NHS staff, patients and carers are being urged to support and help raise awareness of Self Care Week.

The theme for this week, which runs from 14 to 20 November, is ‘Exercise Self Care for Life’ and encourages people to exercise self care to live a happier and healthier life.

The intention with the theme of “exercise” is for it to have a double meaning -the literal sense of getting physically active, as well as the “act” of self care which of course includes the whole spectrum of self care such as daily choices like brushing our teeth, choosing to take the stairs, managing long term conditions, looking after our mental wellbeing, understanding how to take care of minor ailments etc.

In addition to helping people look after their own health, Self Care Week is also used to promote better use of the NHS by signposting people to the right service relevant to their health needs – in particular, signposting people to pharmacy for accessible health care and advice.

The NHS is also reminding you to book your flu and covid booster jabs, if you have not already done so, and help protect yourself – and others – this winter.

Craig Melrose, Clinical Director at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We all have a personal responsibility to look after our own health and Self Care Week is an opportunity to recognise the benefits that simple activities like walking, cycling, gardening and arts activities can bring in maintaining our wellbeing and keeping us active. Community pharmacists can also be key in preventing illness and where possible we should utilise their wealth of knowledge to treat minor ailments.Self care is nothing less than actions to lead to a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.”

As well as hearing from a panel of nurses on what techniques they use to help fill up their own cups, you will be invited to join a short empowerment session specifically created for nurses, delivered by psychotherapist, Rebecca Howard, CEO and Founder of ShinyMind.

Self Care Week is also collaborating with @WeNurses for a take-over and twitterchat. And, organisers have also teamed up with the Royal College of Nursing which has organised a special yoga session - this is free and open to everyone - not just nurses.  Here are the details: 

1) Monday 14th November at 12pm: @SelfCareForum Self Care Week twitterchat launch (#SCWchat) with guest tweeters 
3) Tuesday 15th November: Self Care Forum take over of @WeNurses 
4) Tuesday 15th November at 8.30pm: @WeNurses twitterchat #SCWchat
5) Wednesday 16th November: Self Care Forum / RCN Self Care Week yoga session  (open to everyone).

As winter sets in and the nights get darker, there are lots of things you can do to take good care of yourself.

Some examples include:

  • taking vitamin D supplements, particularly important for those shielding and unable to go outside;
  • good nutrition and regular exercise to support general wellbeing and help maximize people’s immunity;
  • adopting positive lifestyle choices;
  • supporting mental wellness by keeping connected, ensuring a sense of perspective, and taking further steps to maintain your health;
  • understanding how to manage your minor and long term health conditions.

Here are some more top tips for you:

  • Activity is key to long term physical health and mental wellbeing
  • It’s recommend people take vitamin D in the winter to prevent deficiency
  • 30 minutes of activity a day, keeps the hospital bed at bay
  • To help cut down on portion size use smaller plates
  • Binge drinking causes acid related digestive disorders
  • Move more – live well!

For tips to live well the NHS website can help: