Being prepared through the colder months can make a real difference to your wellbeing - column by CEO Maz Fosh
This week is national self care week, so I thought it apt to talk to you about it, especially as it seems winter is approaching fast! Being prepared through the colder months can make a real difference to your wellbeing and help local services manage any peaks in demand, particularly in urgent care and for emergency services.
Self care week raises awareness of what we can all do to improve our physical health and mental wellbeing. Building self care into our everyday lives helps us to live as healthily as possible. It’s good to think about how we live our lives and maybe make some small changes that will improve our health and wellbeing.
Changes could include looking at what we eat or drink, or how much exercise we get or how much sleep we have. It could be assessing your work-life balance, because staying connected to friends and family is vital to our wellbeing and theirs. Making one small change could make a lot of difference to how you feel.
Being prepared for winter illnesses is also part of self care. Do you have a small supply of over-the-counter remedies for coughs and colds? If you receive medication on repeat prescription, have you made arrangements to cover bank holidays or have enough medication to take with you if you are going away?
If it is particularly cold or the weather becomes icy, could you take the time to check on vulnerable family, friends or neighbours? Do they have what they need to stay well this winter? It’s also a good idea to clear pathways and make sure you have suitable footwear with a sturdy grip before it gets too cold. This can help prevent slips and falls in bad weather.
Knowing what to do and where to go for medical help is an important part of self care for life. Remember, it isn’t just a GP 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.
NHS 111 and NHS 111 online are good resources for health advice when it’s not life-threatening. Contacting NHS 111 first, can save time, as they can book an appointment at a local health facility if you need one.
There is a wealth of information on the NHS website about looking after yourself and your family.
As the self care forum says, practising self care is something we all need to do every day. For ourselves. For our families. And for the NHS.
For more information about self care, visit the self care forum website