Self Care Week 2015 takes place from November 16 to 22. It aims to help people take care of themselves, and lets them know what’s available to help them look after their health. The campaign is being run by the Self Care Forum.

What’s the theme for this year?

This year’s theme is “Self care for life” and aims to help you take control of your health throughout your whole life. This includes helping you better understand how to look after any minor ailments or long-term conditions you may have, and how to prevent ill health by choosing healthy options for good physical and mental well-being.

How can I find out what’s happening?

You can find out more about local Self Care Week events through your clinical commissioning group (CCG) or local authority.

What is self care?

Self care means keeping fit and healthy, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and seek help when you need it. If you have a long-term condition, self care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.

There’s lots of information on NHS Choices about how everyone can use self care to improve their health and well-being. You can read about how to:

You can also find a GP, find a pharmacy and find an NHS dentist.

If you have a long-term condition, Your health, your way will show you how self care can help you cope better with your condition and get more out of life.

Read about how to make small changes to improve your lifestyle, and use our interactive healthy living tools to get personalised advice on how to improve your lifestyle.

NHS Choices is also a great place to get detailed information on specific long-term conditions. Look for your condition in Health A-Z.

Many long-term conditions are covered on the site, including the most common ones, such as:

There’s also a long-term condition check to help you find out if you’re getting the right type of NHS care and support for your condition and situation.

You can get health advice 24 hours a day from NHS 111, and you can also use the online symptom checker for help and advice.

Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.

How can I self-care?

Self-care includes the actions you take every day in order to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health, meet your social and psychological needs, prevent and treat illness, and care more effectively for minor ailments.

Can anyone help me to self-care?

Your pharmacist can help you to stock up your medicine cabinet with remedies for minor ailments and illnesses. Some useful additions to your home first-aid kit include:

  • Paracetamol and aspirin, and equivalent syrups (such as Calpol) for children
  • Mild laxatives to relieve constipation
  • Rehydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Indigestion remedy
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Tweezers and sharp scissors to remove splinters or cut bandages
  • A thermometer to check for fever
  • A range of bandages, plasters, non-absorbent cotton wool, elastic bandages and dressings for minor cuts, sprains and bruises

Why should I self-care?

Keeping yourself fit and healthy can help you boost your immunity to illnesses like colds, flu and infections. Making big lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight can also decrease your chances of getting a serious illness like cancer or heart disease.