Matt head

Dr Matt’s tips for staying well this winter

Keep warm

To stay well during the winter months, it’s important to keep your home heated to at least 18°C (65°F) – but you may want to keep your main living room warmer than this.

Keeping your home heated and staying warm outdoors can help prevent colds and other serious diseases, like pneumonia. Wearing warm clothes, keeping bedroom windows closed at night and making sure you aren’t sitting still for more than an hour can also help you stay warm and stay well.

Protect yourself against the flu and other winter bugs

It’s really important to make sure that you, your children or your grandchildren have had an NHS flu jab as, in severe cases, flu can result in hospital treatment and become very serious. You can receive these from your local pharmacy or GP. Protect yourself from other common ailments that are rife in winter by making sure you wash your hands well with soap and water.

Make sure your cupboards are stocked

It’s helpful to make sure you have a supply of food and medicines at home in case the weather gets really cold. Making sure that you’ve got simple medicines for minor illnesses, as well as enough of any medicines that your doctor has prescribed for you, can help you to stay well at home. If you are feeling ill, then making sure you rest, drink plenty of fluids and have food and medicine available, will help you get better faster.

Take care ‘out and about’

If you do need to go out in cold and icy conditions, make sure that you wrap up warm, with several thin layers rather than one thick layer. Ensure you wear shoes with a good grip, so you’re less likely to slip. Wear a scarf, to allow you to cover your mouth so you’re not breathing in cold air.

Look after each other

Some people may not be able to get around easily during winter, or might need a bit more help. Keep in touch with relatives, friends and neighbours and make sure they are feeling okay and, if needed, make sure they have a few days’ worth of food in the house and that they have any medicines they might need before the Christmas holidays start. For more tips and information, view our winter wellbeing pages.

Stay well everyone and I look forward to talking to you all again in 2019.