Perhaps you’ve heard of it—International Day of Self-Care (Also known as Self-Care Day, or ISD) is a universal day dedicated to the promotion of self-love and personal wellness. It falls each year on the twenty-fourth day of July and is a wonderful opportunity to reevaluate your health and lifestyle, as well as raise awareness for the importance of holistic health!
What Is Self-Care?
A little lost? Need some more information on self-care? Look no further! Keep reading to educate yourself on every aspect of the topic, and even steal some ideas of how to celebrate this year!
When many people think of self-care, the act of doing a face mask or drawing yourself a nice hot bubble bath is probably what comes to mind first. The truth is, that an ideal self-care routine includes a variety of actions and mindsets to really work and benefit you. Self-care includes a wide spectrum of related categories—it includes your physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
If you’re taking care of your outer appearance all the while you’re ignoring your bad habits and poor mental health, or setting boundaries but not sleeping, you aren’t really practicing self-care. We can do all of the face masks and plan every Netflix movie night we want, but at the end of the day, if we’re neglecting our emotions, nothing will change.
Now, we aren’t saying self-care can’t be a nice cup of freshly brewed green tea or an hour spent walking alone in the park—-but it’s important to remember to take care of the less glamorous tasks and details required to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stable mental state.
Accessibility in relation to self-care can get really tricky. The reality is that the huge majority of the world’s population simply doesn’t have the time, access, or money to make regular self-care a reality in their day-to-day lives.
Many of us are preoccupied with responsibilities that hinder any chance of downtime or proper relaxation. Whether it be the care of a loved one, a job, health issues, or even financial troubles, these prominently negative issues can (and usually do) drain all of our energy, time, and money that would otherwise be used on ourselves.
Alternatively, other people may have physical, mental, or emotional challenges that prevent the practice of proper self-care. Some people may experience social or cultural barriers to self-care. Certain individuals with disabilities might not feel as if they have the independence or autonomy to perform the self-care routine they would desire to do.
Although it’s much easier said than done, everybody should make an effort to incorporate self-care into their daily routines—because everyone deserves effort put toward their health and wellbeing!
Feelings of Self-Care Guilt
It is very normal to feel guilty for prioritizing yourself. We live in a culture that frowns upon anything that does not directly serve another person. Individual joy and pleasure are things that need not only to be only normalized in our society but celebrated and promoted, as well. You should never feel any guilt or remorse for tending to your health. We all require differing degrees of time to recharge—we are all going through different things!
The Importance of Making Time for Self-Care in a Stressful Schedule
Even the smallest actions and smallest steps can have the biggest long-term impact. The more you build upon and practice a set of mindfulness tools, the easier these tools will be to remember and use during times of extreme distress.
Here are just a few fast and simple reflection questions to sharpen your personal mindfulness skills:
Quick & Easy Personal Wellness Assessment Questions
- How does my body feel right now in this moment?
- Have I eaten today?
- When was it that I last drank water?
- Am I setting appropriate limits for myself in my current relationships?
- What is one person/place/thing I feel gratitude for today?
Feeling Unworthy of Self Care
At times when we are struggling with our mental health, regardless of the reason, we tend to reject things that could benefit or help us. This often includes wellness activities and even basic hygiene at times. This is a hard feeling to combat, and it’s important to remember that even the tiniest action toward improvement can initiate progress in recovery.
Traditional Ways to Celebrate with Self-Care
Keep reading for some more traditional, fun ways to spend time taking care of yourself on International Self Care Day!
Get Lost in Nature
There’s no better way to get back in tune with yourself and the world around you than to spend some time in nature. Regardless of the climate and no matter the scenery, being in the natural world and experiencing the freshest air and the most beautiful flora and fauna our Earth has to offer is undeniably a remedy unlike no other.
The most classic way to celebrate International Self-Care Day is with some good old-fashioned pampering! An at-home spa day (either by yourself or with a loved one) is the epitome of some much-needed DIY indulgence. Try lighting a candle and soaking your feet in a warm bath! If you’re looking for a more personalized pampering idea, take the time to review and change up your current skincare routine!
Splurge on Luxury Treats
International Self-Care Day is a fabulous excuse to finally take the plunge and make that big (but mindfully budgeted and thought out) purchase! We wouldn’t recommend spending thousands of dollars on a new shiny trinket but spending a little extra money to spoil yourself with a new article of clothing from your favorite brand, or an extra special dinner at that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try could make a world of difference.
We so often treat our friends and family to little gifts and surprises to show our appreciation and affection, so why not do the same for yourself!
Reach Out to a Loved One
Contrary to what many people might initially believe, self-care doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. In fact, some of the strongest, most powerful moments of joy come from the times we spend with others! Improving our social health by strengthening already-existing, meaningful relationships (or even by making new ones) is an excellent way to celebrate yourself and everything you have to offer those around you!
Ways to Celebrate that Promote Total Health
While simpler, more upbeat, and fun ways of treating yourself can be wonderful ways to celebrate the 24th, Internation Self-Care Day is also a good reminder to take some time out and review your total health plan. This means taking direct actions to plan for your health and your future, whether it be making appointments or planning a workout routine, these steps are just as important.
Reviewing your Mental Health Plan
Just as there is no single one-size-fits-all plan for individuals in therapy, there is no single treatment plan that will continue to be effective throughout your entire life.
Every so often—perhaps whenever you experience a big shift in your life—you should reevaluate your mental health treatment plan with your providers (if you have them). Medication adjustments, increase or decrease in therapy, alternative medicine, or anything else you may feel you need can all be tailored.
Finding the time, courage, and resources to do these tasks are super crucial in holistic self-care.
Some Final Words of Encouragement
Self-care is a concept that may still seem frivolous or unnecessary to some, but it is undoubtedly a crucial part of the ideal healthy lifestyle. It can be scary to let go (even for a moment) and allow yourself to take a break from responsibility—and what better time to try it than on International Self Care Day!
We become our habits. If we were asked, it’s likely that many of us (if not all of us) would say that we would like to see more positivity in the world. But what many of us don’t realize, is that we hold immense power to accomplish this by starting with ourselves! This year on July 24th, remember to practice self-care, it could change the world!
Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes!
How will you celebrate International Self-Care Day this July 24th? Let us know in the comments down below!