Do you know how to practice responsible self-care?
Taking care of our health involves a series of simple routine actions and good decisions. Do you know how to practice responsible self-care? Here are four pieces of advice.
Self-care every day keeps diseases away
Health is the most precious thing we have and it is in our best interest that we stay healthy. One of the best ways to do it is by making healthy lifestyle choices, like being physically active and eating healthily (and supplementing with vitamins & minerals when necessary), having a good life hygiene and avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. As we say: “Prevention is better than cure”.
Use medicines, food supplements and medical devices responsibly
Every day, at any age, life offers us its share of fun moments and happy times, but it also imposes on us many small and unpleasant annoyances. These minor health problems are inevitable, even with an impeccable lifestyle, and have to be accepted as consequences of living. Most of the time, they can be improved and often relieved by self-care products available at your local community pharmacy.
When using one or other self-care treatment for the first time, make sure to ask advice to your pharmacist first and always read the information leaflet or label instructions. If you already have the needed treatment at home, because you already used it in the past, make sure to check the expiration date. If your treatment has expired, don’t take it and make sure to dispose of it responsibly.
Recognize and assess your symptoms, and address them together with a healthcare professional when necessary
Health literacy plays a decisive role for us to keep healthy. When looking for health information, make sure to choose credible sources of health and disease information, interpret that information in order to dismiss when it is poor or misleading. Credible information empowers us to self-assess our symptoms, to decide which self-care products to use and when professional care should be sought. In case of doubt, you should always seek advice of a pharmacist or other healthcare professional.
Monitor by checking for signs of deterioration or improvement, and ask for advice to your doctor or pharmacist when necessary
Self-care is the first step and first choice in healthcare. It supports our health systems, so that resources like emergency and general practice doctor services are used responsibly by those in need. A wide range of health conditions can be self-diagnosed, monitored and effectively treated at home but, whenever necessary, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals are happy to advise. If your symptoms are not improving or getting worse, make sure to consult with your doctor.
Celebrating the benefits of self-care, 24/7, for all, for life
This publication is part of a series of blogs that will be published throughout AESGP communication campaign in the run-up to International Self-Care Day on 24 July.
Under the theme “Self-Care Generations”, we will be exploring the benefits of self-care from early life towards healthy and active senior years.
The campaign will run from 14 to 29 July on LinkedIn and Twitter, and will include the publication of videos, social media messages & cards, blog posts, guest contribution, as well as a set of self-care stories.
Follow us to not miss it!