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Comfort Zones now open at your local Well Pharmacy 

We’ve teamed up with former England football captain Terry Butcher, to launch Comfort Zones across all our 760 community pharmacies across the UK. 

We recently completed a study which showed 1 in 5 people are concerned about emerging back into the world having spent the last 18 months staying home to save lives.

To support the local communities we serve, we’re opening up our private consultation rooms as a place where you can take five and regroup before heading back out into the community again.

Terry Butcher, former England football captain and mental health campaigner, said "While most of us are very excited to be getting back to a sort of normality, there is no doubt that mixing with lots of people again and the return to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, can seem very daunting. In the past I have suffered from anxiety in social situations, and I know how helpful it can be to just take some time out in a comfortable, safe space. A bit of quiet time and maybe a friendly chat can make all the difference. So, I’m very keen to help Well Pharmacy support all those people out there who might be suffering at the change in their lives after so long in the coronavirus wilderness. We know from this study there could be millions of them."

As lockdown restrictions start to ease, here are our top tips for staying safe and doing the things you want at a pace that’s right for you.

Take things at your own pace

Remember that you don’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. Take each day as it comes and think about what is best for you. Create your own goals that you want to work towards. Don’t rush yourself, if something fills you with feelings of anxiety, perhaps try a smaller alternative first.

Talk to family and friends about how you are feeling about the upcoming changes. By telling them how you are feeling, they will find it easier to respect your boundaries.

Staying connected with friends and family

Seeing your loved ones is a great way to boost your wellbeing, and is especially important if you’ve been shielding alone, but you might find it feels strange at first. Here are some simple tips you can follow to help you feel safe:

  • Meet outdoors rather than indoors 
  • Meet in open spaces rather than crowded area
  • Wash your hands before and after meeting someone
  • Don’t share items like cutlery or food if you’re eating together
  • Continue to follow social distancing rules 

Going shopping

Follow these simple tips to help keep you safe: 

  • Go at a quieter time, for example a weekday rather than a weekend and early in the morning 
  • Choose shops that are quieter, or have more space to socially distance
  • Wipe down the handles of your trolley or basket 
  • Wear a face covering inside shops
  • Use contactless payment rather than cash
  • Always carry hand sanitiser and use immediately and wash your hands on your return home for 20 seconds and avoid touching your face
  • You may still not feel comfortable going out shopping and wish to rely on family, friends and neighbours to pick up supplies for you and that’s okay too!

Going to medical appointments

Your health needs are just as important as before the pandemic and you should seek the care and treatment that you need. If you become unwell you can still speak to your GP, although they may do this over the phone rather than face-to-face.

If you have a health condition, you may have found that your check-ups have been postponed over recent months. It's important that you let your GP know if you've developed any symptoms since they saw you last so they can decide if you need to be seen. If you are invited for a face-to-face appointment, hospitals and GP surgeries are very safe and are taking extra precautions to protect everyone.

We know this can be worrying, please remember your local Well Pharmacist is here to help if you have any concerns or questions about your health and medication. 

Getting support

Many patients have told us that the pandemic has had a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing.

If you are unable to cope, it’s important that you get the right help and support:

  • Speak to your GP 
  • Anxiety UK Helpline: 08444 775774 (Mon-Fri: 9:30am to 5.30pm)
  • Mind Helpline: 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm)
  • Silver Line: 0800 470 80 90 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
  • Carers UK: 0808 808 7777 (Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm)
  • Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

For more information about anxiety, visit our health advice page.