Self-Care

Self-care is the active participation in enhancing your quality of life and improving your health and well-being. It is a part of daily living. It includes all of the things you do to make sure you, your children, and family maintain good health and well-being; meet social and psychological needs; and prevent illness or accidents.

Self-care incorporates behaviors into your everyday life that refresh you, replenish you, and help you living a well-balanced lifestyle. It is important to create time for yourself each day to boost your energy level, concentration, and overall wellness. There are three primary components of self-care: physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual.

Physical self-care is what you do to be and stay active on a regular basis, like walking, running, or just simply stretching to stay flexible. Physical activity is important because it can help boost your immune system, decrease stress, and help improve sleep. What you eat also plays role in your physical well-being. Choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, rather than processed or fast foods, are all ingredients to creating a healthy eating plate and are essential to good health.

Mental and emotional self-care can sometimes require a little more work. Self-care is a way to unwind and de-stress. Finding time to do the things that make you happy or that you really enjoy such as spending time with family and friends, having a hobby, taking a relaxing bath, doing something to relax or ‘un-plug’ on a daily basis can help. Meditating or taking some time to be alone with your thoughts can also help you relax after a stressful day can help improve your mental and emotional wellness.

 

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The human spirit is the probably the part of ourselves that we forget about the most. Just like being physically active, we need to make sure that we nurture our spirit as well as condition our bodies. This is important because our spirit is what carries through challenging and hard times. Taking care of your spirit helps make it easier to deal with whatever life may bring and maintain a sense of peace and calmness. Building a strong spirit helps us to survive and thrive and help maintain overall wellness.

                                                                                                                             

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Make sure you practice self-care on a daily basis, and take actions to help you improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in order to lead a healthy lifestyle by:

  • Eating healthy
  • Maintaining your physical activity;
  • Managing and reducing stress;
  • Paying attention to your emotional and spiritual needs;
  • Building and sustaining relationships; and
  • Achieving a balance in your personal and work life

 

Manage your health issue and stay healthy
Self-care is good to cope with physical, emotional, or mental health challenges. You can use self-care strategies to cope with life situations that can be overwhelming. Physical exercise can be a great form of self-care. It keeps you strong, burns off nervous energy or just gives you some time to forget your responsibilities or things that stress you out. Self-care doesn’t have to just be physical either, taking time out of your day to do something you enjoy like game or read a book is also a great way to distract your mind and body from things that could be stressing you out.   

Impact on Disease Prevention

If you are dealing with managing a chronic condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, or arthritis) it can be improved or prevented by paying more attention to the self-care areas mentioned above. What we eat, how we move, how much we sleep and how we manage stress or feel supported and cared for have profound healing effects on our body.

Making good day-to-day decisions about self-care in those areas decrease complications, increase the benefits of medications, and sometimes even allow patients to decrease or stop taking certain medications if their condition improves significantly.

Tips for Self-Care

You can follow these simple tips to practice self-care:

  • Be aware – prevention, and early detection can keep you healthy.
  • Take action – there are a wide variety of steps you can take to delay or prevent many of the diseases and conditions that are the leading causes of death and disability.
  • Know Yourself and Your Risks – Talk with your health care provider, get your annual check-ups and take your medication
  • Be Good To Yourself!

You can learn more about simple tips for self-care at So, What is Self-Care?”

Tools for Self-Care

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a FREE evidence-based program developed by Stanford University and has been shown to improve health and well-being of adults with different chronic conditions. The Healthier Living program is offered free to Orange County residents over the age of 18 years old. Call The Office on Aging at 1-800-510-2020 for more information about classes.

Other Local Resources

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a 6-week evidence-based education program for family caregivers that will provide you with tools and strategies to better handle the unique caregiver challenges you face.

Caregiver Resource Center

The Caregiver Resource Center (CRC) is a trusted partner for Orange county families coping with the physical, emotional, and financial responsibilities of caregiving. By providing families with individualized, supportive services, CRC stands apart as the only Orange County agency focusing specifically on the needs of caregivers, who are coping with a loved one’s chronic illness. Services include family consultation, assessment, care planning, counseling, referrals for resources, psycho-educational seminars, respite planning and community education.

Savvy Caregiver

A special 7-week evidence-based course for family caregivers who are a critically important part of the healthcare and well-being for individuals with dementia.