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British Heart Foundation
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Self Care Week

Hi all,

Self Care Week (13-19 Nov) is underway and is creating lots of conversation on Twitter, especially around long term conditions. I’m sure lots of you have a good understanding of your conditions and how to live with them. For others, this may feel like an uphill struggle particularly after first being diagnosed.

For me, self care isn’t just about keeping fit and healthy. It’s also remembering to take care of yourself in all aspects of your life and knowing when you should seek help or advice from your GP or another health professional.

…and that’s not always easy!

What are your tips, methods and stories of self care?

Thanks everyone :)

5 Replies

Hmm, interesting! I think it's important to assess (and reassess) what's important to you/what makes you happy. If you have a long-term health condition (or even if you don't) you probably don't have the energy to do EVERYTHING you might want to, so you need to prioritise. Since being diagnosed with heart failure, I've reduced my working hours and made sure I have plenty of alone time built into my weeks. Reading and sewing do nothing to help my heart but do LOADS to help my mood/mental well-being, so I've stopped feeling guilty about making time for them. Much as I would love to spend all my free time reading and sewing, I make sure to use some of it to keep on top of practical stuff, e.g. planning a week of healthy meals and shopping for it all in one go, sorting out my tablets for the week etc. I don't really enjoy spending time exercising, but know I feel better when I keep active, so I try to incorporate walking into everyday activities that I need to do anyway and go to the gym in little pockets of time that would be wasted otherwise (e.g. in the short window between work and school pick-up). I make the most of offers of help from friends and family, I send my daughter to her granny's for a sleepover at least once a fortnight. I find low-energy activities to do with my daughter when I'm feeling unwell - cinema trips are a great treat for both of us on those days. When I get tired, I do some hardcore resting. I'm a skilled afternoon napper and sometimes I go to bed at the same time as my six-year-old daughter! I feel good that I'm able to relate to people on this forum and can reassure people who are experiencing things I've been through. I like to stay informed about heart health and to feel like I can take some control of my situation. I think finding this sort of balance in my life has made the biggest difference of all to how I feel and how I live with a long-term health condition, it allows me to face up to the reality of my situation without losing what I enjoy about life.


Thanks for this post Laura. I definitely agree that it's so important to make time to do the things you love and not feel guilty for doing so. I'm also a skilled napper - if your body is tired then you should listen to it...nap regret is not a thing! :)


Just a shame it's not the sort of thing you can include on a CV! :)

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Ok here we go. With deepest apologies to my wife, my daughters and my son as I didn't take a blind bit of notice of what they were advising and my own body was telling me.

I tried to do far to much, too soon and too quickly. Relapse after relapse, colds, generally ill, exhausted couldn't see how it would end. So I finally, after another ambulance ride, listened. I slowed down, life isn't supposed to be lived at 100mph, there are flowers to grow and smell.

I realised I wanted to be around my grandkids, 18 months and 6 months old, they are the best thing ever. So I go to the gym, I walk miles, I'm losing the excess weight, I've even signed up for bloody counselling to rid myself of the dark moods.

My wife, I've said it before, long suffering, I'm going to listen to her, im pretty sure she's got some wise things to say so I will listen and head her advice. Same goes for my children. I already listen to my body, but to be honest that part I think we all need to learn.

To echo Laura, assess and reassess, I'm lucky im going to make the most of this second chance, I know I won't be a night owl again, I get far too tired but daylight when I give up work (Feb 1st shush) brings so many other opportunities


Hi skid112 - seeing giving up work as an opportunity is such a great way of looking at it. I'm sure your family will appreciate having you around more. Really hope the counselling helps, that's a brave thing to do.

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