How do I stay physically and mentally well?

Looking After Your Body

Your immune system is your body’s defence system. When a harmful invader — like a cold or flu virus — gets into your body, your immune system mounts an attack. Known as an immune response, this attack is a sequence of events that involves various cells and unfolds over time.

Following general health guidelines is the best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

Patient Facing Resources | General Practice Alliance
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – variety is key – mix those colours up and try cooking something new! If you want to find out more this weblink is a start:

  • What you eat can affect your mood – take a look at this weblink, there is short video of the written information provided and several more links:

  • Take a multivitamin if you suspect that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need through your diet.

  • Exercise regularly-there are many free workouts available on YouTube/apps if walking/exercising outside isn’t appropriate for you.

  • Maintain a healthy weight – having a structure for meal-times can help your body’s natural rhythm (wake/sleep cycle).

  • Get enough sleep – keeping a good balance of activities/work/rest is essential for a health sleep pattern.

  • Control your stress level – try relaxation exercises or gentle stretching.

  • Control your blood pressure – singing and laughing are two of the best ways for lowering blood pressure – you don’t have to be in tune – give it a try!

  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation (no more than one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women). If you are concerned about the amount you drink take a look at this website
    where you will find advice and support for you and your family, plus links to local support groups by typing in your postcode on this weblink:
  • Don’t smoke – if you need support there are lots of free aids and advice online and through the NHS smoke-free website/app:

  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and trying not to touch your hands to your face, since harmful germs can enter through your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Keeping a healthy mindset can be hard – especially during a pandemic such as this, however using strategies to assist your mental wellbeing will not only help you stay calm and focused but will support your physical health too!

Watch your anxiety levels – whilst it is good to stay informed and up to date on the latest guidance, too much exposure to the news/social media/hearsay can be extremely damaging and counterproductive for our mental health. Intense fear and worry create release of stress hormones and may interfere with your rest which ultimately can suppress your immune system. It is important to stay calm, guard your thoughts and take practical steps to take care of your mental health.

On this page you will find a host of resources to help you and your family through this time. Some examples include; Online Well-being Groups led by your SPLW and are available through some surgeries; and techniques you might find helpful to reduce your anxiety. It is also important to talk through what is making you anxious. Your social prescribing link worker is here to listen to you and where you feel it would be helpful to link you with local services and support.

Mindfulness is known to help reduce anxiety by focusing our awareness on the present place in the present time and create a feeling of calm. Follow this link to find out more:
It is also linked to breathing exercises and this short video will take you through how to do a mindful breathing exercise:

Deeply engaging in meaningful activities can create a different type of relaxation where you lose the sense of time and when you ‘come back’ to the present you have a feeling of deep relaxation, this is called ‘flow’ or altered consciousness. Take a look at this link to explain a little more:

Action for Happiness have some helpful advice about managing and maintaining your wellbeing.

They also produce a monthly calendar to employ the Ten Keys to Happier Living into everyday life.

Breathing exercises are very helpful to reduce feelings of anxiety and to cope in times of stress. Follow this link to a basic breathing exercise for stress:

This is not the only technique, there are others and it is worth trying different techniques to see what works best to you. For example, the 7-11 breathing technique pictured is one you can use anywhere, anytime.

This link will take you to the Box Breathing Technique – there is a video by Mark Divine, a former Navy Commander, where he demonstrates the technique as well some explanation about how resetting one’s breath help us leave the fight or flight mode that stress can create.

If your head is full of worries set aside some a specific ‘Worry Time’– this YouTube clip explains. Want to know a little more take a look at this website:

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