Self-Care 24/7: Together we can take care of ourselves

Self-Care 24/7: Together we can take care of ourselves

Self-care is something we do all day, every day: 24/7.  It doesn’t matter if it’s morning or night, workday or playday, people expect and need self-care products and support to take care of themselves and their family.

We may sometimes feel that, with all that’s going on with the pandemic,  we are alone when it comes to taking care of our everyday health needs.  Health care resources are stretched to the limit.  Getting a doctor’s appointment is not easy sometimes.  We are working from home and may feel isolated.  But you aren’t alone. The self-care sector is an important part of the European healthcare system and is here for you because we understand that self-care and staying healthy is 24/7.

What self-care is and why it matters to each of us

Self-Care is what we do as individuals every day to be and stay healthy. It’s eating properly, exercising, and getting enough rest.  Self-care is also the pain killer you reach for in your handbag when you have a headache.  It’s the drops you use to lubricate your eyes when they’re dry.  It’s the vitamins you take with breakfast in the winter to boost your immune system and help fight off infections.  And it’s turning to your pharmacist or doctor for advice or looking for reliable information online when you have questions about your health.

Self-care is central to how we live our lives today.  When we don’t feel well, we worry about letting down those who depend on us.  Going to see a doctor isn’t always necessary or convenient, especially when we feel we can take care of it ourselves. We want simple and effective solutions that allow us to get back to normal fast.  At AESGP, we do what we can to make that possible.  We work with our members to ensure the continuous supply of a wide range of self-care products, with reliable product information, to healthcare professionals and consumers.  We go the extra mile by initiating and supporting national campaigns to improve health literacy[1].  Our national members work closely with healthcare professionals to raise awareness of the need for trustworthy self-care advice[2].   And our company members continue to expand their self-care offering by improving and developing new self-care products, including digital solutions to assist everyone in their self-care journey[3].

Why self-care matters to the world

People expect the healthcare system to be there when they need it, no matter what hour of the day or night.  But rising costs and greater demand from things like the COVID-19 pandemic, an aging population and non-communicable diseases make this increasingly difficult.

Self-care helps reduce the pressure on the entire system and is an integral part of a comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention strategy in Europe.  It is a people-centered approach that empowers and motivates everyone to play a greater role in their own health and wellbeing.

What AESGP and its members are doing to ensure healthcare system sustainability

Because a 24/7 self-care world is the new normal and staying healthy as a society starts with each of us, our mission at AESGP is to support access to safe and effective self-care for everyone in Europe – empowering people to take better care of their own and their families’ health. We partner with a wide-range of stakeholders to ensure everyone in Europe has access to the self-care products, reliable information, health education and support they need to appropriately and effectively treat and prevent minor illnesses and common conditions themselves – avoiding unnecessary visits to the doctor.

AESGP and its members are committed to playing their part in ensuring the sustainability of the entire healthcare system by:

  • Working with policymakers and regulators to ensure safe and easy access to a wider range of self-care products across Europe
  • Supporting healthcare professionals with product information so that they can give better advice
  • Promoting health literacy so that people can make more informed choices
  • Driving digital innovation to deliver self-care solutions tailored to people’s individual needs

Conclusion

The world is changing fast.  But some things will always be the same.  We need a good night’s sleep, we want to be able to move without pain, we want to go outside without our allergies driving us back inside.  Self-care is part of our daily wellbeing and our first line of defence in case of minor ailments.  Self-care helps us take care of our health, every day.  But self-care isn’t alone care.  It’s backed up by government, industry and healthcare professionals who do what they can to support us on our self-care journey.  When we all work together to empower self-care, that’s good – for us, for our friends and families, and for society.  At AESGP, we like to say that “Together we can take care of ourselves – 24/7”.

 

[1] Some initiatives include https://www.sns.gov.pt/noticias/2016/06/24/tratar-de-mim/, https://zelfzorg.nl/ or http://www.selfcareforum.org/.

[2] The Self-Medication Manual developed by the Croatian Association of the Self-Medicaton Industry (CASI) is a good example of it: https://www.casi.hr/self-medication-guide/.

[3] See our Position on Paving the way for the digitalisation of the self-care sector (2021): https://aesgp.eu/articles/position-on-paving-the-way-for-the-digitalisation-of-the-self-care-sector.

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