Self Care Week is the UK-wide annual awareness week, organised by the Self Care Forum, which focuses on helping people to look after their own health, and promoting self care.

 

WHAT IS SELF CARE ?

The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness and can include:

  • good nutrition and regular exercise to support general wellbeing and help maximize people’s immunity
  • adopting positive lifestyle choices 
  • supporting mental wellness by keeping connected, ensuring a sense of perspective, and taking further steps to maintain health
  • understanding how to manage minor and long term health conditions

 

WHY IS SELF CARE IMPORTANT ?

It gives you control over your health and encourages healthy behaviour that will help to prevent ill health long term.

When you take care of minor ailments, it can reduce visits to GPs therefore allowing GPs to cater for higher risk patients such as the young, elderly and people living with co-morbidities. Also, cost effective use of NHS resources allows for money to be spent where it’s most needed and improve health outcomes of the NHS.

Knowing what to do and where to go for help is an important part of practising self care for life. Remember, it isn’t just the GP practice that can help, pharmacies are also health experts. They are on every High Street and can help with all sorts of ailments. Pharmacists can also signpost you to the right place for additional health advice or treatment.

The NHS 111 service can also be a good resource for health advice for things that are not life-threatening. And the NHS website has lots of information on what steps to take to look after you and your family. https://www.nhs.uk/  

The Self Care Forum also has some useful fact sheets you might like to download. They are designed to empower individuals and help them understand how to take care of their symptoms https://www.selfcareforum.org/fact-sheets/

The important thing to remember is, practising self care is something we all need to do every day. For ourselves.  For our families.  And for the NHS.