International Self-Care Day: 4 ways to practice better self-care

International Self-Care day is an annual opportunity to highlight the importance of self-care and how it can benefit individuals and healthcare systems by creating a strong foundation. Taking care of yourself involves eating nutritious foods, incorporating exercise into your daily routine, getting a good night’s sleep and looking after your mental health and wellbeing. While it may sound simple, it can be challenging for some older adults to do these things for many reasons—such as lack of time, injury, or disability. Having access to quality information about health and wellness is important for increasing awareness and empowering people to make informed decisions.

We have broken down a few key elements of self-care and why they are important below. If you want to improve your overall health, these four areas are a great place to start!

1. Nutrition: A healthy diet is essential to optimal aging. Malnutrition among older adults can affect immune and sensory functions and aggravate the symptoms of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Unhealthy eating can also result in fatigue, digestive problems and anemia.

2. Exercise: Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of regular physical activity for older adults. An active lifestyle can help improve balance and decrease your risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.

3. Sleep: While our sleep habits may change as we get older, a good night’s sleep is always important. There’s no magic number when it comes to the hours of sleep needed, but lack of sleep can affect quality of life and can also be a symptom of health problems such as neurodegenerative diseases and unhealthy weight (and sleep apnea that accompany unhealthy weight).

4. Mental health and wellbeing: Issues relating to peoples’ mental health and wellbeing affect physical health, emotional and social well-being, and overall quality of life. As a result, supporting mental health and wellbeing is a critical consideration for healthy aging. 

For more information on each area, click through our resources below to read more. 

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.

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