Many of us will have a cold, sore throat or other minor illness at some point during the winter and some of us will have flu.
If your symptoms persist, or you are at all unsure, always seek advice from your GP, nurse or pharmacist.
The most common winter illnesses will usually get better without the need to see a doctor.
Here are some tips to help you keep well and self care through the winter months and many more helpful resources below:
1. Treat yourself at home
Colds, flu and most sore throats do not need antibiotics and you can treat your symptoms at home. Make sure you get lots of rest, drink plenty of water and take pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you need them.
Find out what are the essential medicines your medicine cabinet should contain
How to stay well this winter
2. Order repeat prescriptions and book your flu jab in good time
If you take regular medication make sure you order your repeat prescriptions from your GP surgery in good time.
And if you're eligible for a flu jab - it is available free from your GP if you are over 65, pregnant or have a long-term condition such as heart failure, diabetes or respiratory disease - make an appointment at your surgery.
Children aged two and three can have the vaccine as a nasal spray.
Who should have the flu vaccination and why?
3. Speak to your pharmacist
Your local pharmacy can recognise many common health complaints. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines to help you manage the symptoms.
If your problem is more serious or you need medical advice, your pharmacist will advise you to contact your GP.
You can also ask your pharmacist what over the counter remedies to keep in your medicine cabinet at home to help get you and your family through the winter months.
Can the pharmacist help with your symptoms?
Find your local pharmacy
4. Check online for information and advice
There is lots of information on the NHS websites about how to keep well, check your symptoms or use self-care to stay healthy and treat common winter illnesses such as colds, sore throats and flu.
Check your health condition and know what to do next
Visit NHS England
Visit NHS Northern Ireland
Resources and blogs
Self care resources for patients
Self care does not mean that you need to manage on your own. You can get advice on how to self care, including factsheets to help you manage some common ailments, from the Self Care Forum website.
Visit the Self Care Forum
Read the Self Care Forum's factsheets
The BMA's Patient Liaison Group (PLG) has produced a Q&A, giving patients a basic introduction to self care, including what it involves, the risks and benefits, and where it can be accessed.
Download the PLG Q&A (PDF)
Embracing self care for life - Amanda Cool, chair of the BMA patient liaison committee, blogs for the Department of Health
Support self care for patients, says BMA
GPs empowering patients
Find information and guidance to guide new thinking and encourage patients to consider a self-care strategy.
Visit Quality First
As a patient, you can play an important role in managing your health and minor ailments to live a better, healthier, more independent life. The Patient portal from the Self Care Forum contains lots of useful advice on how you can achieve this.
Visit the Patient portal