in 2019

What is Self-Care?

Self-Care is every action you take to care for yourself. You are your first health care provider. It is not a new concept as it has been practiced since ages in every  culture around the world, with development of traditional remedies to keep body healthy, give strength and help it thrive. It then developed in a more specialized way to address illness with a specific member of the community being identified as the healer, the one detaining the expertise of curing, with help of treatments and care protocols, be it incantatory formulas or medical guidelines. But self-care is practiced in daily routine while choosing food for meal preparation, walking and practising some exercise or relaxing after a stressful day.

You are yourself care provider 24/7/365.

Health is your upmost valuable resource. Access to health, access to care & treatment to preserve or restore health is a fundamental human right. It is our responsibility to do our best to preserve it through implementing best health practices leading to wellbeing and happiness. This is achieved by knowing your health needs: do you know what keeps you healthy? Are you fully informed while making your health choices? How confident do you feel in dealing with acute disease when you are ill with flu, migraine or backpain? What skills would you need to manage your chronic disease such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure? What support from your care providers do you expect  in accompanying you in your chronic disease care journey? Do you know what health resources are available in your community?

World Health Organization (WHO) defines Self-care as the ability to take actions to improve self-health and wellbeing. These actions might be in promoting health, preventing disease, maintaining health or coping with disease or disability. Set of competencies (knowledge & skills) is needed to be able to make informed health choices, to perform self-care actions and preserve or improve health.

Individuals, families, communities and societies can undertake self-care actions.

You
Your Family & Community
Your Healthcare Providers
Your Self-Care Competencies (Knowledge & Skills)

 

Self-Care

in daily life …      6 components 

1. Keeping a Health Plan tailored to your individual needs

2. Healthy Weight Management

3. Healthy Environment

4. Healthy Eating         

5. Healthy Moving                              

6. Healthy Lifestyle

Customized

Health Plan

As main stakeholder of your health, you are being in a partnership position along with your healthcare providers. In fact, you are your very first healthcare provider.  As such, you need to establish a health care plan for your life, that should be adapted regarding the stage of life journey you are in. Health Plan would be customized according to your health needs, your preferences, your possibilities and your cultural health believes.

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You can rely on many resources to set up your Health Plan, within your family and community, or from your healthcare providers. Gaining capacity in keeping a health plan tailored to your needs is a priority to achieve better health. Being in the driver’s seat, knowing best about your health wishes & needs, enhancing your health competencies for self-care is empowering you as your own best healthcare provider.

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Healthy Weight Management

More and more studies link overweight and obesity to poor health. Obesity is proven being a risk factor to develop many diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer among others.  It leads to many other health problems requiring regular care and treatment. Keeping a healthy weight is crucial to preserve health and prevent chronic diseases. Healthy weight management is not difficult provided that  key elements are known, taken into consideration with action on them. There will be no lasting effect to your weight management efforts if all components are not tackled at the same time.

Building blocks for healthy weight management are:

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1. Health & Hormonal Condition: medical condition and hormonal imbalance

2. Food Energy, Quality & Quantity: quality of food intake (processed? preservatives? hormones? antibiotics? pesticides?), quantity of energy intake (calories, Glycemic Index), frequency & quantity of food (allowing resting time with intermittent fasting)

3. Physical Activity: daily regular body activity is needed to keep all its parts working seamlessly. It should include exercising balance, strength and endurance on a regular basis.

4. Lifestyle: starts with having adequate amount of rest/sleep, dealing with stress & emotions and identifying any addiction

  • Identify stress sources (emotional, physical, chemical, environmental)
  • Use stress management techniques: what works for you?
  • Seek professional counseling for emotional issues or addiction control

 

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Healthy Environment

Our environment has a great impact on our health. Access to clean air & water, waist management, urban versus rural areas, junk food billboards density will all determine the way we care for ourselves. Toxic elements of our environment include pesticides/preservatives/antibiotics in our food as well as in daily care products & cosmetics use. Enabling environment including green areas, access to affordable fresh food, security & shelter, access to community and care provider support is important to perform self-care.

How is your environment supporting self-care?

Healthy Eating

Eating is among everyone’s greatest hobby! Food provides pleasure and confort. Not the least, food is energy for our body functioning and healthy food will play a large role in keeping it healthy. 

Super summary – easy to remember building blocks for healthy eating are: 

1. Drinking:  mainly water

2. Understanding Food Components: Sugar, Fats, Proteins, Fibres & Nutrients

3. Healthy plate: what do we put inside our plate? what quantities of which component? fresh-raw-processed-steamed-grilled-fried-organic-colorful?

Indeed… Good food is good mood!

Healthy Moving

Keeping active is essential to body healthy functioning. Nowadays busy lifestyle does not allow enough physical use of it. Driving children to school by car, sitting in front of computer hours long, picking groceries from supermarkets,  having food delivered home ease our day but are lost occasions to perform physical activity. With this sedentary lifestyle, there is a need for organizing dedicated time for physical activity.

Exercise needs to be about: balance, strength, endurance.

It should also:

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  • be regular: 3 to 5 times a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes 
  • last for a duration of 30 minutes minimum
  • must be practising all three of the following: balance, strength & endurance!
  • should be a pleasant and fun time for yourself, no need to go beyond your capacities (listen to your body, he is your guide)
  • bring a state of calm & happiness thanks to all the endorphines secreted during exercising!

Practicing exercise helps burning calories intake, ensure effective blood circulation (facilitating nutrients & hormones reach organs and perform their dedicated task), makes water circulate through the body thus avoiding water retention (reducing weight, keeping kidneys healthy).

Regular exercise is key for healthy weight management. Weight loss will be initiated with implementation of program alternating Hight Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and strength training.

  • HIIT: high intensity workout for a very short time period, alternating with short rest period. Energy is used up to 48h after training, whereas with cardio training, energy expenditure is temporary. This helps the body to manage stress.
  • Strength training: helps building muscle mass that will consume energy through out the day due to increased metabolism.

 

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Healthy Lifestyle

Health is a very broad concept and every element of lifestyle will be having an impact on it. Lifestyle is the way of living one chooses, reflecting his or her values and attitudes. It is influenced by the surrounding community, peer behaviours, role models chosen. Lifestyle has a huge influence on health because of its  constituent parts. Lifestyle interconnected building blocks are:

  • Food & Physical Activity
  • Rest & Sleep
  • Stress & Emotions
  • Toxic Load

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Food & Physical Activity

Daily eating habits and food choices will  not only impact on body weight but will bring chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics inside organism along with vitamins and nutrients. Those might have an impact on healthy body functioning. Choosing food ingested and allowing body to exercise regularly constitutes the first step of healthy lifestyle.

Rest/Sleep

Body resting time represents one third to one fourth of a whole day. This time is actually very active as it give opportunity to organism to regenerate and reenergize. It allows switching off some functions such as thinking and active moving and activate others like hormones producing. Amount of rest needed is different from one person to another. Few tips to use your full energy potential:

  • Identify your individual sleep time needed for feeling rested
  • Allow yourself adequate amount of sleep most days of the week
  • Organize short & efficient resting periods during the day (using power naps, self-hypnosis techniques)

Stress & Emotions

Stress is a state of mental or emotional tension resulting from demanding circumstances. This can be difficult for the body to cope on long term and ways to reduce stressful situations must be found. Stress is tightly linked with weight gain through various mechanisms. It releases stress hormone, Cortisol, as well as Insulin, leading to insulin resistance and thus fat storage in the body. Stress induces emotional eating as well. Stress can be of different sources: emotional (in link with people in your surroundings), physical (body is suffering from daily constraints and actions), chemical (pesticides/hormones/medicines in food, lotions, soaps & perfumes on your body, etc), and environmental (air pollution, absence of green areas in neighbourhood, etc).

Few tips to tackle stress:

    • Identify stress sources (emotional, physical, chemical, environmental)
    • Use stress management techniques: what works for you?? (sports, music, dance, laughter yoga, arts & crafts, sing, hike in nature, knitting, boxing … and so many more!)
    • Seek professional counseling for emotional issues
    • Emotional Eating: very important to tackle!

Toxic Load

Modern way of living involves the use of many industry derived products on daily basis. Shampoos on hair, lotions, perfumes and deodorants on skin, processed (or ultra-processed) food, plastic/silicon/Teflon-like materials for kitchen use. To please our confort need, these products contain chemicals helping achieving the desired effect: silicon to make hair softer, aluminium to stop sweating process or preservatives to make food last longer. If the afore mentioned products are self-chosen, actions to reduce toxins encountered in immediate surrounding environment will be limited. Toxin load from air pollution, chemicals in mattress numerous layers, paints used on walls, materials used for buildings and furniture is difficult to control.

Avoidable toxin load is the one self-imposed on regular basis up to the stage of developing addiction. Use of tobacco derived products, alcohol, drugs or medicines daily will interfere with body normal functions.

Those chemicals interact with our body through ingestion, breathing and physical skin contact, and have a direct impact on our metabolism. Our fantastic body detox unit is mainly the liver, that will deal with toxic load by binding it with other molecules (like a hand holding the toxins) and either putting it out through excretion (stools, urine, sweat) or by hiding it in fat storage (hips & tummy).

If toxic load overcomes liver detoxifying capacity, those toxins will be freely circulating in our body impacting its normal physiological functions. Toxins have an effect on our hormonal balance as they mimic endogenous hormones, thus they are call hormonal modulators. They might also have a direct effect on cell DNA with risk of developing cancer.

Few tips to reduce body toxin load:

  • Identify elements that might have toxic effect in your daily life
  • Reduce toxic load in your environment
  • Seek professional help to quit smoking (or other substance use, i.e. alcohol
  • Choose food with least pesticides, hormones, antibiotics
  • Read products labels to avoid paraben, and other health threatening chemical

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What do you do for your Self-Care?

My daily Self-Care actions

  • Check here your daily “caring for yourself” actions

Do you have a health Plan? Is it tailored to your needs? What are the health checks recommended for you?

Health checks | Prevention

Do you know your healthy Weight?

Healthy Weight Management |

What kind of physical activity do you have during your day? Do you allow yourself dedicated time to exercise?

Healthy Moving |

How is your environment? Does it have a positive effect on your health?

Healthy Environment |

What kind of food do you enjoy having? Is it balanced with enough fibres/carbs/fats/proteins? 

Healthy Eating |

How about your lifestyle? Does it have a positive effect on your health?

Healthy Lifestyle |

My healthy weight calculation

 

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Your BMI is

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great people promote self-care. you are one of them

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                Testimonials                  from around the world

       What they       say

You

“I know how I feel and I am my own life’s best expert. I am making my own health choices and I want to be able to choose the best option for me.”

Your own life’s expert

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

“People have been practicing self-care for millennia, but new products, information and technologies are changing how health services are delivered. “

Director-General, World Health Organization

Elizabeth Pfiester Rowley

“Taking time four yourself is not selfish. It is necessary to do things that bring you joy and allow you to take a step away from your work or other stressful things in life. Self-care allows you to come back with a fresh mind, and ensures that you do not burn out. Living with a chronic condition is a challenge already, so make sure you create space to refresh and feel nurtured wherever possible.

Founder & Director of T1International, living with T1 diabetes

 

Health Empowerment

 

         For improving

 

Self-Care & Wellbeing

 

Empower Yourself

 

Gaining health knowledge with having possibility to practice health skills in a friendly & supportive environment helps

empowering your health competencies.

First step is being able to identifying your health needs to stay healthy, prevent disease and manage illness when occurring. 

Second is establishing health care plan using project management techniques to deal with your health priorities. 

Third is gaining confidence for mastering your health project from choosing healthy (through learning activities such as reading food labels or healthy recipes) to implementing your health decisions, building from past experiences and mistakes to success. 

Living with a chronic condition is challenging. Learning health tips easy to implement in daily busy life might

improve your wellbeing and day to day care management.

As self-care champions, become an advocate for healthy lifestyle for your health, your family and your community.

how to care for my health? what to do if i have a disease?

Frequently

Asked Questions

I am suffering from heartburns, how to treat?

Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning feeling that might be painful behind the chest or in the throat. It is also called Acid Reflux as it is due to stomach produced aciditic fluid coming up from stomach into oesophagus. Acidity causes burning sensation, pain, and can damage teeth in the back of the mouth (molars) leading to dental cavities. 

Here are actions that can help reducing symptoms:

1. Identify and avoid food inducing heartburns such as spicy food, coffee, tomato sauce, orange juice, alcohol or anything you have experienced inducing burning feeling.

2. Find soothing food that helps calming symptoms.

3. Elevate your head with pillow when laying

4. Use of anti-acid drugs might recommended for a short period of time.

It is difficult to distract my kids from their electronic tablet & telephone screens, are they addict?

 There is ‘screen addiction’ when the use of electronic device becomes so needed and compulsive that it impairs daily activities and interactions with family and friends. 

Few elements help informing that there is an addiction and therefore needed  to be tackled.

1. Need to increase screen time to obtain same pleasure level

2. Feeling of craving when not using the electronic device

  1. Loss of control of screen time
  2. Carrying on activity knowing the negative effect it is producing
  3. Neglecting usual daily activities

It is due to Dopamine, a hormone produced by the brain, giving feeling of wellbeing, pleasure and satisfaction. Receiving ‘thumbs up’ on social medias will induce pleasure with hormonal secretion of Dopamine, and brain will want more …

Simple daily measures can be set to deal with screen addiction, be it with children or adults. 

I need to loose some weight but don't want to stop eating, how can I deal with that?

coming soon

I am very tired & thirsty, do I have diabetes?

Diabetes appears when sugar regulation in the body is impaired. Too much sugar (glucose) in blood stream produces symptoms such as excessive fatigue, blur vision, increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and slow healing.

The cause of diabetes might be lack of Insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose (sugar): it defines Type 1 diabetes. It might be because body cells become ‘resistant’ to sugar & Insulin and don’t accept uptake of glucose: Type 2 diabetes. Both result in overflow of sugar in blood that leads to symptoms. As sugar accumulates in blood stream and vessels, deposits create damages and lead to complications such as skin wounds, impaired vision, kidney failure, heart disease or stroke.

Whereas Type 1 diabetes has a genetic origin, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with healthy lifestyle (balanced diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight).

I stopped sport because my back is hurting, is sport safe for me?

coming soon

I am tired of having migraines, how to cope?

coming soon

Flu season is coming soon, how can I avoid my kids to catch it?

coming soon

I feel my hormones level might not be in balance, would that explain all my different symptoms ?

coming soon

I am getting more frequent urinary infections and I am tired to take antibiotics each time, how can I deal with this situation ?

coming soon

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