Self Care Week 2014 (17- 23 November) is a national campaign encouraging people to take care of themselves and the health of their family and is supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing and NHS Choices.
This year's theme is "Self care for life – be healthy this winter" and raises awareness of how many common winter ailments don't require antibiotics, and that visiting a pharmacy for advice and treatment is often your best option.
Self care is essential to good health including losing weight, getting fit, stop smoking, cutting down on alcohol, eating healthy food and managing common ailments at home.
Winter is a time when we are more likely to get ill. If you do catch a winter ailment such as a cough, cold or sore throat it is better to treat yourself by keeping warm and drinking plenty of fluids. Over the counter medicines can help with symptom relief and a pharmacist can offer advice if you need it.
As well as pharmacy support, NHS Choices and the Self Care Forum can provide helpful information on common winter ailments. It is important to remember that antibiotics don’t work on most winter illnesses like colds and flu as these are viral infections.
Before you visit A&E, remember what it’s there for. It provides vital care for life threatening emergencies. Most colds are not serious and get better by themselves.
Contact your GP surgery for advice or call NHS 111 if you develop a high temperature (above 39°C or 102.2°F), which can be a sign of a more serious type of infection.