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Stay healthy this winter

There are many ways you can help yourself and others stay healthy this winter

Getting the Covid-19 vaccine

Eligibility for spring 2024

  • Adults aged 75 years and over
  • People living in a care home for older adults and younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings.
  • People aged 6 months to 75 years with a weakened immune system

The NHS will contact those who are eligible.

See more information about the Covid-19 vaccine and how to access it if you are eligible.

Staying active

Many people feel more tired in the winter months, but it’s important to keep moving – being active helps reduce our risk of a range of health conditions including diabetes, depression and dementia. It can also help to keep warm! 

There are lots of ways to keep active in Islington and connect with others. 

Find activities in Islington

Eating healthily

Healthy diet

Year round, it’s important to avoid high levels of fat, salt and sugar and make sure we’re getting the vitamins and fibre we need by eating five portions of fruit and veg a day – fresh, frozen and tinned all count!

If you are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old, you might be entitled to financial support to help you buy healthy food. You can find out more on the national healthy start scheme webpage.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and is a particularly important part of our diets during winter as we get less sunshine during the season. This is especially true if you have darker skin or spend a lot of time indoors, as it can be harder to get your vitamin D requirements from sun exposure. Foods like oily fish, red meat and eggs are a good source of vitamin D. Over the winter, everyone is advised to take a supplement of vitamin D. 

All children under 4 years of age and all pregnant women in Islington are eligible for the free universal Healthy Start Vitamin Program. This is a multivitamin which also contains vitamin D.

Tips on healthy eating from the NHS

Staying warm

  • Try to keep the rooms you regularly use warm – keeping temperatures above 18 degrees can help avoid the harmful effects of the cold on your heart health and your well-being. 
  • Keep moving - as well as bringing the wider benefits of being active, this can help to keep you warm. Try not to sit for more than an hour, get up and walk around, make a hot drink and spread housework throughout the day.
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer -  this will trap the heat better to keep you warm. Thin layers of clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good for maintaining body heat.
  • Keep an eye out for those who might be vulnerable to the cold – his includes older adults, those who live alone and those with health conditions. 

There are tips for making your home warmer and saving money on energy bills on our Together Greener pages.

Winter wellness project

Over this winter Elizabeth House Community Centre will be supporting residents aged 65+ to stay warm, safe, active and connected. Find advice on staying warm, heating grants, insulations, safety checks and benefit entitlements on our winter wellness project pages.

Financial help

Money problems can be a challenge for many over the winter as fuel bills increase. There are a few things that might help if you are finding it hard to make ends meet this winter.

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

The winter months can be difficult for many of us and our mental health. As temperatures fall and days become shorter, we might find it difficult to do things we normally enjoy.

If you feel your mood is low during the winter, there are some simple things you can do to try to help you feel better. 

Talk to someone

Although it can be hard to reach out, talking things through with a person we trust can be beneficial to our mood. It could be a friend or family member; it might be a professional such as your GP or someone you don’t know through a support helpline or organisation. Click here to access local sources of support. You can also find more information here.

Make the most of natural light

Did you know nature can have a really calming effect on us? Some people say nature helps them feel more hopeful, calmer and less alone. It can help to spend time in natural light, for example sitting near a window or spending time in parks or gardens. 

Plan things to look forward to

Having things to look forward to can help us cope with difficult situations. Making plans for things we enjoy can increase our sense of hope which is import for our mental health. It can be anything from having a cup of tea and watching your favourite programme to a trip with friends or family. 

More mental health support

You can also try our mental health support page for more information or go to the Thrive LDN website for more mental health tools.

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