Safeguard. Sing out. Shield. Repeat!
Safeguard yourself, your family and your community’s wellbeing and health this winter.
- Get vaccinated
Getting your latest vaccinations is one of the easiest and most effective way to protect yourself this winter season.
A flu vaccination will reduce your risk of severe flu symptoms, reduce the likelihood that you will require hospital-level care, and decrease the chances of passing the influenza virus on to others.
Vaccines are free for people over the age 65, Māori and Pasifika over 55, pregnant people, and people with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart conditions.
Learn everything you need to know about the flu vaccine here: Influenza vaccine | Health Navigator NZ
Don’t forget to check which other vaccines you and your family might need to stay healthy during winter. Make sure you’re up to date with your MMR vaccination and go and get your COVID-19 booster dose if you haven’t already.
- Stay home if you’re sick
Safeguard your community and stay home if you are sick. Across the district we have vulnerable friends, neighbours, colleagues and whānau who, if they get flu or COVID-19 could get very sick. Look after all our loved ones and stay home if you are sick.
- Look after you and your family’s wellbeing
Looking after your wellbeing is very important throughout winter. Make sure you eat well, take time to do some light exercise, rest up when you need to and rug up if you’re cold or unwell.
Make a plan for your family:
How will you cope with sickness in the household? Do you have people you can rely upon for support? Do you know your employer's expectations around sick leave?
Create a winter wellness kit:
This might include painkillers, a thermometer, tissues, cold and flu medications, enough food and household items for a few days, and a good stock of the regular medicines you or your whānau will need (hey why not chuck in some treats too!)
Keep your home healthy:
Help your immune system stay strong by keeping your home warm and dry, too. Check out Healthy Homes webpage for tips on how!
Look after your mental wellbeing:
Mental wellbeing is always important whatever the weather, but during winter some people can find that their mental health takes a dip. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. You can find out everything you need to about Seasonal Affective Disorder here Seasonal affective disorder | Health Navigator NZ
If you feel you or a loved one is struggling with mental wellbeing this winter, make sure you ask for help. Sing out, and sing out early. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Phone a helpline:
- Lifeline 0800 543 354
- Free counselling 1737
- Depression helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions).
- Healthline 0800 611 116
- Ask for help
We all need to ask for help sometimes. If you or a loved one is sick pick up the phone and call Healthline or your GP for advice before heading to the ED.
You can call Healthline for general health advice and information on 0800 611 116 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Still unsure where to go for help? Find the answers to your questions here.
- Let your work and family know
If you get sick don’t forget to sing out and let your workplace know. Stay home to safeguard your colleagues and their families from getting sick. Also talk with your wider whānau and let them know. Your loved ones care for you and will want to know that you are ok.
- Talk with your friends, neighbours, and whanau
Talk to your friends, family, neighbours, and whānau and ask for help if you need it.
Catch up with your loved ones, give them a call, and see if you can offer them a hand with anything. Bring firewood in for an elderly neighbour, or offer to pick up some medicine or groceries for the family with sick kids. Helping out with the little things can make a big difference in the lives of those you care about.
Shield yourself, your family and your community from sickness by taking some simple, easy actions.
- Wear a mask
The easiest way you can protect yourself and others from illness is to continue to wear a mask when you are out in public. Thanks to COVID-19 we’ve all got them now so let’s continue to use them to protect ourselves and our communities.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow
If you cough and sneeze, even if you are at home, don’t use your hand, use your elbow. Coughing into you hand means you can spread those germs to other surfaces around your home, school, workplace, or wherever you are at the time. Other people touch these surfaces and can pick up those germs, making them sick.
- Stay home if you’re sick
Shield other people and stay home if you are sick. Rug up, drink lots of water and rest until you are well again.
Remember what you did to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19? This winter, continue to do that!
- Practise physical distancing where appropriate, wear a mask when out in public, stay home if you are sick, practise good hand hygiene and, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, carry out a RAT.
- Have a plan in place for if your household gets sick.
Do you have Panadol in your house? Perhaps a few meals in the freezer? Hand sanitiser, nappies, pet food? Plan ahead now and make sure you have what you will need in your house in case you and you household get sick. Plan ahead while you are well so that if you get sick you can take care of yourself as best as possible.
- Repeat the three S’s – Safeguard, Sing out, Shield… then repeat again!
And remember to look after each other. Help your friends, family, neighbours, and whānau if they need it. Pick up the phone and connect with your loved ones.