Self-Care Week 13th-19th November 2023

What is Self-Care Week?

Between the 13th and 19th November, it is self-care week. Self-care week is the annual national event that raises awareness of what we can all do to improve our physical health and mental wellbeing. Incorporating the practise of self-care into our everyday lives can help us to live as healthily as possible.

Self-Care week is a perfect time to think about how we live our lives and maybe make some small changes that will improve our health and wellbeing, and that of our family. Those changes could mean looking at what we eat or drink, or how much exercise we do or how much sleep we are getting. They could be about our work-life balance, because staying connected to our friends and family is also vital to our wellbeing, and theirs.


What is happening for Self-Care Week 2023?

This year, the theme is Mind and Body. Physical and mental wellbeing are both important parts of staying healthy, and there’s evidence that suggests being as healthy as we can also help us to better cope with life’s challenges that come our way.

We can all do lots of different activities and make small changes to our behaviours to help boost our physical and mental wellbeing, including daily self-care activities.

For example you could:

  • Work towards eating a more balanced diet
  • Ensure that you have a good night’s sleep
  • Get outside and notice nature
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Make time for friends
  • Get lost in a good book
  • Count your steps – try to improve on yesterday’s number

In the Sherborne area we have lots of groups that can help you to self-care. Some of these are listed below:

  • The Chatty Café meets at the Pear Tree, 4 Half Moon Street, Sherborne every Monday from 2.00 to 3.30 and is a good place to make new friends and enjoy a nice conversation. Just drop in an you will be made welcome!
  • Sherborne Health walks are free health walks starting from Paddock Gardens, Newland, Sherborne. They set off on Fridays at 2.00pm. Call 07825691508 to find out more.
  • The Sherborne Library is an excellent place to discover new books and also to learn new skills. The library host numerous reading groups and also host the digital champions who can help you with any technology questions.
  • The Wednesday Club is a social group that meets at Richmond Green Community Room, Richmond Green, Sherborne on the first Wednesday of each month from 7pm to 9pm. Sessions feature entertainments, tea/coffee and a raffle. Contact Jane Carling to find out more – email: or call 07814511294

Self-Care Support and Resources:

Knowing what to do and where to go for help is an important part of practising self-care for life.

Remember, it isn’t just the GP practice that can help, pharmacies are also health experts. They are on every High Street and can help with all sorts of ailments. Pharmacists can also signpost you to the right place for additional health advice or treatment. NHS 111 can also be a good resource for health advice for things that are not life-threatening, and the NHS website has lots of information on what steps to take to look after you and your family. NHS Website The Self Care Forum also has some useful fact sheets you might like to download. Self Care Forum 

Getting the right help and services

The winter months are always a busy time for GP Practices.

There may be another service or healthcare professional that you can see to give you the support you need without contacting the Practice. Find the right service for your needs at Stay Well Dorset

Everyone has an important role to prevent illness and minor issues like coughs and colds, sore throats, or ear infections can be easily treated at home with cheap medicines from your local pharmacy without needing an appointment or prescription.

Medicine cabinet essentials include:

Stocking up on these essentials will not only help you feel better sooner and save you time, but also help the NHS save much needed resources.

  • Pain relief (e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen)
  • Cough or sore throat remedies
  • First aid kit (plasters, bandages, antiseptic wipes)
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Heartburn and indigestion treatment
  • A thermometer

We have listed below six common conditions that can often be managed at home

  1. Coughs

Coughs can often be managed at home without visiting the GP. You should rest and drink plenty of fluids to help ease your symptoms. Home remedies such as lemon and honey can also be helpful, while over-the-counter pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen may ease any discomfort. Your local pharmacist and advise you.

Most coughs are harmless and will go away on their own, but if your cough lasts for more than three weeks, contains blood, or you have trouble breathing, we recommend that you contact your local GP Practice.

  1. Colds

To speed up your recovery, we recommend staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest. Additionally, you can purchase over-the-counter cold medicines like painkillers and decongestants from a pharmacy or supermarket to relieve your symptoms.

Most colds last between 1-2 weeks and typically resolve on their own. However, if your symptoms suddenly worsen, persist for more than three weeks, or you develop a high temperature above 39°C, please contact your local GP Practice.

  1. Sore Throat

Adults can soothe a sore throat by gargling warm salt water and sucking on ice cubes or hard sweets. For children, ice lollies are a safer option than small items that could cause choking. You can speed up the recovery process by staying hydrated and getting enough rest. Your local pharmacist can advise you on over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate any pain and discomfort.

Sore throats typically clear up within a week. If your symptoms persist beyond a week or you often get sore throats, we recommend contacting your local GP Practice.


  1. Ear Infection

You can manage the pain and discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, or by using a warm or cold flannel on the ear. Antibiotics are not recommended for ear infections as they don’t alleviate symptoms and the infection should clear up by itself within 3-7 days.

Ear infections are generally harmless and can be easily treated at home. However, if the earache persists beyond 3 days, or you experience frequent ear infections, we recommend that you contact your local GP Practice.

  1. Sinusitis

When managing sinusitis at home, we suggest getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter painkillers for any pain or fever. Additionally, visit your local pharmacist for expert advice or other ways to manage your symptoms, such as using salt water solutions or nasal sprays to clean your nose.

Although sinusitis can be easily managed at home, we advise you to contact your local GP Practice if your symptoms worsen, do not improve after a week or you experience recurring sinusitis.


  1. Conjunctivitis

This is an inflammation of the eye either caused by infection or an allergy. It usually clears with bathing the eye with cooled boiled water within 7-10 days. If however the eye remains sticky with discharge antibiotic drops can be bought for anyone aged over 2 from your chemist. If it is an allergy, then symptoms can also be eased by over-the-counter allergy drops.

Published: Nov 10, 2023