Winter: you either love it or you hate. Some people can’t get enough of this time of year, delighting in the snow on the ground, brisk wintery walks, and the cozy feeling of wrapping up warm in a well-heated home. Yet others can’t stand feeling cold all the time, the short days and long nights, and the feeling that summer will never come.
However you feel about winter, there’s a lot to look forward to. Christmas is on its way, and this tumultuous year is finally coming to an end. An end to the global pandemic is in sight, and if you are a positive person you will see that things are starting to look up.
But despite the positives, winter can be a particularly hazardous time of year. The cold weather can affect your health, ice and snow on the ground poses a risk, and now we have to contend with the spread of a virus that thrives in cold conditions.
It’s essential that you are aware of the hazards and you take proper precautions to minimize the risk. With this in mind, here are four useful tips to keep you safe this winter.
Look after yourself
Cold weather can be incredibly harmful to your health, and not just in the obvious ways like frostbite and hypothermia. As temperatures drop, your immune system starts to struggle, making you more susceptible to various illnesses. This is particularly true for older adults. You can minimize this risk by taking steps to look after yourself and stay warm. Wrap up in warm clothing whenever you go out and keep yourself well hydrated and fed with plenty of warming winter meals.
Protect yourself from coronavirus
Although a vaccine is on its way, the winter still presents a major hurdle to get through before the pandemic can come to an end. Viruses spread much more easily in colder conditions, particularly with more people spending time indoors and mingling with relatives over Christmas. Don’t let the festive spirit make you complacent. You should take more steps than ever to protect yourself and others from the virus. Avoid mixing with other households where possible, and maintain social distancing when you do. Make sure you wear a mask in public places and ensure it is of good quality. This non-medical grade mask is washable and reusable so you can wear multiple times.
Get your flu jab
Flu comes around every year in various forms, and unless you’re particularly vulnerable or elderly, you probably don’t pay it much notice. But healthcare professionals are urging as many people as possible to have their flu injections this year to avoid the possibility of a “twindemic” of coronavirus and flu. This will not only keep you safer from harm but will also protect your loved ones this Christmas.
There’s a lot of ice and snow on the ground this time of year, which can pose a hazard at any time, whether walking or driving. Be extra careful when walking outside, and consider spreading sand or salt on slippery surfaces outside your home. Have your car checked and serviced to ensure it is winter-ready and well-prepared for driving in icy conditions.