This year, it is particularly important that we all do everything we can to stay healthy and well. With COVID-19 rampant in the community, flu and other respiratory viruses circulating and even gastroenteritis making the rounds, we look at a few simple tips to help you stay well and avoid illness.
1. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date
This includes any outstanding COVID-19 boosters that you may have been putting off, flu vaccinations, pneumococcal and shingles vaccinations (Australians over the age of 70 are eligible for pneumococcal and shingles)
2. Be vigilant with hygiene
Wash your hands for least 10 to 15 seconds in warm soapy water, especially after using the bathroom, coughing or sneezing and before eating. Use an alcohol-based hand gel if you’re not near water. Wipe down surfaces frequently with an antibacterial wipe or solution. Wear a mask when out and about and especially when in crowded indoor areas.
3. Practice social distancing
If the pandemic has taught us one thing it is that staying 1.5 metres away from someone is best when looking to avoid getting sick.
4. Make sure you are getting enough sleep
Studies show that a good night’s sleep is essential for health and wellbeing. Sleep is also vital for your immune system. Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system and leave you vulnerable to catching viruses.
5. Stay active
Daily exercise for 30 minutes will help you feel more energetic, trigger immune system, boost your mood and brighten your outlook. This can be as simple as taking a walk around the block. Even if you can’t do a full 30 minutes – every bit helps.
6. Eat well
Keep your immune system strong by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, dairy and wholegrains. Learn more about healthy eating by clicking here.
7. Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol can have a huge effect on your mood, sleep and energy levels and your overall health. The Cancer Council advises that even drinking small amounts of alcohol increases the risk of developing cancer. You can reduce your cancer risk by drinking less alcohol. Learn more here.
8. Enjoy the sun (when it appears)
Sunshine may be in scarce supply, but grab what you can. On sunny winter mornings, take your cuppa outside and grab a little Vitamin D. In summer, remember to apply sunscreen.
9. Open a window
Make sure your home gets plenty of fresh air when the weather permits. Avoid smoking inside and make sure you are using heaters properly.
10. Stay warm
Regulating body temperature becomes harder as we age so we need to ensure our homes and beds are warm enough during the winter months. Make sure your home is heated to a comfortable temperature and you wear layers of clothing to bed to ensure you sleep warmly and comfortably.
Some useful links:
Carer’s Circle article on staying warm in winter – cold weather tips –
Carer’s Circle article on helping your elderly loved one take care of their health –
Help stop the flu in 2022 – Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its
complications. The influenza vaccine is recommended for all individuals, especially for 65 yrs old and over – https://www.health.gov.au/news/help-stop-the-flu-in-2022
Carer’s Circle article on Your parent’s doctor – your partner in caring –
Carer’s Circle article on When your elderly parents live far away –
Photo credit: Transparent Beanie Mockup Winter Apparel from RawPixel
A version of this article “Winter Wellness Tips” originally appeared on Lauren Hockley’s website. Reproduced with permission.