Photo by Magda Ehlers, Pexels

We all know self-care is important, but that doesn’t mean we do it. A million things get in the way. Threads of Life’s Self-Care Week is coming up again this July, and it offers a chance to try something new, learn what works for you, share your experiences with others, and maybe have a bit of fun.

If you Google “what is self-care?” you’ll come up with more than 6 billion results! With so much chatter, it can be hard to separate the truth from the sales pitches. But at its heart, real self-care is simply taking time to do the things that will restore and build your physical and mental health. If you’re coping with illness or injury or grief, then self-care is one important aspect of your healing journey.

At Threads of Life, we talk about self-care often and we have plenty of resources available for you. We’ll be sharing some of those during Self-Care Week, which starts July 18 and culminates with International Self-Care Day on July 24. This year, we invite you to join us for a Self-Care Streak! No, not that kind of streak – a streak just means you integrate self-care as many consecutive days as you can. If you miss a day, there’s no guilt – just start again the next day and see if you can beat your own streak. The idea comes from Astrid Kendrick, a professor at the University of Calgary.

“Feeling hopeless and helpless in the face of all the stresses caused by the pandemic and climate change is a common reaction,” Kendrick writes, “but reaching positive daily goals can build … buoyancy — the ability to bounce back from everyday stress.”

In her work with student teachers, Kendrick encourages them to set aside 15 or 20 minutes each day to engage in a self-care activity, which could be as simple as going for a walk or eating mindfully. She recommends choosing something you enjoy and starting small. To stay motivated, you could track your streak with checkmarks on a calendar or by posting on social media when you complete your activity.

Your self-care streak could be the same activity every day, or a different activity – whatever works best for you. You’ll find plenty of suggestions and support on the Threads of Life website at Start with our self-care quiz to help you set some priorities. On our social media channels we’ll be offering self-care tips and sharing resources. And don’t miss the FamiliesConnect online workshop July 20, on Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in Daily Life. If you haven’t participated in a FamiliesConnect session before, maybe that could be part of your first Self-Care Streak! 

Susan Haldane
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