14th November 2016

Self Care Week 2016

Understanding self care for life

Self Care Week 2016Self Care Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of self care and what people can do to take care of their health.

The Self Care Forum, which organises the week, says that more needs to be done to support and empower people to better look after their own health, especially since people are living longer and our NHS is under increasing pressure.

What is self care?

Around 80% of all care in the UK is self care. It starts with the individual responsibility we take in daily choices about our lifestyle, such as brushing our teeth or eating healthily, and can also be looking after ourselves when we have common symptoms such as sore throats, coughs, etc, where we might use over-the-counter medicines for example. When equipped with the confidence and information to look after ourselves when we can, and visit a GP when we need to, self care is about taking control of our health and preventing ill health in the long-term.

Understanding self care for life

The theme this year is health literacy and self care for life, which means practicing self care to live well and be healthy – and making it a life long habit.

Our self care tips

Eat well

A good diet is important for us to get the nutrients we need and eating a balanced diet at regular intervals can also help in managing migraine.

Move more

If joining the gym doesn’t appeal then there are many other ways to be active such as walking the dog, cleaning the house or getting off the bus one stop early. There’s evidence that exercise is beneficial for migraine too.


A good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health – and, you guessed it, sleep can also play a role in migraine.


Sometimes we forget to take time out from our busy lives to relax, but finding time to be still and quieten our mind, such as with yoga or simply going for a walk, is good for our wellbeing.

Learn more about health conditions

If you have a long-term condition, such as migraine, you can spend time becoming more knowledgeable about that condition. When you have a good understanding of migraine this can help you to have conversations with health professionals and to make informed decisions about treatment and management options. Our website offers you a wealth of information about migraine and you can contact our support services if you have further questions.

Seek advice when you need to

The Migraine Trust advocates self care to complement medical advice. If you have not had your symptoms diagnosed then it is important that you see a doctor for this. You should also see your doctor if your symptoms change, such as increasing in frequency or severity, or if you are struggling to cope and need a review of your treatment and management plan.

If you have questions about medicines, then remember that your local pharmacist is the health professional on the High Street that you can consult without an appointment and many are open until late and at weekends. NHS Choices has information on how your pharmacist can help.

Further information

The Self Care Forum will host a Twitter chat on Monday 14 November from 12noon – 1pm. On Twitter follow @SelfCareForum and use #SCWchat to join the conversation about self care.

Access self care information from NHS Choices >

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