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Each year on the third weekend of August, we celebrate all things self-care!

Self-care can mean different things to different people – but we think the following two definitions say it the best.

Self-care is:

  • The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own physical and mental health.
  • The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own wellbeing and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

In simple terms, self-care is caring for yourself in order to protect your overall health, wellbeing, and sense of happiness. In doing so, we can help to prevent certain mental health challenges from reaching a crisis point.

What does self-care look like in the real world?

A good self-care routine will incorporate elements from the following three areas of health:

  • Physical Health: Maintaining good hygiene, eating healthily, exercising regularly, and getting the recommended 7-12 hours of sleep each night.
  • Mental Health: Setting aside time to relax, being creative, and staying aware of your thoughts and emotions.
  • Spiritual Health: Forgiving others, taking time to reflect on your life and feelings, meditation/prayer, and practising gratitude.

We hope that the resources provided on this page can help you not only better understand what self-care is, but help you start implementing good self-care practices into your daily life.

This Year’s Theme: Rethink Your Thoughts

A crucial aspect of self-care is managing our thoughts. This includes the way we think about ourselves, our life, and the world around us.

We should aim to incorporate both positive and realistic thinking in our day-to-day lives. Positive thoughts help to promote good overall well-being and happiness, while realistic thoughts help us stay grounded.

There are many different ways to manage our thought life, and what works best for some may not work for others.

Here are a few practical exercises you can try:

  • Keep a gratitude journal, which involves regularly writing down the things that you are grateful for.
  • Try the 2-Minute Morning Method, which is based on positive psychology research.
  • Create your own list of positive affirmations and read at least one per day.
  • If you feel like your thoughts are spiraling out of control, take a pause and a deep breath to help slow down your mind.
  • Challenge negative thoughts with questions like, “is this thought true?”, “is there any evidence to support this?”, “are there any alternative ways to look at this situation?” or “what would I say to a friend in a similar situation?”
  • Familiarize yourself with common negative automatic thought patterns and how to identify them.

If you find that your thoughts continue to interfere with your daily life, for example your ability to sleep, eat, work, or go to school, it is recommended to seek additional support from a counsellor or mental health professional. 

Download Your 2023 Self-Care Packet

Everything you need to celebrate this year’s International Weekend of Self-Care – all bundled up in downloadable packet!

Self-Care Assessment

How much do you already know about self-care? Find out by taking the self-care questionnaire and watching the self-care webinar! Sponsored by Unstoppable Life Coaching.


Your Self-Care Weekend Playlist

15 Songs to Help You Open Up

Conversations About Self-Care

Get Involved!


Share your favourite self-care activities and tips with us on Instagram or Facebook! Make sure to tag us and use the hashtag #iwosc.


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Many thanks to our Sponsors

Want to sponsor this event next year? Get in touch with us at admin@thelilyjoproject.com for more information about sponsorship opportunities.