Self-care describes in a practical, person-centred way what we should all be doing to maintain our health, wellness and wellbeing. Through self-care people can be healthier and remain so into old age, managing minor ailments themselves. We can also better manage, delay or even prevent the appearance of lifestyle diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and many cancers.
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THE SEVEN PILLARS FRAMEWORK
There are many definitions of self-care – a 2011 study identified 139 different definitions! This is unhelpful and potentially distracting. ISF created and uses a middle-range description of self-care – the “Seven Pillars of Self-Care”.
UN COVID-19 RESPONSE
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has illustrated the importance of self-care – in good hygiene practices such as handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and the use of facemasks. Self-care is also central to mutual risk reduction through physical distancing, in community spirit and collaboration, and in cultivating mental and physical wellbeing during lockdowns.