Going to college and living on campus is a new and exciting experience. Less exciting, however, is being sick and far away from home. Trying to overcome an illness and meet deadlines simultaneously can feel like trying to achieve mission impossible.
The winter months are a prime time for people to come down sick, and this is especially the case for sleep-deprived students cramming for exams. If you’ve recently gotten sick, or are prone to doing so, here are a few ways that you can quickly recover and get back on your feet this winter.
Beef Up Your Immune System
When you’re sick, it’s sometimes instinctive to want to curl up in bed all day and binge on your favorite shows. Although this is a valid way to recover, you should also look for ways to strengthen your immune system by giving your body the nutrients it needs to fight off the illness and germs.
WebMD recommends you eat enough fruits and vegetables, as studies show that people who do this don’t get sick as often. Consider vegetable soup or fresh fruit juices. Drinking enough water is also important, as it will flush out illness from your system and keep you hydrated.
Be sure you are practicing proper hygiene, as well, to avoid getting yourself and others sick. Do this by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, or the duration of a rendition of “Happy Birthday” or the ABCs, and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Disinfecting your room and hands will also help keep the germs away.
Look for Helpful Resources
Most college campuses have health and medical services on campus or in the surrounding area. Find out where yours is located, what hours they’re open, and if they have walk-in services. This would be helpful if you’re experiencing symptoms like a temperature above 102, abdominal pain, vomiting, severe headaches or any other worrying symptoms.
Although a common cold or flu is something you can typically get through on your own, you should still reach out for support. Tell your family and friends that you aren’t feeling well so they can help you with things like picking up medications, bringing meals, and tidying up if you’re too weak to do it.
If you’re feeling mentally and emotionally overwhelmed, make the best use of resources student care offers, whether it be a counselor or other mental health services, as your mental health has a profound effect on your physical health. Efforts are being made to make mental, emotional, and physical care more accessible to students. Seeing if they can help you in any way could mean you’re opening yourself up to receive collective and community support. This will, hopefully, help you get back to feeling better holistically and improve your performance long-term.
Get Enough Rest
Sleeping is a critical part of recovery when you’re under the weather. However, college students often struggle to sleep because they’re pulling all-nighters, working part-time, or dealing with stress. In light of this, try your best to get enough sleep and not feel guilty about it. Getting into the routine habit of sleeping enough is not only good for you when you’re ill, but it can improve your academic performance. You’ll feel well-rested, less stressed, and be able to more easily concentrate.
If you’re worried about how you’ll meet your deadlines, remember being down and out with the flu doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything else. Organize your workload while you’re in bed resting and do less strenuous but urgent tasks. Don’t overexert yourself! The rest can be done once you’re feeling better.
If you’re ever sick on campus, know that it isn’t something you have to endure alone. Surrounding yourself with a loving support system and practicing self-care is the best way to get well soon.
BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.