02/07 Health & Wellness Tip – Self-care

What is self-care? I know how I define it. I wanted to see what the “official” definition is though. Easier said than done.

In its simplest terms, Merriam-Webster says that self-care is “care for oneself; self-treatment.”

The American Holistic Nurses Association has two descriptions:

Focusing on care of self and self-healing [is] essential to caring for others. – Gayle Kipnis: Integrating Holism into the Hospital to Reduce Nursing Turnover, thesis for University of New Mexico, 2007

Self-care comprises those activities performed independently by an individual to promote and maintain personal well-being throughout life. – Dorothea Orem, RN, BSN, MNE

I call it “me” time. Regardless if it is “Michele” time, “Robin” time, “John” time, or “Gerry” time; I believe self-care is critical for our health. Yet taking care of ourselves is one of the first things we let slide during times of stress or when we feel we don’t have enough time for everything on our to-do list. These are the times when our self-care become even more important.


What each of us does with our “me” time is different. You want your self-care to make you feel good, to recharge you, to relieve stress. Self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time, yet it is OK if you require a lot of time. Again, it is individual. You decide what works for you.

Some ideas include:

  • Reading
  • Watching a funny television show/movie
  • Talking with a friend
  • Going for a walk
  • Getting a massage
  • Putting lotion on your hands before bed
  • Taking a couple minutes to breathe and relax throughout your day
  • Journaling

What do you do for self-care or “me” time?

by Michele Spear