There is nothing quite like this time of year! Yes, the overwhelming class loads, the gloomy and chilly weather, and worst of them all, the dreaded cold and flu surge! Sharing a living space with 40-200+ students at a time certainly has its advantages; but, as we know, it is also a bit of a war zone when it comes to getting sick. Here are some tips that you can use to help limit the risk of you getting sick this season while being around so many students!
1: Wash your hands!
Now, I know this seems obvious, but hear me out. I HOPE that everyone washes their hands after using the restroom, but when your friends and classmates are falling ill so frequently, we need to be cleaner and more conscious. Wash your hands before and after you eat, wash your hands after touching doorknobs, especially to main entrances/exits of buildings, wash your hands after you sit at a public study table, at the weight room, and after pushing elevator buttons. Any high-traffic surface that your hands/fingers come into contact with can be filled with germs and bacteria. Hand sanitizer works in a time pinch as well!
2: Eat well!
As university students, eating and affording healthy meals can be a bit of a stretch and even unobtainable. Eating well is not ONLY eating healthy and nutritious meals, but also making sure that you are full and sustained. If you must skip breakfast, make sure you get a hearty lunch. If you miss lunch, try to get some filling snacks and munch on them throughout the day. Having energy is an immense help to your immune system and overall disposition. Plus, if you do happen to get sick, you’re going to really miss being able to eat decent meals!
3: Stay Hydrated!
This is another obvious one, but you lose so much water when you get ill, especially with the flu. You don’t have to be chugging a gallon every time you think of it, but make sure you aren’t thirsty while sitting in class, or at a study table. Invest in a water bottle that just stays in your backpack so that you always have something to rely on. Water is always best, but Gatorade, Petiolate, and vegetable smoothies/juices are great to have in rotation as well!
4: Take it easier!
Don’t roll your eyes just yet, I KNOW how hard this one is to do in university, especially the longer you’ve been here, but if you start to feel yourself getting ill, feeling burnt out, or even just a little off, then it’s time to hit the breaks for a bit. Take
an early shower, and head to sleep an hour or so before your normal bedtime to allow your body and brain to rest and recover from the day. Try swapping one of your late nights out with your friends to a late night in, with snacks, and a calming movie. Take a night to yourself in your dorm to read a good book, watch a longer form video/show, and try to do other activities that keep your heart rate low, and body at rest. Giving yourself a bit of a reset, even if just for a few hours before, can be incredibly important in preventing yourself from feeling any worse!