Most people are reasonably healthy and well as children. As we get older however, we are faced with the challenges and temptations of life such as food, alcohol and tobacco, and the opportunity for sedentary lifestyles. We are faced with choices, and risks.
Unfortunately the common result of these choices – obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use, alcohol abuse and unhealthy diets – are the cause of today’s epidemic of heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and other ‘noncommunicable diseases.’
The good news is that it is possible to reduce substantially our risk of these diseases by adjusting our lifestyles, taking more care of ourselves by practicing self-care.
Is self-care hard to do? Some elements certainly are, such as the difficulty that smokers have in quitting tobacco use. But there is much that most of us can do to help ourselves to stay healthy and to help prevent or delay lifestyle diseases. The way forwards for most of us is to take small steps in positive directions.
Which directions? The International Self-Care Foundation has developed the ‘Seven Pillars of Self-Care’ which provide a useful framework and starting point.
ISF is now working to develop specific, individual-oriented advice on self-caring, based on the seven pillars. If you are an expert on any of these areas and can help with this, please get in touch via [email protected]