Self-care is an all-encompassing term for taking care of oneself so that you can not only live a healthy life, but also help others do the same. It comprises the purposeful actions we take to ensure our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. July 24, 2021, is International Self-Care Day, a day to celebrate and draw attention to the importance of this practice every day. The term “self-care” was coined in the ’50s and ’60s to describe activities that allowed institutionalized patients to preserve some of their independence. Thanks to social media, the term had a rebirth around 2016, but has taken on even greater importance due to the stressors, anxiety, and depression brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Self-care will look different for each person. It is about living a healthy lifestyle, making healthy choices, and carrying out positive behaviors. A common misconception is that self-care equates to self-indulgence (although it can be that, too), but it is truly about self-preservation. Research has shown that self-care promotes positive health outcomes, living longer, and being better prepared to manage stressors. However, it can be difficult to maintain self-care practices daily for a multitude of reasons, including personal, systemic, and societal barriers.
Dermatologic care is an integral part of overall self-care. The skin is the largest organ of the body, so naturally it’s extremely important to take care of your outer layer! Examples of dermatologic self-care include (but are not limited to) sun protection, having regular full-body skin exams, carrying out a daily hygiene regimen, moisturizing the skin daily, and even cosmetic treatments to improve our appearance.
My takeaway points today:
- It is okay to take the time you need for you.
- You cannot adequately take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.
- Taking care of your skin is an important part of the process!