Embracing Self Care for Life

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SCWposter 595x412Embracing Self Care for Life is the theme of Self Care Week, the annual initiative which aims to help you stay healthy for your whole life.

Self Care Week takes place 13 – 19 November and is run by the Self Care Forum. The Self Care Forum aims to further the reach of self care and embed it into everyday life. It promotes improved awareness of services such as local pharmacies for minor ailments and advice about medications; flu vaccinations and improved management of long term conditions such as respiratory and heart conditions. 

Embracing Self Care for Life is about living well and being healthy.  Being active, eating healthily and learning when to self treat common ailments are all ways to embrace self care.

Many long term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are avoidable. However, numbers are still increasing. It is important to embrace self care, making healthy life choices now in order to look after ourselves in the future. 

There are some simple changes you can make to help avoid getting a long term condition:

Move more! If going to the gym isn’t for you, try walking part of the way to work or during your lunch break, take the stairs or have a dance to your favourite songs!

  • Stop smoking!  One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking.  Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services.

  • A good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health so don’t burn the candle at both ends, make sure you get at least 7 hours sleep a night!
  • Eat well. It is vitally important that we get the nutrients we need and avoid excessive amounts of salt, fat and sugar.  Try swapping chocolate and crisps to nuts and fruit for healthy snack options. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.

    Relax.  We have such busy lives that we sometimes forget to take time out to relax, but it is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing.  Find time in the day to be still and quieten your mind. Consider mindfulness or yoga as these can be helpful.

    Self care is an integral part of our winter campaign encouraging people to stay well this winter. There is a 10 point check list to follow to help you and your loved ones the best possible chance of staying well throughout the winter months, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and leading a healthier lifestyle.

    Our Top Ten Tips to Stay Well This Winter:

    1.       Look out for family, friends and neighbours – particularly the frail and elderly

    2.       Get the free flu jab if you are eligible

    3.       Keep warm

    4.       Use local pharmacies for advice about common winter ailments

    5.       Buy stocks of cold and flu remedies

    6.       Don’t run out of prescription medicines

    7.       Take regular medication for existing conditions

    8.       Keep hydrated and eat a healthy diet

    9.       Get regular exercise

    10.   If unwell, use NHS 111 or seek advice or treatment immediately from your GP.

    For more information about staying well this winter and self care visit:

    http://www.nhs.uk/staywell

    http://www.selfcareforum.org

    http://www.selfcareforum.org/fact-sheets/