We’re asking people across the district to ‘make one change’ as part of this year’s Self Care Week which runs from 14 – 20 November. We’re all being challenged to make a change which we can stick to throughout the year which will make us feel good about ourselves and improve our health and wellbeing. Sounds easy? It really is…honest!
So what sort of changes can we make?
Let’s have a go at changes that are simple and realistic (often the best place to start) because they’re achievable and really do make a difference. Here are some suggestions to think about:
- Cutting down the amount of sugar in tea and coffee
- Taking a brisk walk for 10 minutes a day
- Keeping a day alcohol free each week
- Having an extra portion of fruit and vegetables
We find that making changes can be easier when done with others, so making pledges with family, friends or work colleagues is a good place to start. For those wanting to overcome a greater challenge, such as reducing or stopping smoking, there is support available online or by calling the Bradford District Stop Smoking Service on 01274 437700.
Events, information and advice
This year for Self Care Week there are events taking place across the district designed to help us understand how a simple lifestyle choice can make such a big difference to our long-term health and wellbeing. Some of the many things on offer at the events include home energy checks, blood pressure and BMI checks, dental health, winter home safety, flu prevention, diabetes screening and treating minor ailments – and a chance to meet Billy Bantam!
Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council, and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing said:
“It’s great to see so many organisations getting together and supporting Self Care Week. Whether you are eight or eighty, anyone can make one small change to their lifestyle to improve their own life and it’s never too late to make a difference. It’s not just about being healthy; it’s about feeling good about yourself and improving your mental health.”
As well as using self care to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are some great resources available to support people with existing conditions. Information is available and booklets have been produced to support anyone with asthma, dementia, heart failure, stroke and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The packs are designed to support and empower people to feel more confident about self care, maintaining independence, control and responsibility. The booklets can also be used by carers.
Why self care?
Self care enables us to look after our own health better when it comes to self-treatable conditions such as coughs and colds, how to manage more serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and how to maintain good health and wellbeing to help prevent illness. Self care is important and it’s about people doing more for themselves, either with support or individually. People will feel more confident to manage their health and wellbeing because they understand their own needs and know where to access help and support when it’s needed.
Health and social care pressures
The Local Government Association has produced a report this week which highlights the benefits of self care in reducing pressures on health and social care services. The report ‘Helping People to Look After Themselves‘ calls for a culture of care to help reduce pressures on health and care services, and highlights the high number of visits to GP surgeries by people with minor ailments such as colds, sprains, headaches and insect bites. Professor Ian Banks, self care forum trustee and former A&E doctor, said:
“Most people are entirely capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it. Self care is not no care; far from it, for example you will find the local pharmacist an excellent source of health advice and information. There are also reputable health information websites such as NHS Choices or the Self Care forum website.”
Sharing your Make One Change successes
We’re keen to see what’s being done across the district as people rise to the ‘Make One Change’ challenge. You can share your successes on twitter @HealthyBrad4d #mk1change #SelfCare4life.
You can find out more about the challenge and what’s on during Self Care Week by visiting the website, or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck with the challenge!