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Get To Know How Self-Care Can Boost Your Health And Wellbeing

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This week (13–19 November 2023) marks National Self-Care Week. With winter approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to think about ways in which we can all make small changes and take steps which will improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

Now we are in the colder months, it’s important to prioritise our health and wellbeing, to be prepared for the winter bugs and illnesses, and to know where to go for the best advice, treatment and support when we need it for ourselves or our loved ones.

NHS Greater Manchester’s Get To Know Where To Go campaign, first launched in December 2022, helps people know how to look after their health and choose the right NHS service for them if needed. It’s top tips for self-care week are:

  • Make small changes to improve your overall health, such as taking an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement during the winter months to prevent deficiency, trying to be active for around 20 minutes a day and aim for 7–8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Get to know your local pharmacist. If you get a minor illness such as a cough, cold or tummy troubles this winter, pharmacists can offer advice and recommend the most effective treatments. This means you can be on the mend quicker, without having to wait for an appointment!
  • Be prepared by stocking up your cabinets with items such as painkillers, a thermometer, and plasters. That way should you get ill or have a minor injury you have everything you need to recover at home!
  • Boost your mental wellbeing by taking a walk, talking to a family member or friend or doing something relaxing like reading a book or listening to music. However, there may be times when you need a little extra support. Help is available and you can visit the Get To Know Where To Go webpage to find out about the services near you.
  • Have your free blood pressure check if you’re aged over 40. Your local pharmacist can do the test and talk you through simple lifestyle changes if you need to bring it down to a healthy level.
  • Chat with your GP, if you have a long-term health condition, about steps you could take at home to help manage your condition so that you feel more in control of your health and wellbeing. This could be as simple as using the NHS app to order your repeat prescriptions so that you can get the medication you need when you need it.
  • Give yourself the best defence for COVID and flu, by taking up your COVID and flu vaccine if you are eligible, to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Dr Manisha Kumar, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Greater Manchester, said: “Self-care is so important. Small changes can really help prevent you from getting ill, it can help you recover better, and it can help you feel more able to cope if you have a long-term health condition.

“The winter months, when it’s colder and darker, can feel more challenging for many. We want people to feel empowered to live healthy and happy lives and have the information they need to deal with minor injuries and illnesses at home.

“Of course, self-care is also about knowing when and where to get support when you need it. We want to encourage people to use NHS 111 online or call 111 for their non-emergency health needs.

This will give you advice on the most appropriate service for you – be that a local pharmacist, details for the local eyecare or dental service or signposting you to your local mental health support services.”

Find more information and advice on the dedicated Get To Know Where To Go webpage.