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The Difference Between Self-Care and Wellness

In our busy lives, we often come across the terms "self-care" and "wellness." I started talking about self-care in 2021 and watched it become the buzzword for all! However, I realized recently there is a difference. I want to share my thoughts with you!

While they are frequently used interchangeably, they are not the same. Understanding the distinction between these concepts can help us better manage our health and well-being. Let’s dive into what sets self-care and wellness apart and how they complement each other.

Self-Care is…

Self-care refers to the actions we take to preserve or improve our own health. It encompasses a range of activities that support physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Think of self-care as your personal maintenance routine – it’s about taking deliberate steps to care for yourself.

Examples of Self-Care:

  • Physical Self-Care: Exercise, balanced diet, adequate sleep, skincare, etc.

  • Emotional Self-Care: Journaling, therapy, spending time with loved ones, spending time alone, engaging in hobbies, etc

  • Spiritual Self-Care: Meditating, praying, nature walks, etc

Self-care prioritizes your needs while helping you find balance in your daily life. It is essential for stress management and can prevent burnout if you are regularly attending to your own needs.

What is Wellness?

Wellness, on the other hand, is broader. It is a holistic combination of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Wellness is not ‘I’m not sick’, but it’s a proactive pursuit of a healthy and fulfilling life. It encompasses a variety of dimensions, each contributing to our overall state of health.

Dimensions of Wellness:

  • Physical Wellness: Maintaining a healthy body through regular exercise, proper nutrition, and avoiding harmful habits.

  • Emotional Wellness: Understanding and managing your emotions, having a positive outlook, and dealing with stress effectively.

  • Spiritual Wellness: Finding purpose and meaning in life, which may involve religious beliefs, meditation, or nature exploration.

Wellness is about making lifestyle choices that lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life. It involves a commitment to growth and achieving your full potential across different areas of life.

But…Self-Care and Wellness DO Work Together

While self-care focuses on individual actions and practices to take care of oneself, wellness is the overarching goal that encompasses multiple dimensions of health. Self-care is a vital component of wellness; it’s the building block that supports overall well-being.


  • Regular exercise (self-care) contributes to physical wellness by keeping your body fit and healthy.

  • Meditation (self-care) enhances emotional and mental wellness by reducing stress and promoting a positive mindset.

  • Learning a new skill (self-care) boosts intellectual wellness and personal growth.

By integrating self-care practices into your daily routine, you are actively working towards achieving a state of wellness. It’s about finding what works best for you and making conscious choices that promote a balanced and fulfilling life.

Things to Ponder…

Understanding the difference between self-care and wellness allows us to look at our health holistically. Prioritizing self-care lets us lay the foundation for consistent overall wellness. Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury and it’s not selfish – it’s a necessity. Embrace self-care as an essential part of your journey to wellness, and enjoy the process of becoming the healthiest, happiest version of yourself.

Let’s continue to support each other in our journey towards health and wellness!

Feel free to share your self-care tips and wellness experiences with us! Together, we can inspire and uplift each other!

Stay healthy and be well,

Angela, The Healthy SSIS

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