Strengthening our Wholistic Wellness with Regular Self-Care


International Self-Care Day falls on July 24​​


A message from ​Dr. Nel Wieman, Acting Chief Medical Officer​

​​International Self-Care Day (July 24) is a good time to check in with ourselves about what we are doing to take care of our wholistic wellness – that is, our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Taking stock of our health and wellness habits, not just on a particular day but on an ongoing basis, can help us determine what's working for us, or what we might want to change or adjust. As each of us is unique, self-care plans will be different for everyone.

The theme for this year's International Self-Care Day is “resilience, adaptability, and thriving in adversity"; it is a call to action on a world-wide scale to develop resilience, which helps us manage stress and cope with negative emotions. By practising regular self-care that nurtures all aspects of ourselves -- mental, spiritual, physical and emotional – we become stronger and better able to cope with the difficulties of life. I​n other words, we build our resilience.

Following are some examples of self-care practices:

  • Be active regularly. Do whatever you enjoy, whether that is walking in nature with a friend, swimming, dancing, or participating in team sports. If you're a beginner, check out these tips from our 30x30 Active Challenge for some inspiration and Indigenous-led workout videos. 
  • Eat well. Choose whole / traditional foods (vegetables, fruits, beans, lean poultry/meats, seafood, fish, grains, berries) and avoid processed foods. Drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks. For information about eating nutritiously, check out the many resources on our website, including this awesome Food is Medicine Recipe Book! 
  • Nurture your spirit. Make time to do the things you love to do, e.g., fishing, dancing, gardening, beading, painting, drumming, reading, playing games, or spending time with your family and friends. Laughing and having fun is extremely good medicine! Read about some other ideas in our FNHA Wellness Diary. 
  • Get enough sleep every night. Sleep allows us to consolidate and store memories, process emotional experiences, and replenish our physical systems. It is extremely important for a happy, healthy life. Don't take your devices to bed with you as the blue light they emit can make it difficult to fall asleep! Short (up to 20 minutes) naps during the day are good, too, if you need them. 
  • Take time to rest and relax at least one day per week, or even for one hour each day. The benefits of rest and relaxation have been extensively researched and proven. They include a healthier body, more balance, less stress, deeper relationships, an increased ability to think clearly and evaluate one's life path/priorities, a rosier outlook on life, and increased productivity. 
  • Try a new relaxing activity. Simple breathing exercises, guided meditations or journaling are activities you can try to reflect and relax. Try a relaxation or wellness app or program and add these activities to your regular schedule.
  • Surround yourself with loved ones. Reach out to family or friends that you feel comfortable with for emotional support or practical advice.
  • Practise gratitude. Take a moment to reflect on the positive things in your life that you're grateful for. Try making a list or writing them in a journal.

Self-care can help prevent health problems, and in some cases can be more effective than having to treat problems after they've developed. That's why, at the FNHA, our work is based on the philosophy of “health through wellness." We support and promote programs, resources, and activities that provide First Nations people in BC with services and options for lifestyles and health car​​e that will help make and keep communities strong. 

At the same time, we work to improve or change things in the health care system that do not meet this standard for our people. We are deeply committed to​​ helping build our shared vision of healthy, self-determining, and vibrant First Nations children, families, and communities. 

Follow the FNHA's social media channels and check out our website for expert information about maintaining good health and wellness, treatment centres, resources, programs, and more.

As well, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has several good self-care tips:

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