If there was ever a better reminder to take care of your health and that of those around you, it’s this week. 12-18 November is Self-Care Week, which is a fantastic opportunity to remind yourself of some self-care basics to help you take better care of your health. From visiting your pharmacist first to making healthy lifestyle swaps, you can do a lot to get your health in check. Practice self-care for life and look forward to a healthier future.
Why Self-Care Week?
Sometimes we can all use a little reminder to take better care of ourselves. Self-care is not only important for your personal health, but that of others too. By taking better care of yourself, you’ll be helping out the NHS, which is struggling to meet patient demand and leaving doctors, nurses and other health workers feeling the strain. With flu season about to hit, now is a great time to take a smarter approach to health.
Self-care with help from the local pharmacist
If you tend to call your GP at the first hint of a cough or sniffle, it’s time to change your ways. Many minor illnesses and injuries can be managed at home with some medication that you can get from your pharmacist – it’s that simple. Some of the things you can speak to your pharmacist about include:
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Skin complaints
- Sore throat
- Fever in children
- Ear ache
- Lower back pain
Your pharmacist can recommend medication and basic care steps to help you manage your symptoms, and let you know when to consult your GP. Find out more about the things you can visit your pharmacist for and make them your first port of call.
Self-care for life starts with you
Self-care isn’t something you can switch on or off – practicing self-care for life means making positive changes that will reduce your risk of developing illnesses and conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Nobody wants to spend their retirement years battling ill health, so making changes now will benefit you in the future – even if you don’t see it now. Start today by:
- Giving up smoking – start your SmokeFree Future now.
- Cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. This might be difficult in the run up to the festive period, but you’ll feel much better by not overdoing things this year.
- Eat healthier. A takeaway makes a nice treat, but turning it into a regular habit will have an effect on your waistline. Focus on eating lean meats and plenty of fruit and vegetables. A home-cooked meal will always beat take-out hands down!
- Eat less meat. See how taking a veg pledge could help you get healthy.
- Move more. Exercise is crucial to staying fit and can help you avoid different illnesses – start doing 30 minutes of exercise, 5 times a week to help you get in shape and keep your heart healthy.
- Take care of your mental health by taking better care of yourself, getting out and getting plenty of sleep. Mental wellbeing is something you can work on every day to help you avoid depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
Even small changes, like drinking more water, can help you to practice self-care. Your health is precious, so take steps to look after it.
While your GP surgery should be contacted for urgent health matters, you can call NHS Direct on 111 for advice if you have a health issue out of hours and need advice. You’ll be told whether to go to A&E, your pharmacist or your nearest out of hours, or given some advice on how to treat yourself at home. Take care of your health this Self-Care Week and beyond to ensure better self-care for life.