JULY 24th, 2020

International Self-Care Day comes at a time when our community has all been impacted by the global pandemic in some way. British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association encourages frontline workers, caregivers and volunteers to acknowledge the importance of self-care to their own health, the community and the health care system.

The international self-care day has been running since 2011 on which countries around the world have a chance to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle as a vital foundation of health.
  • Health literacy
  • Self-awareness 
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy eating
  • Risk avoidance
  • Good hygiene
  • Rational and responsible use of products and services


Set aside time for self-awareness 

Hospice Palliative Care recognizes the importance of a person’s physical and mental health. The BCHPCA is strongly committed to supporting caregivers, frontline workers, family members, and volunteers throughout various services designed to reinforce the impact that physical and mental health has on individuals.


Self-care is not selfish it is necessary

BCHPCA would like to thank the frontline workers, caregivers, and volunteers who have been taking care of our community during these unprecedented times. Putting the needs of others come easily to health providers during these challenging times; however, taking care of your well-being is equally important in order to take care of others.


Stay connected with others

People in your life have a huge impact on your mental health, physical health, and happiness. Building and nurturing connections gives us a sense of belonging. Who brings a sense of belonging or sunshine into your life?


Focus on the positive aspects of life and let grief in

Losing someone that we care about can strongly impact our life. Grieving is a natural process of loss and can be an ongoing feeling that needs constant awareness and self-monitoring. BCHPCA can provide resources for you to overcome this phase by connecting you to our hospices within our communities that have trained volunteers, counsellors, and spiritual support.


We all need to self-care in order to care for others

It’s International Self-Care day and BCHPCA would like to encourage frontline workers, volunteers, and caregivers to take a break at some point of the day to prioritize your well-being and practice self-care. There are several ways that may work for you; such as, calling an old friend, listening to happy music, going for a walk, reflecting on your self-improvement, virtually visiting a long time companion, meditating or simply expressing how you feel at the moment. What are you doing to take a break? Are you celebrating?

Self-care Ideas & Resources

Self-care for our Caregivers

Taking care of someone without the usual support or community programs can be overwhelming. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, caregivers are facing challenges contributed by isolation and lack or service accessibility. These challenges may bring on; emotional distress, depression, or anxiety. Recognizing that COVID-19 has increased a strain on our healthcare system, caregivers more than ever play an important role in service delivery to their loved ones.
As a caregiver you are doing the best that you can, and ensuring that your mental and physical self is cared for, is ever so important.  

Useful self-care tips for our Caregivers:

  1. Have a backup caregiver or someone willing to help in case you become ill and need a mental break.
  2. Reach out to support services that provide assistance with household tasks such as shopping, transportation, meal preparation or virtual visitations.
  3. Do something unrelated to caregiving support, whenever you can.

Additional Resources

Self-care for our Volunteers

Volunteers are essential to our communities and the delivery of services. In Hospice Palliative Care, volunteers are part of the care team and are an essential part of the provision of care within hospice support. Volunteering during a health crisis can be very stressful, and ensuring continued communication or asking any clarification to your volunteer manager would lead to a successful volunteering experience. 

Useful self-care tips for our Volunteers:


  1. Set boundaries if you are feeling overwhelmed by the situation or your duties.
  2. Communicate with your volunteer manager if you are feeling demotivated or unengaged.
  3. Try to limit your time spent listening to or watching COVID-19 updates to avoid a negative impact on your mental health. Staying informed and appraised on all things COVID-19 is important. But too much can also be harmful to your well-being.

Additional Resources

Self-care for our Frontline Workers

Due to the innate nature of frontline workers, you tend to put the needs of others before your own. The intrinsic responsibility for saving lives and providing care is always at the forefront. However, your mental and emotional well-being are equally important in order to take care of others. Practicing self-care is extremely necessary and should not feel as self guilt or a selfish act.
Ongoing self-care and addressing stress during times of crisis and peak work loads are essential to reducing burn outs.

Useful self-care tips for our Frontline Workers:

  1. Self-monitoring your mental and physical health. This can be from mediation, spritual practises or eprhaps even yoga.
  2. Taking a break or requesting a Mental Health Day.
  3. Reaching out to peers, co-workers or perhaps senior management and discussing possibilities of having additional resources or innovative ways to support staff (and their families) during times of crisis.

Additional Resources

BC Hospice Palliative Care Societies are here to help.

Hospice societies provide services in grief, compassionate listening, bereavement, end of life, caregivers support, volunteers and frontline workers support and much more in the communities they serve. Please contact your community hospice for additional services and self-care supports.