We can all sense it, can’t we? That uneasy feeling we get when the chorus of sniffles reigns out during a quieter moment in class. The clearing of throats, excessive drinking of water bottles and occasional unwrapping of cough drops. Yes, I do believe it’s flu season.
If you are often unscathed by this annual fight-of-the-fittest, then congrats. This article does not apply to you. If you’re human like I am then please, read carefully. I have come back from the common cold and even the depths of the stomach flu to bring you a little enlightenment in the form of some simple steps to keep you (and the rest of us) around until the end of midterms. These are just some of my helpful go-tos when dealing with symptoms and those with symptoms.
Oranges, Oranges, Oranges
They don’t rhyme well with many things, but they are on sale. In the state of an in-between cold or simply as a preventative measure, it’s good to stock up on healthy choices in any way that you can. Your easiest bet is Vitamin C because it’s cheap and, although oranges are not proven to help reduce/repel sickness, they are a good snack or breakfast to keep you going throughout the day. On days when the inside of your stomach feels like it may pay a visit, they are easy to eat.
Tea is your warm friend
I am not one to sit down with a cup of tea, but I make an exception throughout this time of year. I know that certain teas are best for certain symptoms–such as ginger tea that soothes your stomach–but any purchase of tea bags is an essential for flu season. I personally cannot stand the taste of most tea, so I buy the fruit-based teas and accompany them with lemon, honey and even orange slices to soothe my throat. If you can’t find any, simply drink water, lemon and honey.
Always be packing (tissues, of course)
I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a situation where—out of the blue—I find the need to cough or sneeze in a matter which someone would not like to shake my hand afterward. Snot is not becoming, ladies and gentlemen. So, rather than sneeze (or perform the ever-so-charming nose-drip) onto your environment, use a freaking tissue. Stuff some toilet paper in your backpack, buy some Kleenex–do what you need to do. Hand sanitizer or washing your hands as an afterward to blowing your nose is also a plus.
If you need to stay home, stay home
The best way for us to all survive this dreadful season is to simply know our boundaries. A majority of us are likely already carriers, but there’s no need to push it. Staying home when you know you’re sick is best in most situations. If you have to skip a class, so be it. It’s better to rest than to push yourself and be sick longer. Professors are human too and often understand if you give them a little heads-up. If you know someone who is sick in your class, be a helpful person and send pictures of your notes or text them some updates. You can save a life by just sending a quick e-mail some times.
You really need to clean…
Germs tend to linger (or so my mother believes). Be a good roommate or housemate and take care of your friend by opening windows and cleaning up if they are sick so that germs don’t stay in the same place forever. Doing your dishes, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom with bleach can save the spread of germs and prevent worse ones from growing. Plus, we’ve all been sick before and it helps when you’re in a fresh environment to fight off disease. Good luck!