"International Self-Care Day"

-Roshni Kapali

Did you know that Self Care month starts from 24th of June and ends with International Self Care Day on July 24th? Well, I had no idea either until it came up in one of the work meetings. And I asked myself, when was the last time that I was without my phone or a screen of some kind? I don’t even recall the time I was up on top of my roof, basking in that early morning sun or feeling a cool breeze on my face or simply enjoying the outdoors. I can't remember sitting down with my kid or spouse or my parents to have a hearty conversation. And I’m pretty sure this stands true for many of us who have chosen to be a part of this fast-paced life enriched with digital technologies. 

As ironic as it may sound, a few months back I came across a short video on Instagram and the message was along the line of, 'we are readily available to listen to our distressed loved ones or be their crying shoulder or even go beyond our ways to help them out; but when we are sad, we don’t want to ‘bother’ or 'burden' them with our woes.' And the message compelled me to recap the past 3 decades of my life. Turns out it is the reality for me, and I'm sure it resonates with most of us. That message has stuck with me ever since.

So why is it that we turn a blind eye when it comes to talking or expressing about things that we go or are going through? We thrive in giving care to others, but when it comes to us, somehow guilt takes over, and we find ourselves drawing our hands back. I think this speaks for itself as to why there was a need to create a day and a month dedicated entirely to Self-Care.

Hence, the 24th of July is celebrated as the International Self Care Day to encourage individuals, especially young individuals like us, throughout the world to make self-care a part of their everyday routine. It cannot stress more on the significance of self-care as a cornerstone of well-being. This day was founded in 2011 to increase awareness on the importance of self-care and to facilitate people with correct information and skills required to take part in their self-wellness. It is, as WHO puts it, for empowering people to be the active agents in their own health care.

When we talk about self-care, our minds automatically turn towards mental wellness, when in fact, self-care encompasses a holistic physical and mental wellness of oneself. And it’s not a coincidence that it looks a lot like the WHO definition of health. Because self-care indeed means incorporating activities in our daily routine to ensure we have both a sound body and mind.

As much as we’d want it to be though, caring for self does not have a formula; it’s not black or white. What works for one person may or may not work for another. And might I add that health, be it physical, mental, or social, doesn’t come overnight? We cannot achieve our goals by taking shortcuts because there are none. We have to work for it, and we have to work diligently. And it takes time. Our actions today knit the path and determine a future. The only question is whether we’d want to be a part of a healthy future or a future where we don’t exist.

Every once in a while, we hear about people as young as 20-years-old passing away because of a heart attack, a heart attack! It is too scary to even think. We are losing a productive group of the population to diseases and illnesses that are mere results of today’s “demands”. We subscribe to medical insurance and health insurance, and we opt to make ‘smart choices. We want to visit the best doctors in town or have the best quality cosmetics; but we don’t take a simple 30-minute walk every day, which by the way is one of the easiest and most effective tools there is to maintain both physical and mental health.

So, from this Self-Care month, let’s promise ourselves that we will not snooze that water reminder or morning alarms, and take few yet strong steps consistently to take care of the most important person in our lives, US. Let’s indeed be the active agent to make our lives better and happier for we are the backbone of our nation.