TIPS on looking after your physical and mental health during lockdown – and beyond – are being offered by a district care trust.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust says staying well over winter has taken on even more significance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In support of Self-Care Week, the trust has spotlighted a range of measures people can take to help keep themselves healthy and safe – and reduce the strain on the NHS.

District nurse team leader, Sarah Horsfall, said: “Winter is always a busy time for the NHS and with Covid-19 this year we’ll be busier than ever. You really will ‘Help Us to Help You’ if you take good care of yourself and your family.

“Simple things like wrapping-up warm when you go out and keeping the house warm can help to stave-off minor illnesses. And eating well and keeping active are just as important for your mental health as your physical wellbeing during cold weather and long winter nights.”

A host of information – covering everything from mood-boosting advice to dealing with flu – can be found on the Stay Well pages of the trust’s website, at

There is also a ‘Better lives, healthy futures’ website, at, aimed at parents and carers of children aged up to 11.

In addition, the care trust is providing support for older people who may spend more time than usual indoors this winter.

Its falls prevention team has devised an easy home-based strength and balance exercise programme.

Falls are one of the main factors behind accidents in the home and the most common reason for emergency hospital admissions among the over-65s. One in 20 older people who fall fracture a bone.

But the trust says many falls could be prevented.

Stephen Pugh, physical activity co-ordinator from the falls prevention team, said: “Keeping moving is one of the best ways to prevent a fall.

“Our video-based exercise programme helps to mobilise all your joints and includes specific exercises for strength and balance.

“The videos are easy to follow and just a few minutes’ exercise a day can support you to stay steady on your feet. We’ve got lots of other tips for preventing falls alongside the exercise programme too.”

The trust also stresses the importance of having a flu vaccination this year for older people, those with long-term health conditions or caring for vulnerable loved ones at home and young children.

A spokesman said: “Flu can be horrible, causing symptoms like fever, chills, aching muscles, a headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. And for children or adults with diabetes or asthma, it can potentially bring serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“Check with your GP to see if you’re eligible for the free vaccine and please return your child’s consent form to school so they can be vaccinated.”

Minor illnesses like colds, sore throats, diarrhoea or vomiting – which are common in the winter months – should clear-up within a few days to a week and can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines.

The over-65s and people with long-term conditions are advised to be especially alert to the first signs of illness and treat it early.

Pharmacists can provide expert advice for minor illnesses.