The idea of “self-care” has become trendy in recent years, but it’s far more than a social media fad. Self-care encompasses all the things we can do to stay healthy—physically, emotionally and mentally. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.” Self-care helps us manage stress and illness, both in the present and the future.

A seated group of people listening to a speaker
A self-care workshop was held at Montreal Citadel for Emergency Preparedness Week in May 2022

International Self-Care Day, held annually on July 24, gives us an opportunity to rethink how we are taking care of ourselves, both in everyday life as we face common stressors and challenges, and during disasters or other traumatic events. In such situations, the potential sources of stress are multiple: witnessing the event, evacuation from home, risk of personal harm, lack of communication, needing to make quick and important decisions, and possible separation from family. Taking care of yourself is critical for you and your family to stay well and to face the situation with calm. Developing a self-care plan now will help today and when disasters or emergencies strike.

As part of Emergency Preparedness Week in May 2022, The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services held a self-care workshop at Montreal Citadel, where participants had an opportunity to learn about self-care and develop a plan. To make your own self-care plan, download the self-care preparedness guide below. This fillable form will help you:

  • Make a self-care plan;
  • Identify your support network;
  • Identify the barriers to your self-care; and
  • Make a self-care kit.

Download self-care guide (English)

Download self-care guide (French)

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit

Photo: carballo/

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