Time to prepare for Winter Wellness

Now the clocks have gone back and the days are getting colder, there is no better time to prepare to keep well in the upcoming Winter months.

Throughout November, Warwickshire County Council is encouraging people to follow public health advice, make the most of opportunities to stay well and know that there is plenty of help available to deal with the physical and emotional pressures that can arise over the Winter season.

People aged 65+, pregnant women, those with chronic conditions, children and carers, amongst other vulnerable groups, are particularly at risk of contracting the flu virus. They are eligible for free flu vaccinations and are being reminded not to delay and take up their offer before the virus starts circulating. Contact your GP, local pharmacy or antenatal clinic today.

People living with diabetes should make sure they protect themselves as the flu can cause your blood glucose levels to go up or down. Pregnant women that don’t get the flu jab are at increased risk of complications if they catch the virus. So book in for your free vaccine with your GP or pharmacy – and use the opportunity to have a health check too.

It is Alcohol Awareness Week from 11th – 17th November, an annual event that reminds people of the potentially harmful effects of alcohol, as well as the support available for those who need more help.

In Warwickshire, a variety of services are available to those in need of support to deal with reliance on alcohol and/or drugs. Drug and alcohol services in Warwickshire are provided by Warwickshire Pathways and several support services can be accessed at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/alcohol.

Looking after your mental wellbeing is also important throughout the Winter period, especially for those impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or who may feel lonely over the festive period.

Being a carer can sometimes be a lonely experience and 21st November is National Carers Day, a day when carers rights and responsibilities are highlighted.

Over 59,000 people in Warwickshire – or 11% of the population – provide physical or emotional care to a friend or loved one. However, many may not be aware of the support they are entitled to access.

Support includes asking for flexible working, unpaid time off work in an emergency or receiving financial support such as Carers Allowance for carers who spend 35 hours a week caring. Information on support for carers in Warwickshire is available at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/carers.

Another time in our lives that can be lonely, worrying and stressful is having a baby or young children, and this can be particularly true over the Winter, with the pressure that Christmas can put on families.

1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers face mental health challenges, including stress, anxiety and depression during pregnancy and a child’s early years. There are lots of services in Warwickshire who can offer help and support – for some advice and tips on looking after your baby or information on professional services for anyone feeling lonely, anxious or struggling to cope visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/children-families/help-new-expectant-parents.