Self-care can boost people's health and wellbeing over winter, say NHS officials. 

This week marks National Self-Care Week, and with winter approaching, the NHS are advocating the positive effects of self-care in improving physical and mental wellbeing. 

With the country now plunged into the colder months, the NHS say it is important to prioritise health and wellbeing, to be prepared for the winter bugs and illnesses, and to know where to go for the best advice, treatment and support. 

NHS Greater Manchester’s Get To Know Where To Go campaign helps people know how to look after their health and choose the right NHS service for them if needed.

It’s top tips for self-care week are:

Make small changes to improve overall health, such as taking an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement during the winter months to prevent deficiency, trying to be active for around 20 minutes a day and aiming for 7–8 hours of sleep a night.

Getting to know local pharmacists, so that in the case of minor illness such as a cough, cold or tummy troubles this winter, they can offer advice and recommend the most effective treatments. 

Stocking up your cabinets with items such as painkillers, a thermometer, and plasters. 

For more information on NHS Greater Manchester's tips, visit:

Dr Manisha Kumar, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Greater Manchester, said: “Self-care is so important. Small changes can really help prevent you getting ill, it can help you recover better, and it can help you feel more able to cope if you have a long-term health condition.

“The winter months, when it’s colder and darker, can feel more challenging for many. We want people to feel empowered to live healthy and happy lives and have information they need to deal with minor injuries and illnesses at home.

“Of course, self-care is also about knowing when and where to get support when you need it. We want to encourage people to use NHS 111 online or call 111 for their non-emergency health needs.

"This will give you advice on the most appropriate service for you – be that a local pharmacist, details for the local eye care or dental service or signposting you to your local mental health support services.”