What is self care?
Self care is personal health maintenance. It is any activity of an individual, family or community, with the intention of improving or restoring health, or treating or preventing disease. Self care includes all health decisions people make for themselves and their families to get and stay physically and mentally fit. Self care is exercising to maintain physical fitness and good mental health. It is also eating well, practicing good hygiene and avoiding health hazards such as smoking and drinking to prevent ill health. Self care is also taking care of minor ailments, long term conditions, or one’s own health after discharge from health services. For more information on self care see the following information:
Things you can do for yourself?
Here are some examples of things you and your family can do to self care:
- Self certify off sick for the first 7 days of illness
- Get emergency contraception from a pharmacist
- Learn some basic first aid – St John Ambulance
- Learn about common minor illness conditions
- Live a Healthier Lifestyle
- See the pharmacist for minor illnesses (If you are entitled to free NHS medicines you can still get minor illness medicines free from your pharmacist under the Minor Ailment Scheme)
- Have an up-to-date medicine cabinet/box for over the counter treatments at home, but out of reach of children. (See below for a recommended list)
- If you have a long term condition actively learn more about it and even join a group
- Make sure you take medicines prescribed to you
- Directly refer yourself or a family member to other health services
Home Medicine Cabinets
Make sure you keep your home medicines safe by:
- Keep medicines in a cool dark place away from windows and radiators. Do not keep medicines in the bathroom, even in a cabinet, as they can become hot, humid or damp.
- Always read the patient information leaflet or labels to ensure they are kept appropriately such as in fridge.
- Keep medicines out of reach of children even if medicine is in a child-resistant package. Ideally in a lockable cabinet and kept above 5 feet from the floor.
- Keep medicines in their original container therefore you know what the medicine is, how to take it, any special instructions such as take after food and the expiry date.
- Do not keep medicines that you have finished using. Take them to your pharmacy and they will dispose of them safely even if they have not reached their expiry date.
How to self manage common minor illnesses
Here is some advice on how to manage common minor illnesses:
- Hay Fever
- Vaginal Thrush
- Minor Burns/Scalds