What is self-care and why should we care?

What is self-care and why should we care?

What is self-care? What looks like a simple question has been a source of over a hundred definitions of self-care, offered by different authors and authorities over the centuries. It can be all summarised in one simple sentence:

Self-care is all actions we take to maintain our health or deal with common conditions or illness.

For many of us, self-care is the first response to everyday common conditions such as cold, pain, indigestion, allergy, etc. It is best illustrated by the fact that, in Europe, in 2019 alone, we have purchased over 9.5 billion packs of non-prescription medicines and 1 billion packs of vitamins and minerals. Self-care is a major public health resource and the fundamental level of resilient healthcare systems.

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, the role of self-care in supporting the resilience of health systems has become more apparent than ever. Pharmacies, at the heart of communities, remained open throughout the crisis, making sure that we all had access to self-care products and professional advice. We were all asked to stay at home and practice self-care as much as possible, while professional care was reserved to the severely ill. Together, by staying at home and practicing self-care, we have flattened the curve in Europe.

The day will come when, thanks to pharmaceutical innovation, we will find effective treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19. We all look forward to that day when we will be able to return to our normal lives. But until then, we will continue to practice self-care more than ever before, by making responsible choices for our health and well-being, including knowing when to consult with a healthcare professional.

With responsible self-care 24/7, we contribute to stronger healthcare systems and better health outcomes for all.



Celebrating the benefits of self-care, 24/7, for all, for life

This publication is part of a series of blogs that will be published throughout AESGP communication campaign in the run-up to International Self-Care Day on 24 July.

Under the theme “Self-Care Generations”, we will be exploring the benefits of self-care from early life towards healthy and active senior years.

The campaign will run from 14 to 29 July on LinkedIn and Twitter, and will include the publication of videos, social media messages & cards, blog posts, guest contribution, as well as a set of self-care stories.

Follow us to not miss it!

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