It’s important to make sure you take good care of your body and mind every day, not just when you get sick.

Learning how to eat well, exercise regularly, and take time out when you need it are effective ways to self-care and can help you de-stress, stay healthy, and be able to manage in difficult times. Keeping healthy means you’re less likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19 or other winter illnesses.

It may be cold outside, and winter brings its own struggles, but it needn’t be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family. There are lots of things people can do to stay well during the colder months.

Keep your home warm

Follow these tips to keep you and your family warm and well at home:

  • if you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C
  • keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep your bedroom window closed
  • if you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, as long as you’re comfortable
  • use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time
  • have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm
  • have hot drinks regularly
  • to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C
  • draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional

Looking out for others

Remember that other people may need a bit of extra help over the winter, particularly if they are elderly or living with a serious health condition.

There’s a lot you can do to help:

  • keep in touch with your friends, family and neighbours and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather
  • make sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out
  • salt icy pavements and driveways – icy areas can be very dangerous and may stop less mobile people from getting out and about
  • encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around their mouth to protect them from the cold air and reduce their risk of chest infections
  • make sure they get any prescription medicines before any bank holidays, especially if the weather is forecast to be bad
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap to help stop the spread of many winter germs and wear a face mask when you are around people who are at increased risk from COVID-19
  • share links to these pages on self-management or print them off for anyone that does not have internet access.

Although face masks are not compulsory, we do encourage people to wear a mask when indoors in public spaces, or around vulnerable people. You must still wear a face mask when accessing and NHS or care setting such as a hospital or your GP practice, unless you are exempt.