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Tips for Winter Wellness

Getting ill over Christmas and New Year can turn an exciting time of the year into something of an anti-climax. Here are our top tips to stay well this festive season.

Boost your immunity

Viruses spread quicker in Winter, so it’s essential to boost your immunity.

Millions of people are eligible for a free NHS flu jab and a Covid-19 booster this Winter.

Covid boosters are needed as protection decreases over time, and the flu viruses change yearly, so annual jabs protect you against the newest strains. Read more about boosting your immunity, who can get which jabs and how to book in our previous update.

Stay Warm

Keeping yourself and your home warm over the cold winter months can help to keep you healthy. This is especially true if you are older or have a health condition.

Some bugs pass easier in the Winter, and extreme cold can affect our circulation, putting pressure on our hearts and increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.

If you can, aim to keep the rooms you spend the most time in around 18c/65f, and ensure your windows are closed at night to stop drafts from dropping the temperature.

With energy prices continuing to rise, the cost of heating our homes can decide to turn up the radiator that bit more difficult.

Support is available if you are struggling to pay your fuel bills or need help with heating and insulation improvements to your home.

Visit InformationNOW for advice, available grants and other schemes.

When you go outside, make sure to dress appropriately. Plenty of layers will help keep you warm, as will adding a hat and gloves.

Temperatures can drop quickly as the sun goes down, so be prepared with extra items to put on, even if you don’t feel you need them when you first go out.

Paits of feet wearing socks and slippers are seen on a footstool in front of an open fire. Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.
Try to keep your home warm, with windows and doors shut to keep drafts out.

Eat well and stay hydrated

It’s traditionally a time of year to treat ourselves, but it’s important our bodies still get the vitamins and protein they need to stay healthy. Keep up your fruit and veg intake amongst the other festive delights.

We perhaps think more about staying hydrated during the warmer summer months than we do during Winter, but it’s just as important.

We spend more time indoors at this time of year, often with the heating on, so we can become dehydrated without knowing.

Sickness bugs, which can increase at this time of the year, can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting, dehydrating us.

A loss of fluids can also have an impact on how well your medicine works.

If you regularly take blood pressure pills or diuretics/water tablets and get ill, you may be advised to stop your medication until you are better. Our Network Pharmacy team, your community Pharmacist or NHS111 may be able to offer you help.

Always consult with someone before making any changes to your medication routine.

Being mindful of others

This is the first Christmas in 3 years without requirements to wear masks, regularly test for covid or any other restrictions about mixing with other people.

An older bald man with a moustache coughs. He is wearing a scarf and holding a glass of water. Oranges and lozenges are seen on the table in front of him. Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels
Coughs and colds that are mild for most of us can be more serious for others.

Combining winter bugs and increased socialising can make it easy to pass on coughs and colds. In most cases, they are mild, but exposure to new bugs can be very serious for older or immunosuppressed people. Be mindful of this, especially when visiting old friends or relatives.

Find time for yourself

Finally, if you can, find some time for yourself this festive season.

We mustn’t underestimate the impact the last few years will have had on many of us, with pandemic-related restrictions and worries partly replaced by a cost-of-living crisis.

That’s why it’s so important to take time when we can to look after ourselves. It’s just about finding a bit of time you can fill as you choose – resting, exercising, hobbies, socialising – anything that helps recharge your energy levels and prepare you for another year.

A person with painted nails and a pink watch holds a cup in one hand and a book on their lap in the other. Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli on Pexels
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