Having a happy and healthy winter

Having a happy and healthy winter

Top tips from Professor Kate Ardern – Director of Public Health

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’ve all got lots of festivities booked in with family and friends.

The last thing we want to worry about is feeling unwell, and there are some really simple things you can do to make sure you and your loved ones have a happy and healthy winter.

Make sure you have your medicine cabinet stocked up with the essentials. Your pharmacist can help you with many over-the-counter medicines that can relieve symptoms of colds, sore throats, coughs or ear infections. If you have older or vulnerable relatives you can help them to stock up their cabinets too so they don’t run out over Christmas. It’s also a good idea to remind family members to get their prescription medicines before the local pharmacy closes for the holidays.

Getting a flu jab is a great way to protect you from flu. It’s especially important for people over aged 65, anyone with a long-term health conditions, children or those caring for others.

Help your loved ones to stay warm in their homes and stocked up with essential food supplies in case the weather turns and it’s tricky to leave the house. Keep in touch with neighbours who might be elderly or vulnerable and ask if they need any practical help. For those without family and friends around them this can be a very difficult time of year – a helping hand from a neighbour may go a long way.

If you do feel unwell remember to try rest, drink plenty of fluids, use over-the-counter medicines to give you relief and have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy levels up.

The best way to stay healthy over winter is to look after yourself with simple things like eating your 5 a day, exercising, sleeping well and looking after your mental health.

It can be easy to let being active fall off your agenda, with less daylight hours, colder temperatures and the hustle and bustle of the festive season getting in the way. Regular exercise can improve your mental health and the social aspect of the activity goes a long way to boosting positivity.

In winter it can often feel like there are less opportunities to get out and talk to people or try something new, which can be hard on your mental health.

Being mindful of this and asking someone if they’re ok can go a long way. If you’re worried about your own mental health or someone else’s, there is support available and it’s important you speak to someone. Talking might not be the solution but it’s a good starting point.  Take a look at lots of information and links to further support you.

For more ideas of how to stay active over winter, Inspiring healthy lifestyles (external link) has a wide range programmes for you to get involved in with plenty of indoor sports and actives on offer too for all ages. Call the team to find out more on 01942 828508.

I’m wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas and sending best wishes for the New Year.

Posted on Thursday 7th November 2019

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