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Healthy know how

Don’t let ill-health spoil spring

Nobody likes being under the weather, especially when the sun is starting to make an appearance again. Have a bit of healthy know how and keep yourself and your loved ones fit and well this spring.

How to prepare for spring


  • check you have remedies to treat common illnesses at home
  • remember many GP practices and pharmacies will be closed over the Easter weekend, and some may be closed for local bank holidays in May
  • make sure you have enough prescribed medication to last through any spring holidays
  • order any medicines you need in plenty of time

Spring vaccine

NHS Scotland recommends you have the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine this spring if you’re eligible.

Find out more about the spring vaccine

Check you have some medical supplies at home

One way to prepare for spring is to make sure you have some over-the-counter remedies and first aid supplies at home.

Good things to have at home include:

  • paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief
  • antihistamines to help allergies
  • anti-diarrhoeals for diarrhoea
  • indigestion remedies like an antacid
  • mild laxatives for constipation
  • medicines specifically for children
  • a first aid kit which includes plasters, bandages, and antiseptic wipes for cuts and scrapes
  • a thermometer to check for fevers

Your pharmacist can tell you about the most suitable medicines for you and your family.

Remember to always check the label and follow the advice on the pack. Do not get too much as medicines go out of date.

Prescribed medicines

Check in advance that you have enough of your prescribed medicine to cover the Easter weekend and any other public holidays. Your GP practice and pharmacy will need time to process your request.


  • plan ahead
  • only order the medicines you need
  • make sure you pick up your prescription in plenty time before any holiday closures

Accessing medicines self-help guide

If you have run out of prescribed medicine and your GP practice or pharmacy are closed, use the accessing medicines self-help guide to find the medicine you need.

Learn how to manage symptoms and common illnesses

If you need healthcare advice, NHS inform and the NHS 24 Online app may have the information you need.

These have symptom checkers that provide up-to-date and trusted advice about common illnesses and conditions. They can also advise you on how to manage your symptoms safely at home.

If you need further clinical help, the symptom checker will signpost you to the most appropriate service for your needs.

Poster with cartoon person on it and text that says 'Know how to get health info with NHS inform symptom checkers'.

Look after your mental wellbeing

Anyone can experience mental health problems at any point in their life. If you’re feeling down, there are ways you can help look after your mental health.


  • keep physically active when you can
  • eat well
  • try not to rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping
  • maintain social connections with friends and family – keep in touch by phone or online if you’re not able to get out