Engaging and empowering people to choose self-care for life and make self-care a life-long habit is the theme of this year’s Self Care Week which launches today.
Whether it is about prevention, physical health and mental wellbeing, self-treatable conditions, or antibiotic use, this week raises awareness of the huge benefits of people looking after themselves better.
Health and care organisations across Lincolnshire are encouraging people to:
Choose self-care for your life and your family’s life
Self-care from cradle to the grave
Understand how to self-care for the important people in your life
Make self-care a life-long habit
Self-care from head to toe, today and every day
Dr Stephen Baird, GP and Chair of Lincolnshire East CCG said: "it’s never too early or too late to begin to make small, simple changes that will enhance and protect your health now and, in the future, and often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.
"Choosing self-care for life is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.
“Invest in your future self by making small changes that can make a big difference.
“Make positive changes! Be more active, eat well, cut down on bad habits, get a good night’s sleep, or find time in your day to slow down and stop. Often prevention is better than cure.”
Llara Munn from Active Lincolnshire, said "moving is good for your body and mind, and can boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood.
“Being active is the best way of keeping fit and healthy, and with 66% of adults and 33% of children in the UK being overweight or obese it is time for all us to take action. As little as 15 minutes a day of moderate activity can slow down the aging process.
“Even at work you can be more active, and we are challenging all workplaces in Lincolnshire this year to have at least ONE ‘walk and talk’ meeting and for employers to encourage active lunchtimes.”
Jonathan Harper from Scotter near Gainsborough was nominated for an Active Change Award in recognition of how he has used physical activity to transform his life.
He said: “I was in my early fifties, massively overweight with type 2 diabetes and awaiting bariatric surgery. I knew that something had to change.
“I discovered walking football by chance when a friend recommended it and it has transformed my life.
Since starting, Jonathan has lost three stones and has started to feel much healthier.
He added: “In addition to weight loss, the football has given me a new lease of life and ignited a passion in me for sport. It’s not just the physical benefits, but the social aspects and the sense of confidence it has given me.”
It’s not just physical health that’s important. Having good mental health can help you feel better, sleep better and support you in doing the things you want to do. It can also help you have more positive relationships with those around you.
There is also a wealth of information available on the One You website to help you look after yourself when feeling anxious, low or down, or stressed.
Self-care can help you manage most of common conditions such as backache, headache or cough. It may mean you don’t have to spend time waiting to see your GP but can get on and start tackling your symptoms. Self-care for common conditions can also help free up some of your GP’s time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.
Using the right health service for your health needs will save you time and help take pressure off the NHS. If you are unsure, speak to a pharmacist, call 111 or visit the website www.asaplincs.nhs.uk.
Support is also available for people with social, emotional or practical needs.
Voluntary Centre Services is working in partnership with NHS and social care services to offer social prescribing in the west area of Lincolnshire. Their role is to enable health and care professionals to connect people with community services and opportunities that support wellbeing.
Yvette Foster, Social Prescribing Navigator at Voluntary Centre Services said she had already helped a number of people who simply needed some more support around them in the community.
She said: “One lady we helped was having mental health issues regarding anxiety and some low mood. She had slipped off the school radar and had also gotten to a point where she needed support to leave her own home which was putting added pressure on her when it came to seeking employment support.
“We spoke about what was important to her and she said she was passionate about history and heritage. I asked if she had ever been to the local Heritage Centre here in Gainsborough. She’d never been and I offered to take her along so that we could have a tour around the building.
“When we arrived she was in her absolute element. The look on her face said it all. While we were still there she took an application form to volunteer and has been volunteering ever since our visit!”
Living with a long-term condition also brings challenges and it’s important to have the confidence, support and information to manage your health. Self-care can help you make the most of living with your condition, rather than avoiding or missing out on things because of it. Self-care puts you in control.
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