International Self-Care Day

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

International Self-Care Day (ISD), on 24 July each year, provides a focus and opportunity to raise the profile of healthy lifestyle self-care programmes around the world. ISD is a device developed by the International Self-Care Foundation to promote self-care as a vital foundation of health and has been running since 2011. It provides a media-friendly forum and a focus for individuals and groups to (independently) promote self-care in their organisation or community.

All stakeholders in health are invited to use International Self-Care Day in responsible ways that progress the cause of healthy lifestyles and wellness. 

There are a number of definitions of self-care produced by different authorities at different times – the World Health Organisation has produced three much-cited definitions (in 1983, 1998 and 2009). The WHO 1998 definition is:

‘Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.’

The ISD Date

The International Self-Care Day, 24 July, symbolises that the benefits of self-care are experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, the benefits of self-care are life-long and do not just relate to a single day. ISD on 24 July simply provides a good focus and opportunity to publicise or report on self-care in action programmes. Programme organisers may work around July 24 as convenient, for example in 2014 for practical convenience organising events on the third Sunday of July.