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'Go at your own pace' urges NHS campaign as lockdown eases

By Alan Beresford

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PEOPLE in the north-east are being encouraged to take things at their own pace as Covid restrictions ease.

The call comes as research reveals almost half of Scottish adults (43 per cent) who have met up with others have found it more overwhelming than expected.

The Scottish Government’s Clear Your Head campaign has been designed to help people look after their mental health as life gets busier, providing hints and tips to help those feeling nervous or overwhelmed.

With research showing over half of adults (55 per cent) in Scotland are still worried about the coronavirus situation, tips to help feel calmer include keeping active, staying connected with others, planning ahead before leaving the house, being around nature and taking deep breaths.

The campaign also signposts helplines for those who need to talk to someone about how they are feeling, including NHS24, Breathing Space, SAMH and the Samaritans.

Principal Medical Officer, Dr Alastair Cook said: “As we gradually come out of lockdown and life gets busier, it’s important to continue to look after ourselves, and others.

"Each change brings another adjustment, and whilst many will welcome having more freedoms, feelings of worry are natural as we start to go out more.

“This survey indicates people are at different stages in their journey out of lockdown, and it’s encouraging to see many are taking things at their own pace. Simple steps such as mentally preparing yourself for meeting up with others, getting regular exercise, keeping in touch with friends and family and getting outside as the weather starts to improve can help you cope as things change.

“If you’re feeling anxious, try to limit the time you allow yourself to worry and take deep breaths if you start to feel overwhelmed. Remember that support is there if you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling.”

Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Kevin Stewart, said: “We have lived with necessary restrictions on our lives to reduce the transmission of coronavirus for a long time now.

"As these restrictions ease, many people are understandably nervous or worried about the changes. We have all had to cope and adapt to control the virus and now we are having to cope and adapt to new freedoms.

"It is more important than ever to look after our mental health and wellbeing. This campaign highlights the things we can do to look after ourselves, and each other.”

To find other tips to help you cope, visit clearyourhead.scot

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