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Look after yourself if you’ve a health condition

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

The person best placed to look after your health and wellbeing is YOU. So, this might be to prevent you developing a condition such as hypertension (raised blood pressure), or being calm whilst you await resolution of a flare up of asthma, or relieving symptoms like headache by treating yourself and learning to tolerate symptoms like muscle weakness that won’t resolve. So, take ownership of your own health, wellbeing and fitness and find suitable ways of helping yourself.

Self-care is a continuum, starting from taking responsibility for the daily choices you make about your lifestyle habits such as (not) smoking or eating (un)healthy food. Self-care may also relate to your work/life balance, or hobbies - doing sensible gym activities rather than ridiculously extreme body building for instance. So, push the boundaries for self-care to the maximum that is safe and comfortable for you, or other family members you look after.

Next up is shared care - between you and the doctor or nurse looking after you, if you have a long-term health condition. Shared decision making is the middle ground between informed choice, where decisions are left entirely to you as the patient, and traditional, paternalistic medical decision making when a bossy doctor instructs you as to what will happen next. So, what’s best is two-way information (medical and personal) between your doctor/nurse and you, concerning all options for treatment and self-care that are available for you to select. The final decision about your treatment should be made jointly between you both.

Digital aids, Apps and Websites

The Craving Coach app is designed for people who have been advised to quit smoking, improve their diet or reduce their alcohol intake. With 3D videos and images, it provides short ‘nudges’ that may help you keep on track.

The app is available at:

Or search for ‘Craving Coach’ on the App Store or Google Play.

The NHS Quit Smoking app provides motivation and support to

quit smoking and helps to track the days you’ve been smoke free; it also has a savings calculator.

The app is available at:

Or search for ‘NHS Quit Smoking’ on the App Store or Google Play.

The Manage your Health app provides information on COPD and asthma and other health conditions. When accessing the COPD section learn how to better manage COPD (including managing exacerbations, information and using inhalers effectively).

The app is available at:

Or search for ‘Manage Your Health’ on the App Store or Google Play.

If you want to know more about what digital aids you can use for your own health and wellbeing and weigh up your choices, take a look at:

Find out more information about hypertension:

or living with AF:

and from the Arrhythmia Alliance:

Or check out our handbook for more detail on digital tips and suggestions for health conditions like asthma, raised blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Chambers R, Stather P, McGibbon K: Digital aids for self-care of your health and wellbeing.

You can purchase an Amazon kindle or paperback copy at

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