Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups are reminding people of the importance of self-care at home this winter Image:By PrettyVectors AdobeStock_86888499 [Converted]

The importance of self-care this winter

Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups are reminding people of the importance of self-care at home this winter.

Self-care describes any activity deliberately undertaken to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Practicing self-care at home can start by simply making sure you have the right medicines at home ready for when you, or a member of your family, start to feel under the weather.

Over the next few months, more people will start to experience common winter ailments, such as a cold, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or earache.

In most cases, these can be treated with over-the-counter medicines from your local pharmacy.

While keeping a variety of over-the-counter medicines at home can help make you feel better, it is important to remember to keep these safely.

Always read and follow the directions on medicine packets and information leaflets, and never take more than the stated dose.

What should be in your medicine cabinet?

Pain relief:

Taking painkillers safely, such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen, effectively relieve most minor aches and pains. They can also able to help with the common cold by reducing high temperatures.

At home first aid kit:

A well-prepared first aid kit can treat minor cuts, sprains and bruises and reduce the risk of cuts becoming infected. It should contain the following items:

  • Bandages
  • Plasters
  • Thermometer
  • Antiseptic
  • Eyewash solution
  • Sterile dressings
  • Medical tape
  • Tweezers

Oral rehydration salts:

If your body is fighting a virus or bacteria, you may be experiencing fever, diarrhoea or vomiting leading to dehydration. Oral rehydration salts, available at pharmacies, are an easy way to restore the body’s natural balance of minerals and fluid to help aid recovery.


Antihistamines can come in cream or tablet form. They are useful for dealing with allergies and insect bites, all year round. Some of these may cause drowsiness so please make sure to ask your pharmacist for more information.

If you feel your symptoms are progressing, or worsening, please seek advice from your local pharmacist or GP. Visit the NHS website to learn more about what you should keep at home during the winter months.