self care

In philosophy, self-care refers to the care and cultivation of oneself in a holistic sense, focusing in particular on the soul and knowledge of the self. Self-care is therefore considered a form of primary care for patients with chronic conditions who self-manage their disease. Self-management is critical, and self-management education complements traditional primary care patient education to help patients have the best possible quality of life with their chronic disease. Self-care is learned, purposeful, and ongoing.

In modern medicine, preventative medicine is more closely aligned with self-care. Failure to adhere to medical advice and the onset of a mental disorder can make self-care difficult. Self-care is seen as a partial solution to the global rise in health care costs being imposed on governments.

Self-care maintenance behaviors include disease prevention, illness behaviors, and proper hygiene. Disease prevention measures include avoiding tobacco, exercise, and diet. Tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the US.

Avoiding or quitting tobacco use improves overall health and quality of life and reduces the risk of disease and premature death. The benefits of regular physical activity include: weight control, reduced risk of chronic disease, stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health, improved ability to participate in daily activities, and a greater chance of living longer. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2 hours and thirty minutes of moderate activity each week. Examples of this include fast walking, swimming, dancing, bicycling, and even jumping rope.

Another important aspect of self-care includes eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and other proteins. Processed foods should be limited. Limiting saturated fats, trans fats, sugars, and sodium will also contribute to a healthy diet.