Winter – it’s that time of year that suits illnesses down to the ground.
Just as you would stock up on firewood at the start of winter, there are also things you can do to plan ahead to help keep yourself and your family well.
In many cases, some preventive measures, or seeking care earlier, can mean avoiding a much more serious illness. See below for advice on what you can do to prepare your home, plan your health and take action if you're feeling sick.
Plan with your GP or Practice Nurse
Winter can make many conditions worse, so take the steps you need to stay well. Make an appointment with your GP or practice nurse and plan what you can do to stay well this winter, and when to go back for more help.
Keep your home healthy
Winter can make many health conditions worse. More condensation in your home means damp air, which is harder to heat, and can be linked to illness. Make your home healthier by drying your washing outside, drying your windows every morning, and airing out your house when possible
Look after yourself if you feel unwell
If you’re feeling unwell, please look after yourself. Stay home, drink fluids, wash your hands and give your body a fighting chance to recover.
Break the cycle – stop germs spreading
Winter loves illness, and can make many health conditions worse. You can help your whanau and workmates be well, whether you are sick or not, by making it harder for bugs to move around. Always wash your hands, and if you’re sick, stay at home.
Cover those coughs and sneezes
Cold and flu germs spread easily when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or sneeze into the crook of your arm. Stay away from work or school if you are coughing and sneezing.
Keep active every day
Just a 30 minute walk outside each day gives you fresh air and really helps your body get stronger to fight off those winter colds and flu.
Make half your plate vegetables – fresh, canned or frozen add some lean protein and try to reduce sugar and salt in your diet.
Health advice is only a phone call away
Seek advice early if you or your family are feeling unwell. You can get advice from your community pharmacy, or call Health Line 0800 611 116 for free 24 hour 7 day a week free health advice. If your condition is getting worse, see your GP. Discussing small issues early, can help stop them becoming a bigger problem later.