To help give people greater control of their own health Bay Health and Care Partners are encouraging residents in Morecambe Bay to embrace self care this winter.
Self Care Week has become an annual health campaign and this year it’s running from Monday 18 November until Sunday 24 November.
The tag line for this year’s self-care campaign is Think Self Care for Life. Investing in your future self by making small changes can make a big difference to your life.
Choosing Self Care for Life is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Dr Andy Knox, local GP and Director of Population Health for Bay Health and Care Partners said: “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
“We want to encourage people to look after themselves and each other, and visit the GP when they need to, not forgetting the valuable resource their local pharmacy provides. This can give people greater control of their own health and encourage healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term.
“Self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important and it’s never too early or too late to make small, simple changes that will enhance your health, for instance having a healthy work-life balance. Being overworked can make you less productive, disorganised and emotionally drained. It can also lead to all sorts of health problems, from anxiety and depression to insomnia and heart disease. Taking breaks, setting professional boundaries and avoid overextending can help you to stay sharp, motivated and healthy.”
One way to adopt daily habits that are fun, good for us and rewarding is to remember the acronym CLANGERS, which can help you Think Self Care for Life.
- Connect: With the people around you, your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
- Learn: Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument or figure out how to fix your bike?
- Active: Try to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by leaving the car and walking to work, walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen to your favourite songs.
- Notice: Be present in the world around you. Enjoy the everyday. Savour the moment, and your place in it. Simply slowing down and focusing on your breathing for ten minutes a day can pay huge dividends.
- Give Back: Even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile or a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
- Eat Well: Healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthier options such as nuts, seeds and fruit.
- Relax: These days we have 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 can be really helpful when it comes to reducing overall stress and improving your sleep pattern.
- Sleep: A good 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.
Embracing self-care is also about safely managing long term conditions. If you have a long-term health condition and are worried about how common ailments may be affecting you, or if you want advice on managing your medicines, visit your pharmacist first.
For more information on how to Think Self Care for Life take a look at the series of films produced by Dr Andy Knox and colleagues on how to treat common conditions at home: https://www.morecambebayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/self-care