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Ask the Doc: 'Any lockdown wellbeing tips?'

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Exercise can help to clear your head. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Exercise can help to clear your head. Picture: Gary Anthony.

Dr Laura Ryan, NHS 24 medical director, answers readers’ questions in our weekly column.

Q. I’m going stir crazy in lockdown and I’m spending lots of time on my phone. What can I do to look after my wellbeing?

A. It is natural to feel more stressed during a period of lockdown or living under restrictions, however there are steps you can take to manage your wellbeing, mostly involving starting and keeping up good habits.

Avoid your phone – it can be hard to avoid your mobile when lots of us use it to keep in touch with friends and family, however it is a great idea to leave your phone in the other room for a few hours per day, at least before you go to bed. This allows you to disconnect and help calm your thoughts before sleep.

Go on an ‘information diet’– being bombarded with information and a variety of opinions on social media can be daunting and draining. Try and stick to only trusted sources – the Scottish Government and NHS Inform will always have the most up to date guidance on regulations and health advice.

You could also:

  • develop a routine for getting up and going to bed.
  • eat meals at regular times. BBC Food has recipes to try when you’re staying home.
  • set time aside for quiet personal time as well as shared activities - you could read, listen to music, start a diary, or do some relaxation exercises.
  • stay active
  • exercise at home, if possible
  • try playing a video game with friends online, or playing board games and cards with the people staying with you
  • schedule times to catch up with friends using technology
  • try learning something new – there are free courses available on the OpenLearn website

Lockdown has proven difficult for lots of us. There are resources available if you feel you need to talk. Breathing Space is available on 0800 83 85 87, and opening hours are Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am, Friday 6pm-Monday 6am. You don’t need to bottle up how you’re feeling.

Related news: Ask the Doc: First aid kit and vitamins advice

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