you’re fearing a blue Christmas this year, you’re not alone. The
coronavirus pandemic has turned 2020 on its head and taken its toll on
millions of us as the year has gone on.
loneliness and isolation, as well as fears of not being able to see
family and friends during the festive season, are impacting on our
physical and mental wellness, making it more important
than ever to look after yourself this winter. Here’s how:
Have your flu jab
you’ve read reports about a lack of available flu vaccines this year,
it might be tempting to give it a miss, but Public Health Wales has
assured residents that there
vaccines to meet demand. You may have to wait a little longer than
usual but, if you’re eligible for a free vaccine, it’s important to
phone your surgery and make an appointment.
currently eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine include people with a
long term health condition, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women,
children aged two to ten years old and carers, as well
as Community First responders and volunteers providing planned first
aid. Two and three year olds and all primary school children are being
offered the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray.
Flu typically doesn’t start circulating until mid December, so there is still time to get yourself inoculated. If you are not eligible for a free vaccine, the flu jab costs around £10 and is available at your local pharmacy, including those in supermarkets. To check your eligibility, visit www.beatflu.org.
of us get the vitamins and minerals we need from a balanced diet, but
there are a number of supplements that can boost not only your immune
system but your frame of mind.
calcium and vitamin C are essential and can make a real difference to
your energy levels and health, while, during winter, you may need an
extra boost of vitamin D, which we gain from sunlight
during the summer months. If you’re having trouble sleeping, magnesium
can help your muscles relax and your mind unwind before bedtime.
of which, how often have you heard someone say that sleep is the best
medicine? The rush of modern life makes it easy to overlook the
importance of a good night’s rest but, according to Bupa,
sleep can improve your heart health, strengthen your
immune system and reduce stress.
a peaceful environment in your bedroom and switching off phones and
tablets two hours before you go to bed are good signals to your body
(and brain!) that it’s time to go to sleep. However
tempting it may be to have a drink to help you unwind, alcohol is
actually more disruptive that conducive to a good night’s sleep and you
might find yourself waking in the early hours. Have a read of our
self-care tips to ease stress,
which in turn can really improve your sleep pattern.
A stroll in the park
it’s tempting to stay in and reach for the remote, getting outside –
yes, in all weathers! – is one of the best things you can do for your
holistic health. According to the NHS, adults should
be exercising for 150 minutes a week, which equates to a 20(ish) minute
walk every day. Not only are the physical benefits evident, but being
in nature is thought to boost our energy levels (something that the
Japanese have been doing for years with shinrin-yoku,
or forest bathing!).
you don’t have time? Try walking to your local shop a couple of times a
week, rather than shopping online or driving to the supermarket for one
big weekly shop. Or have a walking meeting; we’re
all communicating via Teams and Zoom these days, so pop in your
headphones and stroll as you talk (Steve Jobs was a big fan, you know!).
Boost your brain power
off isolation and loneliness with an online course. How many times have
you said you’d love to learn Spanish / write a novel / play the piano,
but claimed you don’t have time? Without the daily
commute, many of us are finding a spare hour or two in the day and, if
you work from home and live alone, it’s easy to feel cut off from
good place to find the right course for you could be your local
authority’s lifelong learning department, or contact your local college
and ask about adult learner provision. Some courses are free
while others have a fee, but there’s a good chance you’re saving money
on fuel or train fares at the moment, anyway. Not only will you be able
to put your creativity to good use or learn a practical skill, but
you’ll meet new friends, albeit virtually – and
that’s always good for your health!
goes without saying that it’s essential this winter to continue to
stick to government guidelines around preventing Covid-19. Yes, we all
have coronavirus fatigue, but the NHS is under enormous
strain and we can play our part in looking after ourselves and others.
Wash your hands or use anti-bacterial gel regularly, don’t leave home
without a mask and follow two-metre distancing.
With health services such as physio, dentistry, optical care and counselling now available again, having the right health plan can be a real boost in your hour of need. We’re working remotely but still providing excellent customer service, so give us a call on 01633 226152 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you choose the right cashback plan for you.