Self-Care Week 2020
It's Self-Care Week 2020!
From Monday 16th November - Sunday 22nd November, we'll be sharing and celebrating all things #SelfCare.
Self-Care Week is an annual national awareness event that focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities, families and generations.
There are lots of positive reasons to practice self-care.
Understanding when we can look after ourselves, when we need more support and when to seek advice from a healthcare professional not only benefits our overall health, both physically and mentally, but can be easily introduced in our everyday routines to provide us with practical, long-term strategies.
Managing our own self care also gives us control and responsibility over our own health, enabling us to tailor our care to our specific, personal needs. If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.
Self-care can be simple, even brushing our teeth in the morning is an act of self care! It's something that lot's of us are doing already. In fact, the Royal College of Nursing estimates that 'around 80% of all care in the UK is self care, from people managing their own minor illness and longer term chronic conditions and generally how they take care of themselves' (https://www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/public-health/self-care).
Now, during the current coronavirus pandemic and as services are increasingly pressured, it is more important than ever before to recognise the important role that self-care plays. Self-care works short-term, such as understanding how to self-treat common ailments and long-term, including avoiding preventable illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Self-care strategies for out future health might include adopting a healthier lifestyle, staying active, eating healthily, only using alcohol in moderation and not smoking.
Despite the current restrictions, it's important to know that the NHS is still here to see you, safely.
Many changes have been made to allow us to observe social distancing measures to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our staff safe. At this time, we want to reassure you that that same level of support from your local healthcare services is still available.
The NHS website offers advice to treat a range of common ailments, from coughs and colds to strains and sprains.
It also offers a range of resources to help you live well. From self-help tips to ways to reduce pain, self-management education programmes to signposting services to support long term conditions: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/
The NHS Health At Home Hub provides access to health and care services from home. You can order repeat prescriptions, contact your GP, find out about dental treatment and more at: https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/
Your local pharmacy can give offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses. If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. Whilst attending, please follow governement safety advice at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
You can find your local pharmacy at: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/
You can still have a consultation with your GP, most of these can be done by telephone or video call so that you do not have to attend the surgery.
If your GP needs to see you face-to-face then this will still take place in the safest possible way to protect you and staff.
Please don’t think you are unnecessarily inconveniencing your GP. Your GP will always be happy to talk to you no matter what.
If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, go to https://111.nhs.uk/ or call 111.
For symptoms of coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.
In a life-threatening emergency, always dial 999.
Self-care at home
Putting self care at home into practice is simple. You can start with small changes and soon welcome big benefits.
In this article, we'll share some of the many resources available including useful guides, online support and information, to support your self-care journey. These are divided into relevant sections to help you find the self-care methods that work for you:
Physical activity is good for your body and mind – no matter how much you do. Regular exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Research also shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, energy, mood and sleep quality.
The NHS fitness studio offers a range of free online videos including aerobics exercises, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga from the comfort of your home. These online videos are tailored to every ability so take your pick from the 24 instructor-led videos here: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/
All of these routines count towards the recommended guidelines for weekly physical activity.
For more free exercise ideas, you can check out these other popular exercise programmes:
This and more at NHS Better Health: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/get-active/
Making small, simple changes to what and how much you are eating and drinking is a great way to exercises self-care.
- Search by mealtime
- Save shopping lists for later
- Learn more about being food smart and making healthier choices
This and more at NHS Better Health: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/lose-weight/
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you'll ever do for your health.
When you stop, you give your lungs the chance to repair and you'll be able to breathe easier. There are lots of other benefits too - and they start almost immediately.
It's never too late to quit.
The NHS Better Health website offers a range of support including the free NHS Smokefree app, a personal quit plan, information on stop smoking aids and also signposts you to your local expert Stop Smoking service.
This and more at NHS Better Health: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/
This self-care week, make time for your mental health.
Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. By incorporating mental health self-care into our everyday, we can reduce stress and maintain our long term mental health and wellbeing, optimising health and happiness.
The Every Mind Matters website offers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. This includes new NHS expert tips and advice on looking after and supporting yourself, your family and loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
Access your personalised Mind Plan, coronavirus and wellbeing articles, advice for helping someone else and also access to urgent support at: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
You can also access a whole host of mental health resources via our website, including the recent articles:
- Coronavirus: Support for adult mental health
- Coronavirus: Support for older people
- Coronavirus: Support for families
Self-care week coincides with Alcohol Awareness Week. It's been a challenging year and it's no wonder that many of us are feeling a little more stressed and anxious than usual. This can cause our drinking to creep up.
This Alcohol Awareness Week, many organisations will be talking about the issues and sharing information and advice on the best ways to look after ourselves and those we love during this difficult time.
You can get involved at: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/alcohol-awareness-week
Check how healthy your drinking is with this quick quiz: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/interactive-tools/check-your-drinking
The Lower My Drinking has been designed by clinical psychologists and behavioural scientists to help you reduce your drinking to a safer level. Download it today: https://bit.ly/2Dq8Y7b
For further support, visit:https://alcoholchange.org.uk/
As we move into the colder months, self-care becomes vitally important.
The NHS webiste offers a range of resources to help you live well, including how to stay well in winter.