For many of us, summer normally means heat and sunshine – and particularly foreign holidays in hotter, sunnier destinations than we’re used to at home.
Yet the on-going impact of coronavirus means that in 2020 more people will be staying at home or holidaying at British resorts.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, one part of life that hasn’t changed is our ability to look after our own health and wellbeing.
We look to health and care services for the bigger, more complex things, yet there is so much about our day-to-day physical and mental health that is within our control – and for most of us it just takes a few little adjustments to our daily lives to achieve this.
We’ll be sharing some messages with you over the coming weeks to help you enjoy the summer safely. – will this happen?
For the time being here are some general messages which we hope will help you:
Safe under the sun
On hot, sunny days, rather than sitting in the sunshine all day, use sun cream (at least factor 30), and spend the hottest part of the day in the shade or wear a hat and long sleeves, to reduce your risk of sunburn and/or sunstroke, and your long-term risk of skin cancer. These simple steps can enable you to enjoy the summer in comfort. Just because you’re in Cornwall and not the Costa Brava doesn’t mean the sun can’t harm you!
If you need to cool down, cold non-alcoholic drinks are the best and quickest way to do this – but they don’t have to be boring. Perhaps try out some ‘mocktail’ recipes.
A good balance
Exercising and eating well are good habits all year round both for physical and mental health reasons. You can tweak your diet according to the season if your activity levels change. The more overweight and sedentary a person is, the greater their risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and also coronavirus. Good weather is great for starting out on a new fitness regime but be careful – strenuous exercise in very hot weather can be harmful.
You’re not alone
Caring for your own health and wellbeing doesn’t mean doing it all yourself. It also means working with others to keep on top of any existing health conditions you may have and managing your symptoms and your medication. Keep in touch with those who are treating you, whether that’s your GP, consultant or a therapist. Remember that pharmacists are highly-trained medical professionals so they can advise you on many minor ailments too.
How are you feeling?
Check in on yourself regularly too. You know yourself best, so you know when something’s not right. Ask yourself whether you need to get yourself checked out by a healthcare professional. Remember, the sooner you’re checked, the sooner you can either have peace of mind or you can start to receive the treatment you need. Problems can grow if you don’t act promptly.
Planning ahead is a very good way to keep on top of your health and wellbeing. By making sure you have what you need for different eventualities, for example by organising repeat prescriptions, by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet and/or first aid kit, you not only make sure you can deal with situations with less fuss, you also reduce your worries and stress.
Where do I go when ……… happens?
As part of your planning, why not learn about what local health services there are at your disposal and when to use them? If you do that now it will help you get to the right service more quickly should you ever need it. Click here to find out more about accessing services during COVID-19.
Have a healthy, happy and safe summer.