At this point of the fall, you’ve either had the flu/cold or are about to receive it. If for some reason you manage to escape flu season without so much as a sore throat and runny nose colour me impressed because you must be invincible. For those of us regular folks, it is more of an inevitability when it comes to being cursed with the sickness. In order to help those who have not yet been infected and bring some relief to those sick ones who have, welcome to Surviving Flu Season 101: tips and tricks to preventing that flu:
- Get Your Flu Shot
This may be the most obvious way to beat the flu but you would be surprised how many people don’t go down and get their flu shots (myself included). All you have to do for this one is suck it up and go down to the clinic for the shot. It really is that easy. While this trick is not going to guarantee keeping that pesky cold away, it is a good way to prepare yourself against the flu.
- Avoid Unnecessary Stress
Stress really does hamper your ability to stay healthy. Between assignments, labs and exams it can be really hard not to be a little stressed out. Do yourself a favour and get your work done. The sooner you study and complete assignments the less stress you will have later when the due date is fast approaching. Avoid unnecessary stressors and take a break during your day to unwind. Maybe give meditation a shot.
- Catch those Zzz’s
Your body needs the opportunity to charge and recharge the energy drained during the day. Getting your sleep is important for your body to be working to fight your immune system. When you aren’t sleeping for the proper amount each night, your body is more prone to catching infections. Try staying in bed an extra 10 minutes a day, by the end of the week you will have slept an extra hour.
- Clean Your Desk
With a little dusting and a disinfecting wipe, your desk can go from flu central to a germaphobe’s dream in just a few minutes. Desks are a hotspot for germs to sit and linger. Your keyboard? Covered in germs. Pencils? Probably gross. Your cellphone? Trust me you don’t want me to go there. Curb the germs and invest in some disinfectant instead.
- Wash Your Hands
This has been preached since you were in elementary and somehow there are still people who just don’t understand. Don’t worry I’ll repeat it for you. Wash. Your. Hands. Think of all the things you come into contact with throughout the day. A lot of things = a lot of germs. So just humour me and wash and sanitize your hands before and after eating and using the washroom.
Done all the above and yet you still managed to catch a cold? Don’t worry I’ve got some tips for you as well. Surviving Flu Season 101: Tips and tricks to making it out of the sickness alive:
- Take Some Time To Rest
Sleep, relax, take some of the stress off your body. The more you rest when you first get sick, the more likely your body will be able to repair your immune system and fight against the virus. This may even call for you to miss a lecture for an extra hour of sleep. Your mind won’t be able to properly function while battling a virus and so taking the time to heal will get you back out in the world faster and healthier than if you had not.
- Breathe in the Steam
Fill the bathroom sink or a bowl with some boiling hot water and breathe the steam in for several minutes until you start to feel some relief. This can ease congestion and open up your nose and throat giving your congestion a much-needed break. This tip may not heal you but it sure will have you feeling good even if just for a few minutes.
- Drink! Drink! Drink!
Make sure you drink a lot of fluids. Although juices will help it doesn’t hurt to force some water in your body. When you are sick you are at the most risk of becoming dehydrated. By refreshing your body and staying hydrated you can help turn that gross mucus into a more thin liquid that is easier to cough up.
Hopefully, my survival guide has helped you to overcome or postpone the annual virus that has been floating around. If you try your best and follow my tips you just might even make it out as a survivor by Christmas.
Rylie Moscato is a first year English student and Wellness Columnist for The Athenaeum