It’s so 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, reduce stress, 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 coronavirus.

  • Enjoy a balanced diet, exercise regularly and take action to lose weight if you need to
  • Get help to go smokefree
  • Drink sensibly – no more than 14 units a week over at least three days.
  • Get a flu jab if you’re eligible

You are more likely to achieve your goals with support. Get personalised support in your area: Brighton and HoveEast SussexWest Sussex. There is also lots of information and practical advice about keeping healthy on the NHS website.

It may be cold outside and lockdown 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 Warm

It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent a range of health problems from colds to more serious conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

  • Heat your home to at least 18oC (65oF). You may want your living room to be slightly warmer, as you may be sitting still for longer – keep active indoors even if its trip to the kitchen for a cuppa tea.
  • Keep your bedroom windows closed on winter nights. Why? Because breathing in cold air can be bad for your health as it increase the risk of chest infections.
  • If you have an open fire or wood burner, make sure you have had your chimney swept. If you have a gas fire – make sure they are safe – contact a gas safe registered engineer to check its working properly.

Looking out for others

Remember that other people, like older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help over the winter. There’s a lot you can do to help:

  • Salting icy pavements and driveways – Icy areas can be very dangerous and may stop some people from getting out and about. If you can, salt the slippery areas around yours and their homes.
  • Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family 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. If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around their mouth to protect them from the cold air to reduce their risk of chest infections.
  • Make sure they get any prescription medicines before the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, especially is the weather is forecast to be bad.

Think! Pharmacy this winter

Your local pharmacy is the best first step if you or your family start to feel unwell this winter.

Your pharmacist can do so much more than complete your prescription. They can give you expert clinical advice for minor health concerns and help with many common illnesses like sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains. And the best part is you don’t need to make an appointment.

Pharmacists are trained experts in managing minor illnesses and using medicines safely. They can advise you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Most local pharmacies have consultation rooms for private conversations and your pharmacist can also talk to you confidentially without anything being noted in your medical records, which some people may prefer.

Repeat prescriptions should be available as usual. It is important to only request your medicines when they are running low (e.g. one weeks supply left) as you usually would.

If you are well and able to visit your pharmacy please follow social distancing guidelines. Opening times of pharmacies vary.

If you are self isolating or poorly, friends and family are able to collect prescriptions on your behalf.

Don’t forget as the festive season approaches make sure you get your repeat prescriptions in time for the holidays.