Make small, simple changes to enhance and protect your health this Self Care Week (18 - 24 November)

During Self Care Week (18 – 24 November), NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging everyone to think about how we can all make small, simple changes to enhance and protect our health.

Get active

One simple change everyone can make is to become more active as it will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air. Whether you choose to walk, run, swim, cycle, go to an exercise class or the gym, advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day.

Other important changes we can all make are:

  • Eat well – start by swapping unhealthy snacks for options such as nuts, seeds and fruit.
  • Make positive changes – start by stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake and getting active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
  • Slow down - take time out from our busy lives to slow down. Mindfulness and yoga may help.
  • Banish those bad habits - make a plan to stop smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Your pharmacist may be able to help by providing you with advice on local support services.
  • Get your rest - 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.

How well-stocked is your medicine cabinet?

One simple change we can all make is ensuring that we all have a well-stocked medicine cabinet and first aid kit to help treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries. By keeping a selection of essential medications at home you can treat common conditions in a timely manner and avoid unnecessary trips to see your GP. 

Our useful checklist of what to include in a well-stocked medicine cabinet includes:

  • Pain killers for minor aches and painssuch as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines for dealing with allergies, insect bites and hay fever
  • Oral rehydration salts for fever, diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • Indigestion remediesfor stomach ache and heartburn
  • Suncream
  • Tweezers
  • Eye wash with eye bath
  • A first aid kit containing bandages, plasters, a digital thermometer, antiseptic to clean cuts before they're dressed, sterile dressings (for larger injuries to prevent infection until treatment can be given by a health professional) and medical tape (to secure dressings or to tape an injured finger).

Please remember medicines should always be kept well out of the reach of children.

Visit your health expert on the high street

Self Care Week is also a chance to shine a spotlight on the support you can get from your local community pharmacist who can help you treat a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets.

People often go to the doctor with common illnesses because they are unsure how long symptoms last and need reassurance that it isn’t anything more serious. Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, consider going to your local pharmacist first.

Pharmacists will 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. Many pharmacies also have private consulting rooms.

For details of your nearest local pharmacy, and opening hours, go to the Find Pharmacy Services pages at www.nhs.uk.

We will be posting useful advice and information throughout self care week on the NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group Twitter (@WarringtonCCG) and Facebook (@WarringtonClinicalCommissioningGroup) sites.

Find out more about self care.