It can be hard to stay warm and well during the winter. The change in weather worsens health conditions, spreads viruses, isolates people and increases accidents! So, we’ve put some tips together to help you stay well.
Keeping warm keeps you healthy! Wearing lots of thin layers traps in heat better than one big bulky item. Moving around and having warm food and drinks can help too. By heating your home to at least 18 C, you can reduce your risk of getting unwell. If you’re struggling to afford to do this, you can get help from the Warm Home Check service. Text WARM to 80011, or call 0800 464 7307.
There is lots more cost of living support available too, including financial help.
Vaccinations give the best protection against dangerous winter viruses.
Ensure you get your flu vaccination every year. Vulnerable people should book this via their GP as soon as possible. Anyone not in a priority group can pay to have a vaccine too.
Book your Covid boosters via the GP or by calling 119.
Anyone who has missed their MMR vaccination can get it from the GP.
Stop spreading germs
Remember when we all had to sing Happy Birthday and wash our hands? Basic hand hygiene and proper disposal of tissues really does reduce the spread of germs. If you can stay home when you feel unwell, do. It’s particularly important not to see people with long-term health conditions if you are not well.
Sign up for free cold weather warnings online, by calling 01273 484 337, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep a stock of food, bottled water and medicine at home AND in your car, in case there is any severe weather.
Ensure you get prioritised in power cuts or water shortages by getting added to the priority services register. Check with your providers to see if you’re eligible.
Getting moving warms you up, boosts your mood and immunity. If you can exercise with friends, it’ll help prevent isolation. Doing it outdoors is even better because you’ll get some much-needed vitamin D. Read our article on staying active over winter.
Here is a list of places near you that you can get moving.
Do you ‘eat a rainbow’? If not, try to include a variety of different fruits and veggies to boost your vitamin and mineral intake. Eating warm food is comforting and actually does warm you up, so why not try batch cooking some soup or curry? Healthy and cost-effective!
Bad weather drives us indoors, and increases chances of social isolation. Check in on friends and neighbours if you’ve not heard from them. Meeting up with people, joining groups or just chatting on the phone can all help you and others. The Tribe volunteering platform is full of local volunteering opportunities to keep you busy and socialising.
Know where to get help
Winter is particularly busy for the NHS. Knowing where to get help for what can speed up your access to support, and reduce waiting times for other people.
Most importantly, we hope you manage to stay warm and well this winter. Do you have any other tips that we’ve forgotten?