Ways to look after yourself during the coldest months

Looking after your elderly relatives, and yourself, is even more important during the winter months.  Winter can bring extra challenges.  Dark evenings and icy pavements can make it hard to get out, while cold weather can make us vulnerable to illness.

With a bit of planning, you can make simple steps to prepare, yourself, your family members and their homes for the winter.  Follow our handy guide on tips to stay healthy and safe – for you as well as them! So follow these tips of ways to look after yourself during the coldest months!

Wrap up warm

Layer your clothes to stay warm – the layers will trap warm air between them and keep you warmer than one thick jumper.  Wear a hat and gloves when you go outside and wrap a scarf around your face to warm the air you breathe in.  Wear water resistant shoes to keep your feet warm.  If you have a breathing or heart problem, stay indoors when the weather is very cold.

Wrapping up warm will also protect against chilblains.  These are small, itchy red patches that appear if you’ve tried to warm up too quickly after going out in the cold or damp.  Avoid scratching at your skin and they should clear up on their own in a few days.  But keep consistantly warm as they can return.

Take care outside in icy weather

If you have to go out when it’s icy, wear shoes with good grip and a warm lining, and put on thick socks.  If you can, keep grit and/or salt to put on your path.  Some councils provide free bags of this or it can be purchased at DIY stores….https://www.homebase.co.uk/tarmac-meltaway-rock-salt/12824873.html or even good old Amazon!

Eat well

Food is a vital source of energy that helps keep you warm.  Have hot drinks and hot meals regularly throughout the day.  Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system and give you more energy.

If you are having trouble affording food, you could contact your local food bank.  They can provide emergency food and support.  The Trussell Trust have more information on where you can find a food bank local to you… https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/

Keep your cupboards and freezer well stocked

Keep basic food items for times when it’s too cold to go out.  Think about stocking up on tinned and dry foods, such as :

Tinned soup

Baked beans

Long-life milk and fruit juice

Ready-made sauce

Pasta and rice

Keep frozen vegetables, meat, fish and bread in your freezer, if you have one.

Shopping online may also help to avoid going out when it’s too cold.

Stay active

If the weather isn’t too bad try to get outside if you can.  It will boost your mood to get out in the daylight and it’s good for muscles and bones too!   It’s also very important to stay socially connected.

Keeping your home warm

Check the thermostat

Being cold isn’t just uncomfortable – it can also be very bad for your health.  Low temperatues increase the risk of flu, as well as heart attack, stroke and hypothermia.  Heat your home to at least 18 degrees centigrade (64 degrees fahrenheit) during the day and night.  Turn up your thermostat if you feel cold.

Check your boiler

Get your boiler serviced every year.  It’s best to do this ahead of winter, to make sure it won’t break down when you need it most.  To find a gas engineer visit the Gas Safe Register to ensure they are fully qualified.  You can find them here https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer-or-check-the-register/

Keep warm at night

A hot water bottle or electric blanket can take the chill off your bed before you get in it, but never use them both together as this can be dangerous.  There are so many hot water bottles available on the market that you will certainly find one that suits you, and if you are going to splash out on a new on how about a lovely fluffly cover too! Like this one https://www.newlook.com/uk/home-living/pink-faux-fur-pom-pom-hot-water-bottle/p/869595670

If you do have an electric blanket, ensure it is checked every three years by an expert. Also check to see if you need to turn it off before you get in bed. There are lots of deals at the moment, particularly in Argos where you can get a 20% discount on most of them, like this one https://www.argos.co.uk/product/4500324?clickPR=plp:6:58

 

Simple tips to keep your home warm

Draw your curtains before it gets dark to keep the heat in.

Shut your doors to keep heat in the rooms.

Don’t block your radiators with furniture – keep them clear so heat can circulate.

Put draught excluders around doors and windows.

Contact Simple Energy Advice for more tips, you can find them here https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency

Follow these few simple tips and you will be warm and toasty over these winter months….the warmer weather is coming and then we will be giving you tips on staying cool!

Happy Christmas to you all!  We hope you enjoy the festivities, whatever you are doing!

 

 

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