Self-care week is a perfect time to think about how we live our lives and make small changes that will improve our health and wellbeing, and that of our family too. Our Somerset have put together a list of ten ideas to inspire you.
- Reach out to someone for a catch-up. Talking to people we care about via phone or video can be a boost in winter when we cannot get out as much. Spark Somerset have put together a list of warm spaces in the county where you will get a friendly welcome and meet others in your community. https://warmwelcomesomerset.org.uk/
- Get winter light. This season means less sunshine, so get outside when you can. If you cannot get outside, sit near your window. Vitamin D levels can drop at this time of year, so and consider taking a vitamin D supplement, which you can buy at your local community pharmacy. https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/find-a-pharmacy
- Get a veggie boost with some warming winter soups, there are tasty, healthy recipes for all the family on the better health website: https://www.nhs.uk/healthier-families/recipes/
- Stay Active. Research has shown that a daily hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. There are some great walks and trails to discover in the county and the Council website have a handy guide: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/walks-and-trails-in-somerset/. If you are looking for a bit more encouragement, Somerset libraries offer activity tracker watches at 7 of their libraries: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/…/activity-tracker-watch…/
- Know your numbers: Around 1 in 4 adults in the UK have high blood pressure, but many people are not aware. It can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Find out how and where you can get checked and how to manage your risk on our website https://oursomerset.org.uk/working-together/blood-pressure/ . Somerset Libraries offer loans of blood pressure measuring kits free of charge: – Blood Pressure Monitoring Kit – free loans (somerset.gov.uk)
- Be prepared. Spend 10 minutes checking your medicine cabinet for essentials to make sure you are ready for any winter illnesses. There is a handy guide on the NHS Somerset website https://nhssomerset.nhs.uk/my-health/which-nhs-service/#selfcare
- Get winter strong: If you have not already booked your flu and COVID-19 jabs, these can help protect you from getting seriously ill this winter. Somerset has walk-ins and appointments at vaccine centres and local pharmacies to make it easier than ever to get your jab. https://nhssomerset.nhs.uk/my-health/vaccinations/
- Download an app. NHS Somerset have an online guide to free health and care apps covering family health, mental health, fitness, sleep, healthy eating and more. The apps are available for Android and IOS and are a fantastic way to have extra support or advice to make changes to your health or lifestyle. https://somerset.orcha.co.uk/
- Get a personalised mind plan. Answer five simple questions to get your personalised mental health action plan, with tips and advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-wellbeing-tips/your-mind-plan-quiz/
- Find your spark by volunteering. Volunteering is something everyone can do, whatever their age or location, be it in person or virtual, regular, or occasional, indoors or outdoors. It will connect you to your community and you can learn new skills. To find out more about volunteer roles in Somerset visit: https://www.sparkachange.org.uk/
Jeremy Imms, Associate Clinical Director Primary Care at NHS Somerset said: “We all have responsibility to look after our own health and self-care week is an opportunity to recognise the benefits that simple changes can bring in maintaining our wellbeing and keeping us active and happy. If you are feeling under the weather, community pharmacists can also be key in preventing illness and where possible we should use their wealth of knowledge to treat minor ailments. Self-care is nothing less than actions that lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life.”
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset Council said: “Looking after your mind and body is a commitment to your well-being. By looking after yourself physically and emotionally, you invest in a healthier, happier you.
“In Somerset, there is a wealth of support available to encourage self-care for your mind and body. From our libraries offering free loans of blood pressure monitors and activity trackers, to Mindline, the emotional support and mental health helpline open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01823 276 892. Our Healthy Somerset website also has lots of resources and support to encourage a healthy, happy lifestyles www.healthysomerset.co.uk.”