Love it or hate it, winter is coming. As an international student from sunny Singapore, my first year in the UK was the first time I’d ever experienced it. The cold, dark months and the isolation from my friends affected my physical and mental health, and it was just not a good time. Here’s some winter survival tips to beat the season:
Stay warm: Even if it isn’t snowing outside, staying warm is always a good idea. If you can, try to heat up your home to at least 18C (65F) and/or wrap up at home; getting a good-quality jumper is a great idea.
Stay social: If you can’t beat the cold at home, the KCL libraries are open even during the winter break, and KCLSU has a range of warm and friendly social spaces such as the Studio, Shack, Shed and even the hidden, cosy Philosophy Bar. Also, check our KCLSU updates for what’s going on over the Festive break as part of our Global Lounge!
Eat healthy: Make sure you’re getting a good variety of fruit and veg – if you’re out of ideas, our KCLSU cafes offer a range of healthy and cheap options.
Get some sun: The lack of sunlight in winter can have a negative impact on your health. Make sure you get some sunlight every day by taking a walk, staying active or joining one of our sports or activities groups. This will help both your physical and mental health!
Flu jabs and the NHS: If you can, get a flu injection at your GP or a local pharmacy; this can be done for a small price. For general NHS enquiries, call 111 – NHS 111 is the free number to call when you have an urgent, but not life threatening healthcare need. It directs you to the right local service, first time.
Watch the weather: Winter brings snow, high winds and other extreme weather conditions. Stay up to date with weather alerts with the Red Cross emergency app and the Met Office weather app, and in severe weather, consider checking on your friends and neighbours and only make journeys if necessary.
Stock up: Make sure you have enough of your regular medications and prescriptions, especially during the festive holidays.
For more advice, check out the NHS’s official guidance on staying well during winter: https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/
Winter is coming… stay healthy!