Happy International Self-Care Day!



When things get crazy in your life, do you skip going to the gym? Cancel plans with friends? Lose sleep? If so, you may be working against your best interests! Taking care of your physical, emotional and mental health is vital for managing stress and anxiety, contributing to improved personal health. This is known as self care, and on July 24, we’re celebrating International Self-Care Day as part of our #ShineALight campaign.

Self care isn’t about self-indulgence. It’s about recognizing that we need to look after ourselves to effectively meet the demands of our daily lives. And it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming: going for a walk, spending time with friends, meditating, nurturing a spiritual connection, journaling and positive self-talk are all examples of positive self care that can improve our overall health.

At CUPS, approximately one in three of our clients report that their mental wellness – their ability to cope – is in a state of crisis. We work daily to offer innovative programs and services that help transform the lives of these vulnerable Calgarians. And while that includes helping them navigate housing, health and educational challenges, it also means providing them with skills and opportunities to manage self care.

Whether it’s trauma-informed yoga, facilitating community support through client-led volunteering or inviting clients to build friendships while learning to sew or strengthening cultural and spiritual connections at Aboriginal Friendship Centre meetups, we help CUPS clients find moments of self care every day.

Julie McLennan is a Mental Health Clinician at CUPS who facilitates our Relaxation Group, formed to provide clients with techniques to calm themselves and also to provide them with a safe space to build relationships.

“Once they learn the techniques, which include breathing and mindfulness, they can use them whenever they need them, for things like calming anxiety or getting to sleep. Our clients have had more than their fair share of stress so learning how to activate their Parasympathetic Nervous System is particularly useful for them. Connecting with others who have similar struggles is also very healing,” she says.

You can help us deliver programs that promote self care – and mental wellness – to our clients by making a contribution to our #ShineALight campaign today!

Here are some free self-care resources that can help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

* Self-Care Starter Kit

* Stress Self-Care Resources

* Caregiver Self-Care

#ShineALight on the Numbers

● 1 in 10 Calgarians live in poverty

● 1 in 4 Canadians lives with diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes

● 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental illness or addiction problems each year

● 4 million people in Canada experience food insecurity

● 1 in 8 Canadian households struggle to put food on the table.

● An estimated 45% of the overall homeless population are individuals living with mental illness

● 28 – 34% of shelter users are Indigenous peoples

● 40% of Indigenous children in Canada live in poverty

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