The term self-care tends to conjure up thoughts of luxurious activities (like spa days or massages), time relaxing on the couch, or other indulgent, relaxing behavior. While those activities do fall under self-care, the Mental Health Association’s first self-care tip is to live healthy1.
Sounds good, but what does it really mean to live healthily? And how can Scarlet® help you with your self-care journey?
What is self-care?
The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illnesses and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”2
Self-care is considered a broad concept that covers several different areas2:
- Hygiene (general and personal)
- Nutrition (type and quality of food)
- Lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc.)
- Socioeconomic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.)
Working off of those areas, self-care can be as simple as:
- Taking a shower/bath
- Cooking a nutritious meal for yourself
- Joining a group for a hobby you enjoy (golf, bowling, tennis, etc.)
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. Think of it as a way to take care of yourself and do things that you enjoy and make you feel good.
Why is self-care important?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought increased stress levels to many people. According to a survey from The American Psychological Association, 78% of survey respondents reported the coronavirus pandemic as a significant source of stress in their life4. Additionally, 66% of adults said health care is a major source of stress in their lives4. All of this stress can lead to increased health issues, which is where self-care comes into play.
Put simply, self-care plays a role in maintaining mental health. Regularly practicing self-care can improve both your physical and mental health states, and has benefits including stress management, lowering the risk of illness, and increasing energy3.
What are some self-care tips?
Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate and what works best will vary by person. There may also be life situations where one type of self-care works, but you’ll need another for a different situation. For example, what helps you de-stress before a blood draw may be different than what helps you de-stress before public speaking. The National Institute of Mental Health offers the following self-care tips3:
- Get regular exercise
- Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated
- Make sleep a priority
- Try a relaxing activity
- Set goals and priorities
- Practice gratitude
- Focus on positivity
- Stay connected to friends and family
How does Scarlet fit into self-care?
Scarlet strives to make healthcare more accessible and convenient. Diagnostics testing (blood draws, urine samples, etc.) is important for medical decisions but people tend to put them off for a variety of reasons including inconvenience, nervousness or even transportation issues. Scarlet tackles these concerns head-on by coming to you. Simply collecting a sample for these tests at your home or workplace can help with self-care in a number of ways:
- More free time. Depending on how far you live from the nearest lab, or how frequently you need to complete lab work, it can consume a lot of time in your schedule. Since Scarlet meets you where you are to collect your samples, you instantly save that travel time. You also can go about your regular routine at home while you wait, rather than sit in a waiting room. Just think of all that you could do with the time you save. Some examples include:
- Schedule a massage
- Do a family activity
- Take the dog for a walk
- Reduce stress. If even the thought of blood draws makes you uncomfortable, bloodwork might be a stressful activity for you. Scarlet helps you reduce stress by letting you get your blood drawn from the comfort of home. While this may not magically jump to your list of favorite activities, the whole process with Scarlet is designed to make you more comfortable and reduce stress, which helps with self-care.
- Overall comfort. In general, waiting rooms can be uncomfortable. Similar to reducing stress, being in an environment that you are comfortable with helps with self-care. If leaving home for routine bloodwork and lab tests is a challenge, staying home with Scarlet can increase comfort while still helping you cross items off your health to-do list.
At its core, Scarlet strives to make healthcare more accessible. By making it easy to get your lab tests completed, you can stay on top of your physical health, which is a form of self-care. Scarlet is designed to fit into your self-care toolbox.