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Practicing Self-Care

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

What is Self-Care?

Today self-care is largely encouraged by society, but the definition of self-care can differ depending on who you ask.

The definition according to the World Health Organization reads: “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.”

The important thing to note is that self-care provides you with the ability to take control of some aspects of your own health. You can improve your quality of life and mitigate or prevent the impacts of disease and ailments. Self-care is also unique to each person. For me, when I imagine self-care, I think about clearing my busy schedule for some coffee and reading time, or a good weekend of puzzling.

Winston singing his puzzling song

7 Pillars of Self-Care

  • Knowledge and Health Literacy
    • Take initiative in gaining access to, understanding and using information to maintain good health.
  • Mental Well-Being
    • Mental well-being encompasses a wide range of areas including optimism, self-esteem, feeling in control and a sense of belonging or support.
  • Physical Activity
    • Getting your body moving is essential for good health and is an important part of self-care. Head to the Colvin and try a group fitness class or take a stroll across campus!
  • Healthy Eating
    • Eating healthy helps to maintain overall health. Unhealthy diets increase the risk of developing chronic diseases and poor health. Your diet plays a large role in your energy levels. Check out OSU dining’s variety of nutritional information and special diet options here!
  • Risk Avoidance
    • Risk avoidance includes avoiding behaviors that can increase the risk of disease or death. Examples include, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding nicotine, practicing safe sex, etc. Student Wellness offers many risk avoidance resources for OSU students. You can learn more about those resources here.
  • Good Hygiene
    • Practicing good hygiene is an important element of self-care. You feel your best when you look your best! If you need hygiene products, visit the Hope Vending Machine in the Colvin. The machine has free toothbrushes and deodorant!
  • Rational and Responsible Use of Self-Care Products and Services
    • This means reading directions on labels and effects of daily used products such as cosmetics and vitamins. Be cognizant of what you’re putting in your body.
Dog typing at laptop

By educating yourself on the fundamentals of self-care and learning different ways to implement it in your life, you can take care of your own wellbeing. Taking care of yourself does not make you selfish and in fact, should be applauded. You owe it to yourself to prioritize the things that help you achieve your best each day.

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