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Looking after yourself this winter

Winter can be a tough time to stay healthy – the cold weather drives most of us indoors and infections flourish when we’re all spending time in close quarters. This applies to illnesses such as cold and flu, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), pneumonia, strep throat, and of course, COVID-19.

This makes self-care and vigilance regarding our health even more essential in the colder months.

During this cooler season, you can increase your chances of remaining well by following these tips:

Stay Active. While it can be tempting to stay warm under the covers all winter long, exercise is an important part of beating winter illnesses.

Keep Warm. Although Brisbane is comparatively warm in winter, keeping rugged up and warm when the temperature drops will help fight off any winter bugs.

Stay Hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is still important in winter, even if you aren’t thirsty. Your body needs water to digest your food and get rid of waste. Besides being an important part of the fluids in your body, water is needed by each cell to work.

Enjoy nourishing winter food. Eat something healthy and nourishing. Winter is the perfect time for vegetable rich soups and stews. Eating wholefoods and minimally processed foods can help improve your mood and energy levels.

Rest. Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. Adults should aim for a minimum of seven hours each night.

Vaccinations. Have your flu, pneumonia (if recommended), and COVID vaccinations. Getting protection against the flu, pneumonia, and COVID-19 helps to not only keep you safe, but also contributes to keeping those with a compromised immune system healthy in our community. It is also recommended to get a flu shot if you come into contact with vulnerable people, such as the elderly, infants, pregnant women or people with suppressed immunity. To reduce the risk of contracting the flu, pregnant women should receive a vaccination.

Remember, it’s important to wait 14 days between the COVID-19  and flu vaccine and vice versa. While there is no evidence of the two vaccinations interacting with each other, this is a precautionary recommendation that allows for proper safety and monitoring of both vaccines.