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Keeping well in winter

Winter scene

For most of us, winter doesn’t necessarily cause too much of a problem, however for those who are over 65 or have a long term health condition, cold weather can mean a series of problems and complications.

The following advice and local support can help you keep well, warm and safe during the winter months...


  1. Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated
  2. Get your flu jab – speak to your GP surgery or visit a pharmacy
  3. You can try to keep as much warmth in your home as possible, by using heavy curtains and closing them as soon as it gets dark, keeping all doors closed to reduce cold draughts and insulating hot water cylinders and pipes.
  4. Keep active when you’re indoors and try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.  It also helps to wear several layers of light clothing, as multiple layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer.
  5. A hot water bottle or electric blanket is a great way to stay warm, but remember to never use them at the same time!
  6. Have at least one hot meal a day with regular hot drinks, as they’ll help keep you warm.
  7. Try to eat more fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and there’s lots of great winter root vegetables available, such as parsnips, turnips and swedes.
  8. Avoid unnecessary cold weather breakdowns by having your heating and cooking appliances regularly checked or serviced.
  9. If you take regular medication, don’t forget to order and collect any prescriptions you may need, so you’re ready in case there’s bad weather or before any public holidays, as many GP surgeries and pharmacies close over the holidays.
  10. Beat winter tiredness by getting out and about in natural daylight, getting a good night’s sleep and de-stressing with meditation or exercise.
  11. Remember to check on older and more vulnerable relatives and neighbours, especially if they have heart or breathing (respiratory) problems.  Make sure they’re safe, well and warm, especially at night, and have enough food and medicine, so they don’t have to go out if it’s very cold or icy.

For more tips, visit our keeping well, staying healthy section




Self care

Make sure your medicine cupboard is stocked up with over the counter remedies for coughs, colds, cuts, and tummy troubles.

For self care tips and more, visit Talk Community’s free online wellbeing information and signposting directory for Herefordshire, providing details on local services, groups, community hubs, and events.

Browse the Talk Community Directory website ( or call our helpline on: 01432 260 027

GP surgery

GP surgeries can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services. Find your nearest GP surgery (

NHS 111

For urgent but non-emergency medical help ring 111 or visit

The service is available 24/7 and is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians.


For advice and treatment for minor ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy troubles and aches and pains, visit a local pharmacy.

Urgent dental

Use the NHS 111 online services ( if you cannot contact your dentist or do not have one.

Sexual health

For sexual health testing and treatment in Herefordshire visit sexual health services 4 Herefordshire website (

Mental health

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Helpline can help. Call 0808 196 9127.

If you are experiencing anxiety, depression or low mood, and it isn’t urgent, please visit the Now We're Talking website (

Drugs and alcohol

Turning Point Herefordshire Recovery Service is a confidential and free service for anyone experiencing alcohol or drugs issues.

Visit the Turning Point website ( to complete an online referral form. For more information call: 0300 555 0747 or email

Eye problems

For advice on eye or sight problems, including urgent NHS care, contact an optician. For a list of opticians in your area visit the NHS website (

For more information, please visit the Wye Valley NHS Trust website

There are a number of local organisations which can help support your mental health and wellbeing.

Local NHS urgent mental health helpline

Tel: 0808 196 9127

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year

Herefordshire MIND

A local mental health charity providing a range of different support services, groups, and activities for adults with mental health problems. 

Visit the Herefordshire Mind website (

Tel: 01432 271643

Herefordshire Mind also offers a Safe Haven every evening from 5pm to 10pm, where people suffering a mental health crisis or in need of urgent support can visit. Contact: or 01432 372407

Now We’re Talking

The Now We’re Talking website provides a range of support for people experiencing mental health challenges, including online resources, talking therapy services, and help for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Visit the Now We're Talking website (

Winter time can be hard for many people and the dark nights and bad weather can be very isolating, but support is available.

Talk Community Hubs

Places where people can find friendship, positive things to do, acquire new skills and get help and advice on food, housing, finances, and health and wellbeing.

Find your nearest Talk Community Hub (

Homelessness support

If you need emergency assistance outside of normal office hours, you can contact the Out of Hours Service, provided by the Housing Solutions Team. 

Tel: 01432 261 600

Or find out more on our homelessness support pages (

If you’ve got money on your mind and you’re finding it difficult to cope with money or debt problems, or you are worried about energy bills, our website can help you find the support you need.

There's everything from general information about money management and budgeting, to financial help and advice with energy bills, and financial support if you need white goods or essentials for your house.

Visit our money on your mind pages ( .

Food banks

There is a food bank or community larder in each of the county’s market towns and city.

You may need to be referred by a qualifying organisation or have a voucher to access the service, but if you contact your nearest food bank directly, they’ll be able to advise on the process. Find your nearest food bank (

There's also lots of national information on how to stay well in winter on the NHS website (

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