The LivingUpp™ 8 Dimensions of Self-Care

It’s easy to see why self-care has become more popular when healthcare is anything but affordable. Even Google has seen an uptick in the search term in recent years. 

What is self-care?

But what exactly 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 illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”

They also point out that “self-care interventions are among the most promising and exciting new approaches to improve health and well-being, both from a health systems perspective and for people who use these interventions.” 

At LivingUpp™, we define self-care as a preventive health strategy involving actions and behaviors that improve, restore, or maintain good health. 

That’s because self-care is a verb and requires us to take action.

Self-care is also essential for those managing existing health conditions. Self-management strategies can prevent the progression of diseases, as well as the complications that occur along with them.

If you want to live with more ease and better health, creating a supportive self-care practice is essential.

Self-care is a preventive health strategy involving actions and behaviors that improve, restore, or maintain good health. Click To Tweet

Self-care can include getting sufficient restful sleep, preparing healthy meals, exercising, bandaging wounds, taking medications as prescribed, testing blood sugar and blood pressure, managing your finances responsibly, setting and honoring healthy boundaries in relationships, staying hydrated, and basically any action you take to support your well-being.

Most care is self-care

The WHO also notes that self-care is “the most dominant form of primary care in both developed and in developing countries,” and it’s been estimated that “65% to 85% of health care is provided by the individual or the family without professional intervention.” In the UK it’s been estimated that 80% of all care is self-care.

Self-Care is becoming a movement.

Self-Care is becoming a movement. Click To Tweet

As far back as 1978, the International Conference on Primary Health Care (Alma-Ata, USSR) declared that “people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care.” In fact, some consider self-care an act of civil disobedience in today’s commoditized healthcare climate.

So, why are we seeing such a growing interest in self-care?

Healthcare is expensive

Let’s face it: Health care is expensive. According to the CDC, healthcare was 17.8% of the GDP in 2018

From insurance premiums to deductibles to coinsurance to copays to out-of-pocket expenses (not including the time we spend coordinating appointments and trying to make sense of our medical bills), being unhealthy creates unnecessary stress and financial strain.

Despite having the highest health-related expenditures in the world, America continues to lag behind other countries when it comes to overall health. In the U.S., life expectancies are lower and chronic conditions are on the rise. According to a NCHS data brief (2012 No. 237), obesity was the reason behind 11 million visits to physician offices and 74% of those visits were associated with an accompanying chronic condition.

It’s time for a major disruption in our health care system.

As Americans, we’ve become passive recipients of health care. Instead of owning our health, we’ve transferred the responsibility to our health care providers. 

Self-care has the power to change that.

The World Health Organization’s Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Health acknowledges this fact: “The provider-to-receiver model that is at the heart of many health systems must be complemented with a self-care model through which people can be empowered to prevent, test for and treat disease themselves.”

pink diabetes supply kit

Self-care is powerful 

In an article that I wrote for The Costco Connection, I explained how having a multi-dimensional self-care practice can create more ease and better health.

Stacy Fisher's article on self-care in The Costco Connection

While our traditional healthcare system focuses primarily on the physical aspects of our health — our nutritional status, fitness level, laboratory values, organ function, signs and symptoms of disease, and our mental and emotional health, the unique LivingUpp™ self-care model takes a more holistic approach with health.

The LivingUpp™ 8 Dimensions of Self-Care: An Overview

Click to expand the boxes below to learn more about each dimension.


The systemic dimension involves your habits related to eating, moving, and resting. It focuses on the physical aspects of your health, the area we most often think about when we discuss health and well-being. In this dimension, you’ll explore how to honor your physical body with nourishing food, restful sleep, and regular physical activity.


The emotive dimension involves how you express yourself. Emotions are closely tied to the cognitive dimension of self-care, and are often an outward expression of your thoughts. In this dimension, you’ll explore healthy outlets for your emotions.


The luminescent dimension involves how you illuminate your inner truth. It encompasses everything that makes you unique as an individual: your spiritual beliefs, life experiences, perceptions, values, strengths, innate gifts, family traditions, and culture. In this dimension, you’ll explore who you are and what you truly want to experience in life.


The financial dimension involves how you allocate your resources, and includes your behaviors around money — earning, spending, saving, and giving. In this dimension, you’ll explore what sufficiency looks like and how you can adjust your lifestyle according to your resources.


The cognitive dimension involves how you think – your mindset, how you approach problems, and how you learn. In this dimension, you’ll explore how to focus your thoughts and cultivate a positive mindset.


The aptitudinal dimension involves your contribution to the world, which is usually closely tied to your career (how you earn a paycheck), but in some cases, your greatest contribution may not produce an income at all. In this dimension, you’ll explore how to use your strengths to make a meaningful contribution to the world.


The relational dimension involves how you connect with others, and includes your romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships, and professional relationships. In this dimension, you’ll explore how to create a supportive inner circle set healthy boundaries in relationships.


The environmental dimension involves how you harmonize with nature. It also includes the physical spaces where you spend time – your home, workplace, community, and happy spaces. In this dimension, you’ll explore how to be a good steward of the earth and create inspiring personal spaces.

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