hands regularly, brushing teeth, washing food.

7. Rational and responsible use of products, services, diagnostics and medicines – includes: being aware of dangers, using responsibly when necessary.

How You Can Participate:

1. Follow our social media accounts. Throughout the week we will be posting self-care related blog posts, tips and information on our website and social media accounts that you can share.

2. Post tips or ideas. We encourage you to share your own self-care tips on your social media accounts and if you are on Twitter, follow us and @mention us on Twitter so we can retweet your posts. Our hashtag for the day is #care4yourself, so be sure to use that hashtag and mention us so we can share your posts! 

3. Join the conversation. On Sunday, July 24, 2016, we are hosting a Tweetchat at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST and asking, “What are your best self-care tips?” The hashtag is #care4yourself and you can participate via, or from a mobile device/tablet by searching the hashtag in the Twitter app. The Tweetchat is for anyone interested in learning about self-care, discussing self-care or wanting to share their tips. All are welcome. You can follow the chat here:










How to meditate anywhere (simple guide to meditation):

Headspace: Mindfulness App – offers a free 10 day subscription:

About Healthy Eating:

Tips for protecting your mental health when bad news is everywhere:

Tips for living well with bipolar: 

To read more from Melanie, check out the rest of her blogs for IBPF, her blogs for Healthy Minds Canada, or visit her personal blog at PS I’m Bipolar.

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