The Seven Pillars of Self-Care

The International Self-Care Foundation has developed a framework for self-care around seven ‘pillars’ or ‘domains’:

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Pillar 1

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

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Pillar 2

Mental wellbeing, Self-awareness & Agency – includes: knowing your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol level, blood pressure; engaging in health screening.

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Pillar 3

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

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Pillar 4

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

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Pillar 5

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

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Pillar 6

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

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Pillar 7

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

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The seven pillars illustrated schematically:

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