Share your ‘hacks’ for a healthier life

Self care week poster

What have you been doing this year to maintain good health and wellbeing? Could you share your top tips and help others this self-care week?

Never before has self care been more important and at the front of people’s minds. Throughout the pandemic people have had to find alternatives to socialising and going to the gym. People have become more isolated and inactive but have risen to the challenge for the sake of their health.

As we head in to a second lockdown and into the darker winter days it is the innovative ideas that the Fylde Coast clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) now want to highlight in the hope that others will be inspired.

Whatever you have been doing to stay healthy during the pandemic, take a quick video showing it – you can use social media to record your video if you like, take a photo or just leave a brief sentence and upload it to the CCGs website at www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk/selfcareweek or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #selfcarelifehacks.

All of the tips (known as ‘life hacks’) will be shared across the Fylde Coast to inspire others.

Dr Ben Butler-Reid, a Blackpool GP and clinical director for NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “Self-care is a vital element to prolonged and sustained health and wellbeing.

“The Self Care Week campaign provides healthcare providers, and our partners, with an opportunity to shine a light on this issue and encourage people to do things to improve their health.

“If you do anything that helps your mental or physical health you can be an inspiration to those that need a little encouragement.”

Self Care Week, 18-24 November, is an annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations. The campaign is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.

During the week the Fylde Coast clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will be sharing a series of health tips and advice for people with specific conditions to help them prepare for winter. They are asking residents to share their own tips too.

Dr Butler-Reid added: 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.

“For instance, choosing to become more active will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air.”

Only 20 per cent of our health needs require a trip to the doctors or hospital, the rest are down to things such as environment and our own behaviour. By taking care of ourselves and adopting healthy lifestyles we can reduce our chance of becoming seriously ill and needing medical help dramatically.

Follow these small steps to a healthier you:

  • Get active. During lockdown we can still exercise for an hour a day but just 20 minutes can make a huge difference. Go for a walk before work, walk the dog, or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
  • Eat well. We all know eating well is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Make positive changes. Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week, make a plan to stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and get active. Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
  • A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising, so make sure you get the recommended seven to eight hours a night.
  • These days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.