Written by Jessica Meadows
International Self-Care Day (ISD) is celebrated on July 24 each year and is meant to raise each person’s awareness of what it means to them to live a healthy lifestyle. Self-care as a vital foundation of your health.
What Exactly Is Self-Care?
There are many ways to describe self-care, but in most cases, self-care is described as what people do for themselves to establish and maintain their health and also what they do to prevent and deal with illness. This is a quite broad definition that can include things like hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental factors, socio-economic factors and self-medication.
Self-care is considered the foundation of healthcare, but is typically what occurs outside the formal health and social care systems. One example given by the International Self-Care Foundation states:
If the average person sees a doctor 3 times a year for 10 minutes each visit (total ½ hour), the rest of the time in that year is, in reality, Self-Care.
In all the categories of self-care, we seek to provide ourselves opportunities to thrive. In Marathon County, there are many programs, agencies, businesses and groups that offer ways in which you can improve your knowledge of your mental and physical health to promote self-care.
Mental Well-Being in Marathon County
Mental well-being is a large portion of self-care and directly impacts your physical health. There are opportunities local to educate yourself and your family about mental health and mental illness that are available in Marathon County.
North Central Health Care offers a variety of counseling and therapy services, resources, programs and links online to help you learn about your health and where to get help. Understanding the services available to you is a key component of self-care. In the event that you, your family or your loved ones are in need of mental or behavioral health services, long-term care or protective placement, understanding where to go for assistance will help you quickly reach those resources when needed. You can learn more about services available to residents of Marathon, Lincoln and Langlade Counties by visiting NCHC’s website.
Online you will also find resources that are specifically designed for self-care of our youngest residents, our kids. NCHC offers a Youth Mental Health & Self-Care Booklet created specifically for kids. Packed full of self-care exercises and activities, the booklet also provides education and resources for kids and parents.
More Youth Resources are available at www.norcen.org/Youth like mental health apps and websites, tips for taking control of your mental health, mental and social development education and affirmations tools for kids.
Additionally, community resource links are available online to engage our community in their mental health journey and provide information and support. These resources are frequently referred to as part of recovery to help establish a support network.
One of those community resources is NAMI Northwoods, a support group right here in Central WI available to all residents to help them learn, raise awareness and provide support and education about mental health and mental illness. NAMI Northwoods offers a variety of educational resources for individuals living with mental illness and for their family members or supporters. Check out the NAMI Northwoods education available at their website.
The Marathon County Public Library is great place to also expand your resources and learn. Not to mention take some time for yourself, relax and grab a great book! With nine locations throughout Marathon County, Wisconsin, chances are there’s an MCPL near you!
Since 1907, the Marathon County Public Library has provided free library services to the residents of central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Wausau, branches are located in Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon City, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer and Stratford.
There are currently many great events planned at the MCPL including the Summer reading Program, Book Clubs, History Chats, Book Sales, Art Shows, and Story Time in the Park to name a few! You can find a great list of things to add to your self-care list at the MCPL’s Events Page on their website.
Physical Well-Being in Marathon County
Another aspect of self-care is physical activity. Regular moderate physical activity – such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports – has significant benefits for health. For instance, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression. More over adequate levels of physical activity will decrease the risk of a hip or vertebral fracture and help control weight. Physical activity does not have to mean an intense physical work out, but can include regular activities found in your home, yard, community or local park.
The Central Wisconsin community is no stranger to a large variety of outdoor recreational activities from gardening and bird watching to competitive sports and summer events. You can find them all in a great resource from the Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department 2022 Spring/Summer Recreation Guide.
Available online, Marathon County launched a new Recreation and Program website where you can reserve facilities, register for programs and buy annual passes, and much more! A list of popular links to Marathon County outdoor recreation have been gathered online.
Here are some additional links for outdoor experiences in Marathon County:
The City of Wausau Bicycling and Walking
Village of Weston Parks & Recreation
Kronenwetter Parks & Recreation
Village of Marathon City Parks & Recreation
Taking time to know what is available and planning time to enjoy the outdoors is vital to your health and a great way to practice good self-care. There is much evidence to show that a healthy wellbeing from good self-care can enhance the lives of individuals and communities.
Self-Care…It’s All About You!
Practicing good self-care not only leads to the prevention of disease, but can lead to outcomes that include better physical health, healthier lifestyles, higher educational attainment, greater productivity, employment and improved quality of life.
So, use the links and resources above to start planning your self-care journey that will continue each and every day.
Communications & Marketing Director | North Central Health Care
As the Communications and Marketing Director at North Central Health Care (NCHC), Jessica Meadows is passionate about being able to use her creative talents to connect people to healthcare, resources, and networking that will impact their life in a positive way. Prior to joining NCHC, she was a Creative Director and leader at a marketing agency in the Stevens Point area. With almost 20 years’ experience in print, web, social media, video, radio, and public relations, it was important for her to connect back to her roots here in the Wausau area, where she and her husband raise their two young children. When she’s not busy at an event or volunteering, she enjoys playing sports, coaching, biking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. Email Jessica Meadows.
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