National Self-Care Day is observed every year on April 5 all across the U.S. In the hustle and bustle of life, we tend to put our needs and well-being on the back burner at times. Taking care of one’s self is integral to keep functioning properly. Our minds and bodies require adequate rest and care for optimal health and well-being. This day emphasizes the importance of self-care as the basis for good health. It’s also a day when individuals are encouraged to prioritize self-care and make it a habit.
History of National Self Care Day
‘Self-care’ is the act of caring for oneself through means that help us feel our healthiest and happiest. It has become the most common form of healthy living and allows us to do something that will otherwise be considered selfish — prioritizing ourselves. It has existed since the dawn of mankind, before notions of medicine, therapy, or other healthcare systems, when humans had to rely on themselves to achieve optimal health through practical means. Self-care was originally used for institutionalized patients, to help them develop self-worth through acts of personal care and preservation. It became a popular term in the medical field to truly understand mental awareness concepts like post-traumatic stress and to help patients suffering from such conditions navigate their way through life.
Modern self-care as we now understand it was popularized by the civil rights movement of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. It began with the party meeting the needs of community members through the establishment of health clinics, food distribution, and creating programs at a time when it was even harder for people belonging to the minority sections to gain access to healthcare. The concept became even more personal when leaders of the group adopted a more mindful approach to avoid activist burnout. They encouraged activists, leaders, and other members of the community to prioritize themselves and their mental and emotional states through activities like yoga and meditation.
Today self-care has become a global approach to catering to one’s needs and is encouraged through any means that helps you feel your best. Chicago-based development coach, Laura Schwartz, is the pioneer of National Self-Care Day and has created the holiday to remind us to take a break and put ourselves first.
National Self Care Day timeline
The term ‘self-care’ is used to help encourage institutionalized patients to practice acts that boost self-worth and preservation.
The personal definition of self-care is popularized by the civil rights movement promoted by the
Black Panther Party.
National Self-Care Day is established by development coach Laura Schwartz.
The first-ever National Self-Care Day is observed.
National Self Care Day FAQs
What is the difference between National Self-Care Day and International Self-Care Day?
The founding factors between these two holidays are pretty much identical. However, National Self-Care Day is a nationwide observance in the U.S., founded by Chicago-based development coach, Laura Schwartz, while International Self-Care Day is a worldwide observance founded by the International Self-Care Foundation. International Self-Care Day is observed on July 24, while National Self-Care Day is observed on April 5.
Is April Self-Care Month too?
Self-Care Awareness Month is observed globally every year in September, after the United States has observed National Self-Care Day on April 5.
Does self-care actually have health benefits?
Self-care is not just for your mental and emotional health; it does wonders for your physical health too! Taking care of yourself is about your overall well-being, so activities like exercising or eating more fruits and vegetables cater to your physical well-being, and have you looking and performing at your best.
National Self Care Day Activities
Take a social media break
This holiday presents the perfect reason for distancing yourself from social media. A lot of us have found ourselves wanting to take some time off social networks or even our phones as a whole, but have found it hard to finally make that decision. Well, a part of putting yourself first is letting go of the pressures and anxiety that others may bring, and a major source of that is found through social media. So use National Self-Care Day as an excuse to stay off the socials.
Enjoy the outdoors
Something is refreshing and rejuvenating about the great outdoors. We can’t explain it, but the peace of mind that comes with taking a long walk, going for a run, or hiking is unmatched. Make sure you spend some of your time today enjoying nature and the fresh air.
Do something nice for yourself
This tip is completely personal, and can only be achieved by you. Whether you are cooking your favorite meal or buying something new you’ve always wanted, make sure you are putting your needs first and doing something you would love. Make yourself a priority today, because you truly deserve it!
5 Interesting Facts About Self-Care
Right smells work magic
Research shows that aromatherapy is just as important as breathing exercises, with smells like citrus proven to alleviate stress.
Forcing a smile might actually work
Studies have proven that being happy, or even pretending to be, by forcing a smile can improve your overall health.
Meditation for your emotions
Meditation not only relieves stress but also boosts your compassion and emotional stability.
Solo dance parties are a hit
Jamming up and dancing on your own not only burns calories, but also improves your mood and body image, and can lower your risk of dementia.
Potty mouths ease stress
Dropping an F-bomb here and there is a great way to blow off steam and has been known to reduce physical pain.
Why We Love National Self Care Day
It’s about us
The great thing about National Self-Care Day is that it is about nothing else but ourselves. With the hustle and bustle of life, it is usually hard and sometimes impossible to put your needs and desires first. This day gives us the perfect opportunity to prioritize ourselves without feeling the unnecessary guilt of doing so.
It’s an emotional booster
Nothing makes you feel your best like doing things that truly make you happy. This holiday automatically sets us up to be put in the best mood by encouraging us to do all the things we love the most.
It encourages self-love
Just like the origins of the term self-care, this concept still boosts our overall self-worth and appreciation by having us perform acts that put us in our best mood. This is great because it allows us to love ourselves unapologetically, and in all possible ways.
National Self Care Day dates