Self care

Self care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional. If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.

Some of the most common ailments can be treated simply with over the counter medications and advice from your pharmacy. 

  • Take vitamin D supplements, especially if you’re unable to get outside regularly.
  • Boost your natural immunity to colds and viruses with good nutrition and regular exercise.
  • Support your mental wellness by keeping connected to friends and family.
  • Note your daily achievements and celebrating the little things.
  • Learn something new every day and taking time to notice the world around you.
  • Get plenty of fresh air.
  • Speak to a local pharmacist to review your medication if you have a lot of medications.
  • Make sure you have a fully stocked medicine cabinet.
  • Speak to your GP practice about the best way to exercise, eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight or quit smoking (social prescribing link workers at GP practices can help you with this).

Do you know how long common conditions usually last? Your community pharmacist can help you manage your symptoms and help you decide whether you need medical treatment for a huge range of common conditions.

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It can cost less than £10 to fill your cabinet with recommended medicines and be prepared if you or a loved one fall ill.

We recommend everyone has these items included in their medicine cabinet:

  • A first-aid kit, including bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape for dressings and tweezers
  • Pain relief such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen for aches, pains and high temperatures
  • Oral rehydration salts to replace lost minerals and fluid after a fever or vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets to relieve symptoms of diarrhoea, although these will not help with the underlying cause
  • Antihistamines which can help with allergies
  • Indigestion relief remedies

Visit NHS 111 Online if you need some advice.

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Take a look at our self-care advice videos for tips on looking after yourself.


Athletes foot

Back pain

Bites and stings

Chicken pox





Cradle cap


Ear infections

Ear wax




Heartburn and indigestion

Long-term conditions


Sore throat

Sprains and strains

Watch our experts discuss the services available to help you self-care.

Type 2 diabetes prevention 

Psychological practitioners

Social prescribing link workers 

Community pharmacies 

If you are visually impaired we have also produced the below self-care audios in MP3 format that you can download.

Accessibility tools

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