For general health information and advice about when to seek medical care, call to Healthline on freephone 0800 611 116 anytime day or night to speak to a registered nurse, or check the Emergency Q app (download from the Apple App Store or Google Play).
The Healthline and Emergency Q services are free and can help you determine whether you can care for yourself and your whānau at home or whether you need to see your GP, Urgent Care Centre or Māori Health Provider. They will also let you know whether you need to call 111 or go to hospital ED.
Most people will be able to manage their cold or flu at home by following these tips:
Managing your child’s cold or flu symptoms is similar to managing your own.
However, if your child has any of the symptoms below, please call your GP or freephone Healthline on 0800 611 116. In an emergency, always call 111.
Symptoms of colds, flu, COVID-19 and other viruses can vary widely. Some people have mild symptoms while others, such as older people and people with high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes or obesity, may feel very unwell or notice their symptoms start to get worse.
The best way to protect yourself and your family/whānau from the flu is to get an influenza vaccination.
More info on our Flu Vaccination Information page.
Kia kaha tonu - Keep active
We can feel more physically tired during winter than in other seasons and getting motivated to exercise, especially if it's cold, wet or dreary outside can be difficult.
But it is important to get out for fresh air – even for a light stroll around the neighbourhood or make the most of one of our whānau friendly walking tracks and get everyone involved.
You can also keep active from the comfort of your home using platforms like YouTube for some fun workouts with minimal equipment required.
Kia tineia a roto me waho - Stay hydrated, inside and out
The air can be chilly and very dry in the cold winter temperatures. Couple this with the fact that winter often brings colds and sinus congestion—causing many to breathe through their mouths and dehydration.
So, make sure you drink lots of water and invest in a high-quality lip balm or petroleum jelly to keep dry, flaky lips at bay.
You'll also want to make sure you have good body and hand lotion to avoid itchiness and irritation from the dry weather. Apply this when getting out of the shower or bath.
Tukua to tinana kia okioki tika - Allow your body to rest adequately
Make sure you get enough sleep every night because sickness and germs thrive in winter. Getting enough rest helps your body heal from illness and helps strengthen your immune system to avoid getting sick in the first place.
Sleep can help boost your mood and stay more focused and productive at work.
Kia mau ki to ma whaiaro - Keep up with personal hygiene
Wash your hands frequently to kill germs and help stop the spread of sickness and illness.
Make sure you're washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and using strong, anti-bacterial soap and water.
You should also regularly wipe down surfaces and high-touch areas like doorknobs.
Kai te kai tika - Eat a balanced diet
In the winter, it can feel like all your favourite bright coloured vegetables and fruits are out of season and therefore off the table.
However, there is plenty of winter-specific like pumpkin, citrus fruits, carrots, and dark leafy greens in season that provide much-needed nutrients.
Tirohia me nga hoa me te hunga e arohaina ana - Check-in with friends and loved ones
The winter can be an incredibly depressing and isolating time. Many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and can feel withdrawn from others.
When it's cold outside and the sun setting early, many people don't feel ready to head outside to socialise. So, it's essential to reach out and check in with your loved ones frequently.
Kakahua mo te huarere - Dress for the weather
When you head outside in the low winter temps, dress adequately.
Depending on where you live, add a beanie, socks and layers to keep you warm.
Me whakapapa te ora - Hoki ki ngā tūāpapa - Connecting to practices that nurture wellbeing!