Covid pandemic puts focus on self care

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Liverpool health care professionals are encouraging residents to “live self-care for life” as part of Self Care week 2020.

The national awareness week, organised by the charity Self Care Forum, hopes to encourage people to make improvements in their lives to protect their physical and mental wellbeing.

Toyosi Awolola, a pharmacist from Sefton, explained there has been much uncertainty surrounding access to health care and advice during the Covid-19 pandemic. She said there are lots of ways in which we can keep on top of our health and wellbeing from a balanced diet, to regular exercise.

“If you’ve got a bit of greenery or a park, do half an hour of moderate to intense exercise, so brisk walking for 30 minutes five times a week. That is very important and helps with your mental wellbeing and physical health as well,” said Ms Awolola.

Following some public confusion about access to GP’s during the pandemic, the pharmacist of over six years also confirmed: “Your GP is still open and you can give them a call. If you can’t go in they will give you a telephone appointment and do some risk assessments and you can still contact your local pharmacy for any other queries on your wellbeing.

“But it’s also important to stay in touch with friends and family to make sure we are not going insane, because we are social beings.”

Last year over 1000 NHS organisations participated in the awareness week, promoting the benefits of self-care, and even more continue to join sharing the positive message. Amidst the global pandemic, self-care has never been more important.

Charity manager Libby Whitaker said: “This year we hope that even more people-facing organisations will support the awareness week and find ways to use it to communicate positive health messages to their audiences.

“Whether that message is about protecting mental wellbeing, preventing disease and illness, nutrition advice, how to stay connected to friends and family during the second lockdown or finding small ways to simply live a healthier and happier life.”

Self-Care week has fallen as we embark on our second lockdown and with more uncertainty ahead, health care professionals hope this week will empower people with the confidence and information to look after themselves when they can.

About Kiva Donald, JMU Journalism