Embracing self-care is about living well and being healthy. Being active, eating healthily and learning when to self-treat common ailments are all ways to embrace self-care.
Winter illnesses can become more serious for people with long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Although many long-term conditions can be avoidable, numbers are still increasing. Therefore, it is important to embrace self-care, making healthy life choices in order to look after ourselves now and in the future.
Dr Andy Knox GP – Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing at Morecambe Bay CCG said: ‘’There are some really simple changes you can make to ensure that you stay well throughout the winter period even if you have a long-term condition:
Eat well – keep a good, healthy and balanced diet – keep the sugars low. Try swapping chocolate and crisps to nuts and fruit for healthy snack options.
Stay hydrated – aim to drink 2-3 litres of water per day. Avoid sugary drinks and too much caffeine.
Take some exercise every day – one of the best and easiest things to do is a 10 minute quick walk after each meal.
Stay warm – wear sensible clothes and keep your house at a good temperature
Don’t drink too much alcohol – The recommended limit is 14 units per week for men and women
Connect with other people – isolation and loneliness is bad for us – check on your neighbours, be a good friend, find a new social hobby to do.
Take some time every day to be grateful – life can feel so much harder when the dark nights draw in – writing down three things every night that you are thankful for before you sleep, does your mental health real good!
Keep learning – do something new – keep your mind active, maybe learn a new skill – focusing on something new is really good in helping your memory and your sense of wellbeing.
Do something to help others out – it’s a good season for charity and kindness, and it’s great for you too!
Trust your immune system – remember, most illnesses at this time of year are caused by viruses – pesky bugs, that don’t respond to antibiotics, but will be fought off by your immune system. If your nurse or GP tells you that antibiotics won’t work – trust them and trust your immune system!
“During Self Care Week, and always, make time to think about the positive steps you can take to embrace Self-Care for Life. Let’s make self-care a lifelong habit.”
For more information on how to embrace 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