Looking after Our Physical health

Our physical health can have a big impact on how we feel emotionally and mentally, but it’s not always easy to maintain healthy patterns of behaviour.

Our physical health can have a big impact on how we feel emotionally and mentally, but it’s not always easy to maintain healthy patterns of behaviour. It’s worth remembering that every small step is a step in the right direction. Sometimes lots of small changes add up to more than one big change that we don’t manage to keep up. But if you’re ready for a big change there’s lots of information here too for that. Everyday routines are important: drinking enough water, eating as healthy as possible, regular exercise and trying to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs. It’s easy to forget or not prioritise caring for ourselves, but just choosing one or two ideas can make a big change in how we feel over time.

I Would Like Advice on Healthy Living

The NHS Better Health website contains lots of helpful advice and tips around a range of healthy living topics, including eating losing weight, exercise and quitting smoking. See Better Health – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

The website includes links to a range of free NHS health apps including:

  • NHS food scanner app to help you to find healthier food swops
  • NHS weight loss plan – 1 12 week plan to help you lose weight
  • Couch to 5k app – running app for absolute beginners
  • Active 10 app – track and build up your daily walks, starting with 10 mins every day

This website includes lots of ideas for healthy recipes: Recipes – Healthier Families – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Addictions Support

NHS addiction support information can be accessed here: Addiction support – NHS (www.nhs.uk) This includes information, advice for families and friends, information on how to get help for drug addiction and problems with gambling.

– North Yorkshire Horizons offer an adult drug and alcohol recovery service. For more information call 01723 330730 (weekdays 9am-5.30pm), email [email protected] or visit www.nyhorizons.org.uk

  • Alcohol
  • Drink Aware: provides the facts, tools, advice and support to check, track or reduce your drinking.
  • NHS Drink Less: includes the Drink Free Days app and other help and support to change your drinking habits for good.
  • Drinkline: free, confidential helpline for anyone who is concerned about their drinking or someone else’s. Helpline 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. See: Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain (alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk)


Problem gambling can negatively impact on all areas of life, including relationships, health, work and self-esteem. There is lots of help and advice available, not only for gamblers but also for their friends and family. Help and information is available.

Gamblers Anonymous: Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience with each other to solve common problems. Aids including a forum, a chat room, literature and a meeting finder (meetings take place every day of the week across England and Wales).

Helpline: 0330 094 0322

Website: www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/


GamCare: a charity dedicated to helping problem gamblers and their families and friends. They offer a range of support services including an online forum, 24 hour phoneline and self-help information. See: gamcare.org.uk

Helpline: Free and confidential, providing information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms (including gamblers as well as family and friends who are impacted). Advisers are available 24 hours a day on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk.


Quitting smoking can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your physical health – even having a positive impact on your mental and financial wellbeing, and protecting those around you by reducing exposure. Smoking can also be one of the hardest habits to give up, but you don’t have to do it on your own; you can get free support from your local stop smoking service and access many self-help quitting tools.

  • NHS Quit Smoking: Provides links to information and support including the NHS smokefree app, your personal quit plan and local stop smoking services. You can access the website here: NHS Quit Smoking


  • Stop Smoking Services: As part of our commitment to help staff be smokefree at work, we have teamed up with Living Well Smokefree, the North Yorkshire stop smoking service, to encourage anyone who smokes to think about swapping tobacco for less harmful forms of nicotine and to encourage them to make a quit attempt.  In addition to specialist personalised, one to one advice, you can access up to 12 weeks of free nicotine replacement products to help you to be smokefree.
  • There are NHS stop smoking services available in all areas. For staff who live and work outside North Yorkshire, you find out how to access free support here: Find Your Local Stop Smoking Service (LSSS) – Better Health – NHS (www.nhs.uk)


Sleep Difficulties

  • Sleep is essential to our bodies and brains and our mental and physical wellbeing can be affected if we don’t get the sleep we need. Feeling anxious or worried can also make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep with top tips and videos on how to get more rest: Sleep problems – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
  • The Sleep Charity: A national, award-winning charity empowering the nation to sleep better. Includes advice and support around getting a better night’s sleep. They also run the National Sleep Helpline: 03303 530 541 (Mon/Tue/Thur 7-9pm; Mon/Wed 9-11am). For more information see: Home – The Sleep Charity


Musculo-Skeletal Difficulties


  • Physiotherapy: If you have a joint, muscle or spinal problem which is preventing you from performing your normal duties you can access free physiotherapy advice and treatment via our Occupational Health service. Email hdft.occupationalhealth.nhs.uk or call 01423 553400
  • Back Pain: More information on back pain can be found here: Back pain – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
  • Arthritis: Information on living with arthritis can be found here: How to Live Well with Arthritis | Arthritis Foundation


Long Covid

If you are recovering from Covid-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact of the virus on both your body and mind. While this should get better over time, some things may take longer and there are things you can do to help.

  • Your Covid Recovery Website:Provides lots of useful information and advice on what to expect and how to help. It includes a section for family, friends and carers of someone who may be struggling with the after effects of Covid-19.
  • Long Covid Supportis a peer support and advocacy group for people living with Long Covid and has lots of useful resources and help available.
  • The Humber and North Yorkshire staff Resilience Hub offer a facilitated peer support group for health care staff managing Long Covid, with a mix of expert information and shared support. Visit hnyresiliencehub.nhs.uk for more information.
  • Nuffield Health offer a free Long Covid Rehabilitation Programme. You do not need to be an existing member of the gym and they have locations in Harrogate and Leeds. More information here COVID-19 Rehabilitation Programme | Nuffield Health

Living with COPD

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. It includes emphysema (damage to the air sacs in the lungs) and chronic bronchitis (long-term inflammation of the airways)
  • COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Many people do not realise they have it.
  • The breathing problems tend to get gradually worse over time and can limit your normal activities, although treatment can help keep the condition under control.
  • For more information see: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Living with Asthma

  • Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. There’s currently no cure, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control, so it does not have a big impact on your life.
  • For more information see: Asthma – NHS (www.nhs.uk)