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Last winter was tough, especially for the many people caring for vulnerable friends and family members. Although it was a difficult time, it did highlight our amazing ability to adapt and overcome significant challenges. As the seasons start to shift and winter approaches it’s important that we prepare our body, mind and spirit now, to build our resilience and strengthen our immune system for the months to come.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Eight glasses of water throughout the day is ideal.
Stop and enjoy a diverse range of fruits, veggies, protein and healthy fats. Taking time to relax whilst you eat aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Improve your gut health
Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi support the good gut bacteria, which can help our immune system.
Whether it’s a walk or your favourite dance class, try to move your body at least 3 times a week for 45 minutes.
Make time for you and try to reduce your stress levels. Meditation, yoga and regularly getting around 8 hours of sleep.
Mindfulness can improve our overall wellbeing. There are various ways to learn through books, apps or you could join a session at The Carers’ Centre.
Let there be laughter
Laughter can help reduce stress and anxiety, so try to catch up with good friends often, or meet new people at events like our Carer Cafés.
Gain a new skill
As the evenings draw in, learn a new skill or take up a hobby. Check out our free wellbeing activities for ideas!
What brings you joy?
Singing, swimming, spending time in nature? Whatever it may be, bring more of this in to your life. Happiness and smiling can trigger chemical reactions in our body which aid our immune system and overall health.
As a nutritional therapist I believe good nutrition underpins everything, after all it’s the fuel our body uses to work, rest and play!
Here’s my top immune-boosting foods you can add to your meals:
- Spices like ginger and turmeric
- Goji berries
- Dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach
- Mushrooms, especially shiitake
- Herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage
- Seeds like sunflower and pumpkin
Soups can be a great option when we, or our loved ones are feeling run down. They are nutritious and easy to consume, especially when our appetite is reduced. If you have a viral or bacterial illness, the best thing you can do is rest, stay hydrated and eat food that is nourishing and easy to digest.
Protect against flu this winter
Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter with the flu vaccination.
As a main carer for an older or disabled person you are entitled to a free vaccination. Ask your pharmacist or GP for more information.
It’s especially important we get our flu jabs this winter as many people will not have built up natural immunity during the Covid-19 pandemic and you are more likely to become seriously ill if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
If you've had Covid-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.