Take care of yourself... and others
To mark Self Care Week Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) is encouraging people to make a commitment to do one thing differently in their lives now in order to look after themselves in the future.
Lincolnshire CVS works with many community organisations and support groups which help people look after their own health and wellbeing and its Volunteer Centres and Healthy Living service help people to keep active, involved, connected and supported. It is also working closely with partners to raise awareness and make self care easier.
David Fannin, LCVS chief executive, said: "Everything Lincolnshire CVS does is about enabling individuals and communities to be happy and healthy and we are a natural champion of self care.
"Taking more personal responsibility for healthy living helps you to keep healthier for longer and better manage long-term conditions when they do develop. There are some really simple ways to look after yourself and it's never too early to act.
- Move more. If going to the gym isn't for you, try walking part of the way to work, taking the stairs or having a dance to your favourite songs
- Stop smoking. One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking. Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services.
- Sleep. A good night's sleep is essential to good physical and mental health so don't burn the candle at both ends, make sure you get at least seven hours sleep a night.
- Eat well. Avoid excessive amounts of salt, fat and sugar. Try swapping chocolate and crisps for nuts and fruit for healthy snack options. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
- Relax. We have such busy lives that we sometimes forget to take time out to relax, but it is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Find time in the day to be still and quieten your mind. Consider mindfulness or yoga as these can be helpful.
- Consider volunteering. Volunteers say it gives them a sense of purpose, reduces isolation, anxiety and depression and is a fantastic distraction from our own troubles as well as giving us a "feel good" boost.
"Volunteering can be an incredibly important part of self care as volunteers not only benefit their communities directly in the invaluable work they do, they also become stronger and more highly-skilled individuals who are less likely to need support services themselves.
"Volunteering need not be a long term, regular commitment, it can also be a one-off activity and fit around the time that people are able to give. We have hundreds of volunteering opportunities that people can enjoy."
Find out more about volunteering at: www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk