Here at All Seasons we see people prepare poorly for winter every year as, much like the rest of the country, a lot of us forget just how brutal our seasons can hit us both outside and in our new home. Whilst we aim to help everyone one-to-one, we can’t get to every person before each winter, and so we have written this article to help you stay warm, physically fit and mentally healthy throughout this nippy season.
As well as the physical effects of the cold it’s self, there are a few other issues that people often overlook. Here are a few of the things you can do to prepare for the winter months and avoid injuries and illness.
Ignorance is bliss! The easiest way to combat the Winter months is to preempt and prepare for the worst of it so that you can continue a normal routine as best as you can.
The hardest part to deal with for many can be the sudden and drastic drop in temperature. There are quite a few ways to try and keep both yourself and you abode warm however…
Piece Of Duvet, Piece Of Mind!
First and foremost, it’s important that you are warm. You are cheaper to keep warm than your whole house is, so this is the first thing you must focus on.
Fairly obvious yet still key is to wrap up! What you may not know is that it has been proven that multiple thin layers are much more effective at keeping you warm than one thick layer.
Another way of investing a little to save a lot can be to buy an electric blanket or a hot water bottle. NEVER use the two together and always be careful when using electronic devices or exposing the body to a hot surface!
Mi Casa Es S…s…so C…c…cold!
The home is a place to stay comfortable and happy in, and we at All Seasons see hundreds of people in their own homes and appreciate the importance of feeling content in your own home. There are several ways in which you can keep your home warm.
Closing windows and curtains, as obvious as it may seem, can be an easy thing to forget to do. Rather than waiting until you’re a little chilly to keep out the cold, get into the routine of preparing for the cold in advance, so to maintain the same temperature into the cold evening.
Investing in some thermal linings, or even full-on insulation, is a very effective method that also saves on energy bills in the long run.
Speaking of energy bills and investments, learning how to use your thermostat so that it maintains the same temperature throughout the day, or simply installing a smart meter to automate this process, can leave you oblivious to the outside tundra and even happy in the bank!
Gold Plated Boilers Eh?…
Obviously we can help you in your home and we can even write amazingly informative articles (well I would say that I am the one writing them…), but we can’t actually gift you all of these amazing suggestions for free.
HOWEVER depending on your age, disability and financial situation, there are some funds that can help reduce their costs.
The easiest way to determine whether you qualify for any of these benefits is to complete the Age UK Benefits Calculator. This should only take 10 minutes and can result in finding out what benefits you could claim.
Physical Preparation & Maintenance
Obviously we aren’t suggesting that you go for a jog in the snow, but simple movements (even yoga or tai-chi) are a great way to keep fit and stimulate your physical and mental well-being, occupy yourself when low on daily activities and avoid achy joints, stiffness and cold digits. Please ensure that you know your physical limitations and don’t cause any injuries from strenuous activity. Contact your GP or physician if you are unsure.
Now, to suggest you eat healthy would be rather cliché, but in winter a healthy diet is considerably more important as the cold weather and a reduction in physical activity, sunlight and fresh air from being indoors weakens the immune system. To help combat a potential increase in susceptibility to illnesses, it is recommended that your diet includes the usual 5-a-day of fruit and veg, but with a focus on foods high in vitamins and also protein (such as milk and yogurts). This should help to fight off colds. If you want to mix it up a little, there are plenty of recipes that focus on meals made from winter vegetables that should break apart mundane, seemingly limited meals.
For some the ability to freely access shops in the winter months can seem impossible, but thanks to the internet you can now order your shopping online and have it delivered directly to your home. This service is no longer new to most stores and over the years has been refined to ensure that ordering is an easy to use service and the produce has lost its reputation for being low quality.
Making sure that medication is taken in the prescribed amounts at the prescribed times is always of the utmost importance, but ensuring that the right amount of medication is available can be hard in the winter months. If you are unable to visit your pharmacist or GP then you could end up missing your dosages. To combat this, consider utilizing the many delivery services that are now available for those with repeat prescriptions. These services are allowed to collect medicine on your behalf and will deliver what you are prescribed straight to your door so that you aren’t left without vital medicine.
As well as your usual medication however, it is important that you remember to keep up to date with all of your pneumococcal and flu jabs. These will prevent pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia and the flu. For information on jabs, who can offer them and costs, contact your GP.
Following the aforementioned steps should reduce the mental affects of the seasonal change, but there are some additional changes you can make to your normal winter routine that can make it all seem a little less gloomy.
Something we all often make the mistake of assuming in the winter season is the notion that no one wants to be sociable. Braving the cold whether just to meet up for a coffee on the high street can, understandably, seem like too much effort.
But if you live alone or aren’t satisfied with talking to friends and loved ones via technologies, then why not bring the cafe to your house? Inviting friends over can save you the trouble of leaving home and still allow for face-to-face interaction (…unfortunately it will also lead to you having to do some washing up!).
It’s All Perception
Some people suffer from a drastic change in their moods and even perception and outlook on life when their environment changes. People’s depression can be specifically related directly to the weather, this is a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
You can combat this by keeping yourself and your home warm and by ensuring that you allow yourself access to more sunlight. The effects of natural sunlight, in both the literal and placeboic sense, are key in day to day life, but are reduced drastically in the winter months when the days are shorter and people stay indoors to keep warm. To combat this, you can either try to go out more but keep yourself warm, or (as recommended by the NHS) try to access a light box for 30 min a day.
If all else fails and you are able to, the best therapy could just be a well-deserved holiday abroad to somewhere hot!