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Keeping Active – Be Kind To Yourself

As we see worrying figures of positive cases of Covid19 rise in Scotland , the Clear Your Head campaign is encouraging people to keep up the positive new habits they may have started during the pandemic.

Making time to get active and do one thing, however big or small, can help people feel calmer and boost mood.

Clear Your Head gives practical tips and ideas on how to stay active and feel the benefits, including:

  • Build being active into your day by stretching, working out, walking or cycling
  • Be realistic about what’s achievable, start small and build up over time
  • Do something you enjoy, mixing things up to help make it interesting
  • Make it sociable, turning being active into a chance to catch up with people

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

Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health in the Scottish Government  said:

“Life may be moving more as restrictions ease, but this can bring new challenges as people juggle work, family and other commitments. We are living in uncertain times and feelings of stress and worry are understandable as things continue to change, but there are practical things you can do to help you cope. 

“Getting outside and keeping up active habits adopted during the pandemic, even for a short period of time, will help you feel better and more in control. 

“It’s so important to be kind to yourself, and remember that help and support is available if you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling.”

Cycling Scotland and Paths for All backed the campaign, as organisations that recorded increases in cycling and walking rates during lockdown and encouraged people to keep going. 

Keith Irving, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland said: 

“Cycling is great for your physical and mental health. Many more people were on their bikes during lockdown and we heard from so many how much of a difference cycling was making to their mental health, enjoying cleaner air, quieter roads and reducing feelings of stress.

“As we battle against Covid-19 and move through different phases, everyday physical activity is more important than ever to look after our physical and mental health.

“Whether it’s a bike ride at lunchtime, when you go to the shops or at the weekend with people in your household, cycling can really help you fit physical activity into the daily juggle.

“Workplaces, campuses, schools and social housing providers can play their part by working with Cycling Scotland and partners to provide cycle parking and make bikes available to more people. Everyone can help support each other through this terrible pandemic and cycling is a great way of clearing your head.” 

Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All, said:

“Walking is an easy way to reduce stress and anxiety and feel good in body and mind.  Just a 30-minute daily walk is one of the best ways to look after your physical and mental health and, as it’s something we can do from our own front door.

“We’ve been gathering stories documenting how life-changing walking during lockdown has been for many. We’ve spoken to people whose anxiety has melted away thanks to walking. People living alone used walks to see others safely, and feel connected to their communities. Some used walking to have fun as a family, while others walked to relieve stress and enjoy some time away from desks and busy homes.  We’ve genuinely discovered that whatever your situation – a walk can often help.”

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