Self-Care Week is the annual national event organised by the Self Care Forum, to raise awareness of what we can all do to improve our mental and physical health. This year, the theme is Practice Self Care for Life.
Self-Care Week is a perfect time to think about how we live our lives and maybe make some small changes that will help us take better care of ourselves and our families. Those changes could mean looking at what we eat or drink, how much exercise we do, or how much sleep we are getting. They could be about our work-life balance, because staying connected to our friends and family is also vital to our wellbeing, and theirs. Looking after ourselves can help us to cope better when challenges come our way.
At the start of this year, as we headed into another national COVID-19 lockdown, NHS staff from across Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) – the largest provider of mental health and disability services across the North of England – shared their advice for looking after our wellbeing.
You can watch the series here, ranging from advice on getting a good night’s sleep, to avoiding burnout at work:
You can also read the list of tips on our website.
CNTW also has a range of award-winning self-help guides that are available online in a range of accessible formats, including British Sign Language. They cover topics such as alcohol, anxiety, bereavement, depression, sleeping problems, and more. The guides are available for free online at www.cntw.nhs.uk/selfhelp.
Knowing what to do and where to go for help is also an important part of practising self-care for life. If you are struggling and need some more support, you can refer yourself to your local NHS Psychological Wellbeing Service. Find your local Psychological Wellbeing Service here.
If you need urgent help with your mental health, our Freephone crisis phone numbers are available 24/7.
The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network also has a directory of services, helplines and resources that might be useful to you.
The important thing to remember is, practising self-care is something we all need to do every day. For ourselves. For our families. And for the NHS.