The winter months can be a challenging time but there are lots of things you can do to keep healthy and well this winter.
The best way to protect yourself and others against illness is to get vaccinated. Being vaccinated not only protects yourself but your loved ones and helps ease pressure on the NHS.
If you’re over 65, are a carer or have certain health conditions, you may be eligible to receive free vaccinations. Make sure you get your flu , COVID-19 and pneumococcal vaccinations, if you are eligible to protect yourself and others.
Visit, nhs.uk/seasonalvaccinations to find out more about vaccinations and see if you’re eligible.
Other precautions you can take to prepare for the cold weather and look after your wellbeing:
- Keep warm - Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to a temperature that's comfortable for you. If you can, this should be at least 18°C in the rooms that you regularly use, such as your living room and bedroom. People in financial difficulty may find it more difficult to heat their homes sufficiently. This increases the risk of becoming unwell due to cold exposure. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to help you make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help manage energy bills. Check if you can get any heating and housing grants –gov.uk/browse/benefits/low-income. You can also find support and guidance to help you navigate the cost of living crisis this winter on the council’s cost of living support directory.
- Keep active - Make sure that you keep moving and spend less time sitting still for long periods. Short and regular episodes of movement, physical activity, or chair-based exercises can keep your circulation flowing throughout the day. Visit the Better Health website for ways you can keep active - nhs.uk/better-health/
- Eat well – Visit Warrington Foodbank website if you need extra support this winter - warrington.foodbank.org.uk
- Look after your mental health – Winter can be a particularly difficult time. People can feel isolated and lonely, particularly on colder, darker days. If you think you need help, visit Warrington’s mental health support directory - Happy? Ok? Sad?
- Look in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives - Remember that other people, such as older neighbours, friends and family members, may need some extra help over the winter. There's a lot you can do to help people who need support. Find out ways you can help - nhs.uk/seasonalvaccinations
To help prevent the spread of illness this winter remember to wash your hands, sanitise surfaces, keep your distance if you feel unwell and cover your face if you cough or sneeze. If you find yourself unwell remember to call NHS 111 for non-critical help. A&E is open to anyone who has an urgent, life-threating injury or illness.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “With the cold weather winter brings and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas period, it’s easy for illnesses to spread. This is why it’s important to have your seasonal vaccinations and follow the guidance about winter wellbeing to prevent this happening.
“Simple steps like washing your hands regularly, covering your face when coughing and/or sneezing and sanitising surfaces can also go a long way to protecting yourself and others.
“Though Christmas time brings so much joy it can also be a lonely time for some. Please try to look out for those who may be by themselves during the festive period.”
For more information and guidance on keeping well this winter, travel safety, school closures and much more visit our winter weather page.