WEEKEND WEB: Look after you by helping others
HELPING HAND: With the Spalding Volunteer Centre
National Self Care Week is almost upon us and it’s an opportunity to consider the responsibility and power we all have to impact our own wellbeing and how we can improve our own lives, avoid certain ailments, reduce the effects of other conditions and ease pressure on health services.
A perfect example of self care, the Happy Breathers community clinic, recently celebrated its first birthday, as reported in the Lincolnshire Free Press.
The group, supported by LCVS, is very targeted at those with a particular health issue (COPD), but the idea behind it is relevant to everyone.
Self Care can come in many forms. It should be as important to those with acute health conditions, such as those who attend Happy Breathers in a bid to find ways to control and manage their symptoms and access peer support, as to those who consider themselves healthy.
Self care is about avoiding ill health, as well as controlling it. A pledge to take your lunch break, for example, could be an important step to avoiding future physical and mental illness exacerbated by stress and burn out.
The title of this year’s Self Care week, which runs November 13 to November 19, is Embracing Self Care.
Many health issues are aggravated by excessive weight, drinking and smoking. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is an act of self care.
Volunteering is a well- proven partner of self care. It can reduce or prevent isolation and, as a result depression, improve self esteem and engender a sense of purpose, give people a greater ability to cope with their own ill health by taking their minds off their illness or improving their understanding of their own situation.
Peer support, such as roles currently available with SoLDAS – South Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service - is a popular voluntary role and works both ways. In a lot of cases the volunteer gets as much out of the relationship as the client.
Personal relationships can also be improved for those who volunteer as it can be a means to learning skills related to conflict resolution and teamwork.
Home Start Lincolnshire engages and trains volunteers to support parents, for example.
LCVS supports people to take up voluntary roles and helps organisations to find the volunteers they need.
Contact the SVC at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Spalding Volunteer Centre on 01205 510888 and chose option 3.