Cantabrians are reminded to look after themselves this Easter and school holidays by taking a few easy steps to stay well.
Dr Alistair Humphrey says it's getting to the time of year when seasons start to change and people do start to experience colds and flus.
"No one likes getting sick, especially on holiday. So if you're going away for Easter or the school holidays and you're not feeling 100 percent, contact your General Practice team, rather than wait until things get worse," Dr Humphrey says.
"It's important to seek advice early – if you have been feeling unwell phone your General Practice team today."
Dr Humphrey says another thing to remember if you're heading away, is to stock up on prescriptions.
"Don't leave it until the last minute. Most repeat prescriptions can be organised by phoning your General Practice team and won't require an appointment with the doctor," he says.
For people who don't have a doctor and are new to Canterbury, it's important they register with a General Practice team in order to have the best access to health services, Dr Humphrey says.
"They are listed in the phone book or by searching online," he says.
Dr Humphrey says the first step to accessing care is to phone your General Practice team, they will advise you on what to do.
"You may be advised to go to the nearest afterhours centre, or if it's an emergency phone 111."
Dr Humphrey says another important part of keeping healthy during the colder months is to get an influenza vaccination.
"The flu vaccine provides the best protection against the influenza strains predicted to be circulating this season. Phone your General Practice to make an appointment to get your vaccination."
Dr Humphrey says one final and perhaps the easiest tip to maintaining physical and mental health and keeping well, is eating a balanced diet, including lots of fruit and vegetables and remaining active over the colder months.
"Even though it's getting colder outside, if you can remain active and make healthy food choices, it will make a big difference to your wellbeing.
"There are lots of seasonal veges on offer that are great for making delicious healthy soups and casseroles. You may even like to think about signing up to the Fruit and Vege Coop – which makes it even easier."
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