HEALTH chiefs in Ayrshire are encouraging people to look after their physical and mental health amid the cold dark nights.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran says those going through a difficult patch, feeling stressed, anxious or low, can visit the Scottish Government’s Mind to Mind campaign, hosted on the NHS Inform website, as it offers practical tips.

Dr Alastair Cook, principal medical officer, said: "It can be difficult at this time of year when it’s cold, dark and people have added worries.

"Looking after your mental health though is as important as looking after your physical health and we should all try to take steps every day to help our wellbeing."

"For some people that could be spending time outside, with family or friends or exercising. Everyone is an individual so it's whatever works for you and can help brighten your day.

“If you are feeling low, overwhelmed, unable to sleep, struggling to get out of bed, or just not yourself, I’d encourage you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling as it can help lighten the load. Remember support is there, so please reach out if you’re struggling.”

You can also watch an advert promoting the campaign on YouTube.

Caroline Cameron, partnership director at the North Ayrshire health and social care partnership, also pointed out the importance of looking after one's mental health at this time of the year and suggested reaching out to people for help.

She said: "Hearing about the experiences of others can help, as can talking to others about how you’re feeling.

"If you’re finding things difficult, it’s important to remember support is available to help you deal with life’s daily stresses."

The Mind to Mind campaign emphasises the importance of considering mental health equally with physical health.

Its videos portray people managing life challenges, pointing to other essential support resources.