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Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure that we are all looking after our physical as well as mental health.

In this section you’ll find tips, advice, guidance and links to resources that we hope will support you over the coming weeks and months in relation to:

  • Looking after your mental wellbeing
  • Staying Active
  • Eating Well

Looking after your mental wellbeing

We’ve all had to adapt to new challenges and a different way of living as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Scottish Government guidelines on what we can and can't do when we are out and about have been put in place to help prevent any further outbreaks of the virus but unfortunately they can also leave people feeling stressed, anxious or scared. This is normal - most of us have never experienced anything like this before. So now, more than ever, it’s important to look after our mental wellbeing.

Below you will find links to support groups as well as helpful hints, tips and advice to help you cope during the more difficult times.

Where can I get support?

It’s good to talk to family or friends but it’s important to recognise that there may be times when you might need a bit of extra support.

If you feel that things are starting to get on top of you, you feel isolated or you’ve noticed little things like changes to your mood, speak to your line manager or you can get support from our employee assistance programme, PAM Assist. It is available 24 hours and you can contact them on 0800 882 4102 or through their website via the link given. (user name: ClackmanEAP, Password: ClackmanEAP1).

However, if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone at work, there are plenty of other organisations who will be able to help and support you. 

New online wellbeing hub

A national wellbeing hub to help health and care staff look after their physical and mental health comtinues to be available at www.promis.scot . It offers staff, carers, volunteers and their families access to relevant support, providing advice on self-care and personal resilience.

Domestic Abuse support

If you or anyone you know would like more information on domestic abuse, please refer to our web page by following the link given.

What can I do to maintain my health and mental wellness?
  • Keep a regular schedule
    • Create and maintain a routine and schedule. Set up a designated space for you and each family member to work and learn. Don't forget to include breaks for recharging and make sure you take lunch breaks. It’s important to eat and drink well and regularly and consider setting a bedtime during the week to make sure you get into a good sleep pattern and get plenty of rest. 
  • Stay connected
    • Stay in touch with family, friends, and support systems. Talk about your fears and concerns with people you trust or just use the time to escape Chances are they are feeling the same way.
  • Stay informed
    • Knowledge is power, and it's good to stay updated on progress being made in combatting the virus. Stay informed on the latest updates from reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Limit media consumption
    • In these days of 24 hour rolling news bulletins, its easy to have “information overload” so try and avoid continuous exposure to news, media, and social media that may trigger or elevate anxiety, stress, or panic. Stay informed by following few, authoritative resources, but limit media consumption.
  • Avoid speculation and rumour
    • With so much information available, it can be overwhelming so its important to get you information from trusted sources such as NHS Inform, Scottish Government , UK Government or the World Health Organisation. 
  • Exercise regularly
    • The Government recognise the importance of regular exercise not only for physical health but also for mental health and are encouraging people to get outside every day. Walking is a great way to clear some head space, get some fresh air and a change of scene! Whether its walking, running or cycling build some time into your daily routine.
Sleep Improvement & Anxiety Management Digital Apps

NHS Scotland has recently partnered with Big Health to provide free access to Sleepio and Daylight for all health and care staff to help protect their mental health throughout the COVID-19 response.

  • Sleepio - a highly personalised, digital sleep improvement programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that gets to the root of stubborn poor sleep. Sleepio users interact with The Prof, their virtual sleep expert, who teaches them evidence-based skills via 6 weekly video sessions. You can access the Sleepio website here. 
  • Daylight - an app that will teach you ways to manage worry and anxiety in your life. Through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques, Daylight offers audio-led guidance tailored to your unique problematic thoughts, behaviours, and responses to worry and anxiety. The programme introduces you to a range of techniques and guides you through daily practice sessions. You can access the Daylight app here.

Is there anything I can do if I think a colleague or friend is struggling?

Social distancing has eased and we are now able to meet up with more friends and family, albeit in small groups, however many people may still be struggling and feel anxious about returning to work or adjusting to the "new normal" way of living.

If you think that someone may be struggling, it’s important to stay connected with the person. A simple visit, phone call, email, text or Whats App message can make a big difference. 

It’s the little things which mean a lot to someone feeling lonely and it can help them to understand their feelings or help ease their anxiety.

If you’re worried about a colleague, you should let your manager know. They can set up weekly one-to-ones and small team chats over the phone or create a virtual safe place for people to talk about how they are feeling. 

How do I talk to my children about Coronavirus?

If you’re worried about the effect that the Coronavirus pandemic is having or has had on you’re children, then it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone!

Pick the right moment, listen to their concerns and then be honest and open with them. Try and answer their questions as best as you can and focus on the many acts of kindness taking place with people helping in their community and tell them what they can do to help.

You can find more information and tips at:

Staying Active

It’s well documented that taking some form of exercise is not only good for your physical health but also you’re mental health, so staying active is really important.

Being physically active helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol and can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also help to keep your immune system working effectively. As well as this, keeping active is a great way ward off some of the psychological issues associated with being cooped up for an extended time and as research has shown, it can promote the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins.

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of “moderate” activity or 75 minutes of “vigorous” activity – or a combination of both – per week. But it’s important that whatever activity you do, you should do this to a level that you are comfortable with and follow Scottish Government guidance when exercising outside, including staying 2m away from others.

I’ve never exercised before, how should I start?

Visit NHS Live Well to get a better understanding of how much and what type of exercise you should do. The page also has physical activity recommendations for early childhood, young people and older adults.

Take it one day at a time and build yourself up gradually.

I normally stay fit by taking part in exercise classes. What can I do now to keep this going and involve my family?

Since the lockdown, there are a number virtual exercise options from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions to Yoga and Pilates classes.

So if exercise classes are your thing, or you’re just looking for ideas of how to stay active with children, here’s just a few free options for you to consider:

  • NHS Fitness Studio
    •  Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across our aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories.
  • The Body Coach
    •  You’ll find more than 250 workouts with a range of intensity to suit all ages so you can get the whole family involved!
  • CorePower Yoga
    • Every day, the US-based yoga studio chain is streaming classes on its YouTube channel at 2pm and 7pm (Briitish Time)
  • ParentClub Scotland
    • There’s lots of suggestions and tips on how to stay active with kids during lockdown 

Eating well

What we eat is just as important as exercise to make sure we all stay as healthy as possible during the Coronavirus outbreak.
You can get advice and guidance on healthy eating from the NHS Eat Well.

Plan your meals

Online shopping slots can help you cut down on trips to the supermarket and avoid the queues by creating a weekly menu and a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need. It can save you money and help limit your food shopping to once a week.

Inspiration for budget friendly meals
  • BBC Good Food has a range of healthy recipe ideas that won’t break the budget.
  • Chef Jack Monroe has come up with a range of tasty budget friendly options on their website Cooking on a Bookstrap.
  • The Good to Know website also has a range of family recipes, some for £1, which are simple and quick to make.