Health and care leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire want to remind you the importance of looking after yourself and your health during Self Care Week (18-24 November).
Self Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focusing how you can better look after yourself and prevent any minor ailments becoming worse. It also helps people to know how they can look after their own health, and their family’s health, whilst helping to reduce demand on the NHS.
Follow these small steps to a healthier you:
· Get active: advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
· Eat well: we all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. If you need advice on managing your weight, ask your local pharmacist.
· Make positive changes: take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
· Rest: a good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night.
· Stop: these days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.
Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who give advice and recommend treatments for self-treatable conditions such as coughs, colds, sprains and strains. Many local pharmacies are open later in the evenings and at weekends making them more convenient to visit. You don’t need to book an appointment – saving you time and helping take the pressure off the NHS.
Dr David Spraggett, GP and Chair of South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Doctors often see people with common illnesses and ailments such as coughs and colds because they are unsure how long symptoms will last and need reassurance it isn’t anything more serious. Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, consider going to your local pharmacist first.
“Pharmacists will give you advice on how to self care and help you choose the right treatment for your illness and can explain the normal duration of symptoms. They can also offer you help to stop smoking, manage your weight, and can often provide flu jabs and blood pressure checks – all of which can help you improve your overall health and wellbeing.
“If you have a cold or flu virus it is worth remembering that antibiotics won’t help. In fact, taking them can reduce their effectiveness when they are needed.’’
Other ways you can easily access health information includes using information on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/staywell. The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobiles.
Choose to feel confident about managing your health and take a trip to your local pharmacist. Choose self-care for life.