How to Stay Healthy in Winter

The colder months are synonymous with nasty cold and flu bugs spreading around so it’s important to keep yourself in optimum health. There are various ways to keep your immune system strong and it’s not as hard as you may think. Here are our top five tips:

  1. Eat – Cut out the junk food. A variety of food will provide you the adequate nutrients to re-enforce your immune health. Lots of fruit, plenty of vegetables and lots of water to keep your kidneys doing what they do best
  2. Vitamin C – If you’re feeling run-down it might not just be the weather. When your immune system weakens so to do your energy levels. Vitamin C is readily available in citrus fruits or chewable tablets from your local chemist
  3. Sleep – Of course, the best way to let your body recover is to rest by getting a full night of sleep (over 8 hours) can do your body a world of good
  4. Exercise – Yes it’s cold but Melbourne is full of gyms. Routine exercise for 30 minutes a day is a great way to stay healthy and keep a fit physique in the process!
  5. Hygiene – People get common colds and flu through the spread of bacteria. Simple measures to stop the spread of bacteria should be a frequent procedure. Wash your hands with soap after sneezing or visiting the bathroom and keep handy a little pack of hand disinfectant for anything potentially germ-ridden that you may touch during the day

Seeking medical help

GP clinics and hospitals are common place around Melbourne and Victoria. If your matter is non-urgent you can call many GP clinics at 8:00am or 8:30am to schedule an appointment for that day. Otherwise try to pick a date and book in advance. For emergencies call 000 or visit your nearest hospital’s emergency department.

Homesickness

Your university will always have counselling services if you just need to talk to somebody. The Study Melbourne Student Centre is also a great place to talk to a professional staff member about any issues you may be having. They can also put you in touch with the next amazing event happening in Melbourne to help fight those homesick feelings. Or simply come and hang out in the great space with many other international students who come to use the Wi-Fi and computers, or just come for a coffee or tea.

Sexual health

Taking care of your sexual health is an important. Staying safe through the use of contraceptives as well as being smart and informed about sex will help you stay safe and healthy. If you are concerned about your sexual health you can visit your local GP to organise a sexual health check for the testing, treatment and management of sexual and reproductive issues. Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic is free and has lots of information available to support you to make good decisions about your sexual health

Depression and other mental health issues

Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health and if you experience any form of anxiety or depression it is important to talk to somebody. This could be a friend, family member, counsellor or dedicated support organisation such as Beyond Blue, Heads Up or Mind Matters. If your matter is more urgent call the 24-hour crisis support service Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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