Try to keep yourself as healthy as you can

  • Exercise regularly and try to keep as active as you can. It doesn't mean having to go to the gym and exercise can be fun - a walk in the park, dancing, swimming.
  • If you drive everywhere think about whether you could walk sometimes instead of automatically taking the car out. You will feel much better for it.
  • Try to get some fresh air each day.
  • Eat little and often and don't skip meals.
  • Eat a sensible low fat diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Eating sensibly doesn't mean you have to deny yourself any kind of treats. Some people find that having a few treats at the weekend works well for them.
  • Try to set aside at least 20 minutes each day to completely relax, unwind, listen to music, take a warm bath, meditate, - time for you when you can clear your mind of worries and problems.
  • Learn to notice when you are feeling particularly stressed and try to take some time out to look after yourself. If you keep pushing and pushing yourself you are putting yourself under more stress so recognise when you need to take things easy for a while and recharge your batteries.
  • However busy you may be at work make sure you aren't working non stop to the exclusion of your partner/family/friends. There is no point in having a good salary, good job, working hard, if you work yourself to death - and some people do.
  • Try to avoid too much alcohol or caffeine before going to bed as it can make it difficult for you to get a good night's sleep.
  • Good sleep is essential to keeping healthy and try not to go to bed thinking about problems or all the things you have to do the next day. If you tend to worry towards the end of the day write a list of the things you need to do the next day and then forget about it. Relax before you go to bed and if you find you can't sleep try getting up and making yourself a milky drink and then go back to bed. If getting a good night's sleep is a real problem for you then talk to your GP about it.
  • Check yourself regularly for lumps, any abnormalities. If you do find anything see your GP as soon as possible. It may be nothing to worry about and if it is early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
  • Take care of your sexual health - use contraception not only to protect against pregnancy but also sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If you are diagnosed with an illness, medical condition, there are many support groups and help available. Try to get as much support for yourself as you can. SupportLine keeps details of these so give us a ring or email us if you need help relating to this.
  • Many people go to their GP and come out not having asked all the questions they wanted to. It helps to write a list of questions you want to ask and take the list in with you.

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Agencies which provide information and support

  • SupportLine: 01708 765200, email info@supportline.org.uk - Provides emotional support. Also keeps details of counsellors, support groups across the UK

  • Action For M.E. General Enquiries
    0117 927 9551

    Action for M.E. empowers people with M.E. to fulfil their potential and secure the care and support they need, while working towards a greater understanding of the illness and ultimately a cure.

  • Action for Sick Children: 0800 074 4519, www.actionforsickchildren.org - Parent advice service provides information and support to parents and families who have concerns about their children’s health care

  • Bladder and Bowel Community
    0800 031 5412

    Support for millions of people in the UK who are living with conditions that affect their bladder or bowel. Also support for relatives and carers.

    Request the original toilet access card from the Bladder and Bowel Community. They use the universally acknowledged W.C. signage, giving you the benefit of discrete and clear communication for those moments where you just can't wait to use the toilet. The Just Can't Wait card is now completely free of charge when ordered online. Fill out a few details and we will post your high quality, durable Just Can't Wait card to your home.

  • Brook Young People's Information Service:
    Information and signposting service for young people under 25 on sexual health. Confidential enquiry service via the Brook website. Centres throughout the UK offering free contraception, pregnancy testing and counselling

  • Burning Nights CRPS Support:
    01663 795055

    Support for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) sufferers, their families, friends and carers.

  • Different Strokes:
    0345 130 7172
    / 01908 317618

    Registered charity providing unique free services to younger stroke survivors throughout the UK. Helps stroke survivors of working age to optimize their recovery, take control of their own lives and regain as much independence as possible by offering rehabilitative services, information and advice. Network of different stroke exercise groups, telephone helpline, counselling network.

  • Medical Advisory Service:
    020 8995 8503

    General medical helpline. Telephone advice and information service covering all general medical enquiries. Includes how to change GPs, explanations of operations and surgical procedures, insomnia, mother and baby, cosmetic surgery. Advice and referrals to specialist agencies and helplines

  • NHS Choices:
    Telephone: 111
    (24 hours)

    You can ring for nurse advice if you are feeling ill and are unsure what to do, or for health information on particular conditions such as allergies and diabetes. Can also tell you where to find your nearest doctor, pharmacist, dentist or support group

  • NHS Smoking Helpline:
    Smokefree National Helpline: 0300 123 1044
    Advice, support and information for people who want to stop smoking. Also signposts people to local stop smoking services and sends out leaflets.

  • Pain Concern: 0300 123 0789
    For those living with chronic pain and those caring for them. Information, helpline, online forum.

  • Parliamentary & Health Services Ombudsman: 0345 015 4033, www.ombudsman.org.uk - To make a complaint about NHS services write to: Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

  • Patients Association:
    020 8423 8999
    Information on how to make a complaint, accessing medical records, changing GPs. Details of health related self help groups and associations

  • Seap Advocacy
    0330 440 9000
    Independent health complaints advocacy with a range of services covering a number of areas in the South of England, providing advocacy on issues which include health complaints, mental health, disability.
  • Sexual Health Direct:
    0345 122 8687
    Helpline offering information and advice on a whole range of sexual health issues including contraception, planning a pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted infections, general medical and family sexual health

  • Sexual Healthline:
    0300 123 7123

    Information and advice on all aspects of sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevention

  • Sexual Advice Association: 020 7486 7262, www.sda.uk.net - Help and Advice for all female and male sexual problems.

  • Sleep Council
    Free leaflet line 0800 018 7923
    Advice and information on how to get a better night's sleep essential for good health

  • The Pain Toolkit: Self Pain Management
    A persistent pain problem can be difficult to understand and manage on an everyday basis. This Pain Toolkit website has been developed from the Pain Toolkit aimed at those living with persistent pain and those who support them.

  • Women’s Health Concern:
    Telephone and email advice for women on gynaecological and sexual health problems including the menopause. Factsheets available via website.

  • Worth Talking About:
    0300 123 2930
    Helpline providing information advice and guidance for young people aged 12-18 on sexuality, and sexual health. Issues dealt with include contraception, pregnancy, family planning clinics, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure and relationships

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Useful websites

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