Healthy living

Self-care

Self care treatment button

What is self-care?

Self-care means taking steps to prevent illness and injury in everyday life through a healthy lifestyle and being aware of your actions.

Self-care is also being able to treat yourself, in the comfort of your own home, when you are suffering from minor illness or injury.

Less time spent being sick means more time to spend with your family, friends and enjoying the things you love.

Daily choices and lifestyle

It is each person’s responsibility, once they are an adult, to ensure they look after their health, and the health of their children.

Ways you can improve your health include: 

Minor illness and injury

Many common, minor injuries and illness can be managed at home with bed-rest or over-the-counter medicine.

Illnesses commonly treated with self-care include:

Injuries commonly treated with self-care include:

NOTE: If an illness or injury is chronic or lasts for more than a few days, seek GP advice.

Managing minor illness and injury at home

Home first aid kits

First aid kits can be purchased for the home and are a good idea. These can be purchased from medical suppliers or from a number of retail stores.

However it is also easy to make up a kit yourself to treat most minor illnesses and injuries.

Your kit should include:

  • band aids
  • tweezers
  • bandages
  • adhesive tape
  • disposable gloves
  • scissors
  • non-adhesive dressings
  • first aid booklet
  • paracetamol (age appropriate)
  • antiseptic cream/wash.

Additional items may also include:

  • thermal blanket
  • resuscitation mask or face shield

Your first aid kit should be stored in a clean, dry place away from children.

Items should be replaced when used or expired.

Minor injuries such as sprains and muscle aches can also be managed at home using a home first aid kit and the RICE method:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression (bandaid or bandage)
  • Elevation

Unsure of what to do?

Call Healthdirect for free health advice any time on 1800 022 222.


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Information about a service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace professional advice. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified professional for answers to their questions.

symptom checker