International Self-Care Day Date in the current year: July 24, 2024

International Self-Care Day International Self-Care Day is an annual awareness campaign held across the world on July 24. It was created to remind people that self-care is important for improving the quality of life, preventing many health conditions, and managing chronic illnesses.

The term “self-care” is generally synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. According to the WHO definition, it encompasses what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illnesses, including aspects such as general and personal hygiene, healthy eating, lifestyle (physical activity, leisure), socio-economic factors (cultural beliefs, income level), environmental factors (social habits, living conditions) and self-medication.

According to the International Self-Care Foundation (a UK-based charity that initiated International Self-Care Day), the seven pillars needed for practical implementation of self-care include health literacy, self-awareness, physical activity, healthy eating, rick avoidance or mitigation, good hygiene, and rational and responsible use of products, services, diagnostics and medicines.

Self-care is especially important for people with chronic conditions because it helps prevent flare-ups and extend periods of remission. For example, people with type 2 diabetes should stick to a healthy diet, maintain a normal body weight and watch their blood sugar levels; people with asthma should avoid allergens, smoke and other asthma attack triggers and always carry an inhaler, etc. Besides, the importance of self-care (in particular, personal hygiene) became even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some people think that self-care is the opposite of professional health care services, while others are convinced that the two are interconnected. Be that as it may, self-care is extremely important for preventing diseases and, consequently, reducing the burden on public health systems and health care costs; the more people lead a healthy lifestyle, the more time and resources healthcare professionals can dedicate to patients with serious conditions that cannot be managed by self-care alone.

The International Self-Care Foundation created International Self-Care Day in 2011. The date of July 24 (the 24th day of the 7th month) was chosen to emphasize that people experience the benefits of self-care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, the benefits of self-care are something that you experience all life long and not just once.

International Self-Care Day events are held around the world; participating counties include Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Vietnam, and many more. Canada and the United Kingdom have even organized self-care weeks, and the World Health Organization initiated a self-care month in 2019, culminating on International Self-Care Day.

International Self-Care Day events are aimed at a wide audience; some events are for the general public, while others are designed for specific target groups, including youth, seniors, healthcare professionals, and the media.

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