Stoke-on-Trent residents are being encouraged boost their health and wellbeing by following eight tips for small changes that can make a big difference.
The eight tips are:
1. Enjoy alcohol sensibly: Cutting down on alcohol has lots of benefits to mental and physical health. Drink-free days are good way to cut down. Help and support is available for anyone struggling with the impact of drugs or alcohol from the Stoke-on-Trent Community Drug & Alcohol Service at www.scdas.org.uk.
2. Quit smoking: It’s never too late to get the health benefits of quitting and there are plenty of support options available. NHS advice is that replacing cigarettes with nicotine vapes can help with quitting and they are less harmful than cigarettes. Free support is available from the Stoke-on-Trent stop smoking service at www.stoke.gov.uk/smokefree.
3. Look after mental health– Mental health is as important as physical health for wellbeing. There are five steps that can improve mental health and wellbeing: connecting with other people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and paying attention to the present moment. Residents can also get their personalised mental health action plan from Every Mind Matters at https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-wellbeing-tips/your-mind-plan-quiz/
4. Eat well – Eating a healthy, balanced diet can protect against some diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Small changes to diet such as having food and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar less often and in small amounts, can make a big difference. Residents who are struggling can get support from Stronger Together Through Winter, including information on food vouchers. Information on Healthy Start Vitamins for pregnant women and babies under one can be found at https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/getting-vitamins/.
5. Keep active – Staying active can help physical and mental wellbeing. Anything from an intense workout or brisk walk or an activity such as gardening can be beneficial.
6. Get any health checks or screenings you are invited to – Health Checks and screening can spot any early issues so treatment can be offered or information given.
7. Get plenty of sleep – Good-quality sleep can improve mental and physical health. It can be helpful to get into a daily sleep routine, manage anxiety and worries, create a restful environment and avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or a large meal too close to bedtime.
8. Get vaccinated – Residents are advised to get themselves and their children up-to-date with their vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine, when invited to do so by the NHS. Visit www.nhs.uk for more information.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health said: “Helping our residents to live their lives well is one of our key priorities as a city council and we want everyone to be as healthy as possible.
“These tips are important but achievable changes that will make a huge difference to our health and wellbeing. You don’t have to go tee-total or give up sweet treats entirely if you don’t want to but sometimes small changes can have a big impact.
“There is lots of help and support available in the city and I’d encourage anyone who needs it to reach out.”
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Chief Medical Officer for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB said: “Very often the person who is best placed to have an impact on your health and wellbeing is you. Following some simple steps can often help you stay fit and healthy, any there is plenty of help and advice out there.”
Details on mental health support, benefits, food vouchers, Welcoming Spaces and more are available through the Stronger Together Through Winter Campaign at http://sottogether.vast.org.uk/ or call 01782 208200 (Monday to Friday, 2pm – 7pm).