As winter hits us hard on all the CSU campuses (and in all the places where online students are learning) the inevitability of colds and flu looms large. We all know the familiar struggles of battling through sniffles, wheezes, and a lingering cough while we’re busy, but juggling work, uni, friends, and loads of other aspects of life can leave almost no time to rest and recuperate. Plus there are the windy walks to class and perpetually cold lecture theatres that are inescapable. To make it worse, with the purse strings being extra tight at the end of session, it can be difficult to find the funds for a trip to the doctor. Instead, try these tips for looking after yourself during the season of sneezes, and hopefully you can ward off those pesky germs this winter.
Although people usually assume the change in weather is what causes colds and flu, they actually spread more easily during this time because people have weakened immune systems which, yes, can be partly attributed to the cold. But this offers up a handy way to protect yourself against gross germs taking hold of your body and making you sick. Boost your immune system by loading up on fruits and veggies, drinking loads of water, getting enough sleep, and always rugging up in lots of layers when you’re going outside. After all, we all know it’s better to be too warm than too cold.
As much as it sucks to be struck down with a cold or flu, sometimes you really do need to just power through. There’s a difference between being a little sick, and being so ill that you can’t get out of bed, let alone write essays or attend exams. Generally, if all your symptoms are above your neck, like a runny nose, tickly cough, and headache, then you can usually continue life as normal. But if you have symptoms any lower, like a chesty cough, aching muscles, or are running a fever then you really need to stay in bed. If this time out will affect your studies, remember to contact your subject co-ordinators. And when you start feeling better, remember that a little sunshine can do a world of wonders.
If you’re really, really sick, this is a time when it’s important to look after yourself. That means drinking lots of that fancy juice you love, munching on strawberries, sleeping in, and watching as many Disney movies as you can handle. Call in sick to work, forget about doing laundry, and just focus on getting yourself better – which will involve a little bit of lazy self-indulgence. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a family member, partner, or housemate who will look after you in your sickened state. Just make sure you return the favour.