Flu seasons is unfortunately upon us. To the majority of college students, getting the flu or being sick in the winter is inevitable: you’re constantly surrounded by other students who are sick, whether they know it or not, and you’re sharing dozens of communal spaces. The inevitability, in turn, can become lack of caution in preventing your catching of the flu, or another common illness during the cold, bitter Winter months. Though the flu is wide-spreading, there are some overlooked, yet simple steps you can take to stay healthy!
1. Clean your hands: there’s a reason this has been embedded into our minds since we were in first grade – it works. When you really sit down to think about what common surfaces your hand touches everyday, the thought of germs you pick up becomes pretty overwhelming. When it be your dorm door knob, the bathroom door handle, the stall lock, the caf salad tongs, or even the pencil you borrow from someone in your class, germs are easily spread. Washing your hands is a quick, yet extremely effective way to prevent illness.
2. SLEEP – now you have more of an excuse than just not wanting to study a little more for an upcoming quiz. As it turns out, sleep deprivations can have an adverse effect on the immune system which can increase your vulnerability of infectious diseases such as the flu.
3. Avoid close contact with those who are sick. If someone you know has been diagnosed with the flu, or another type of commonly spread illness, it’s at your best interest to separate from that person for the time needed. Though you may feel like a bad friend for not helping them in their time of need (we’ve all been there) the flu can spread up to six feet away from the
infected person, so it’s best to just keep your distance.
4. Listen to music. Not joking. Though this may sound like a complete lie, a study was done by ABC news which showed how listening to 30 minutes of relaxing music can actually increase levels of immunoglobulin which helps to fight infection.
5. Hot/Cold Shower method. Though you may be skeptical to try this (I don’t blame you) if you take a hot shower for around ten minutes, and then within the last 10 seconds switch to cold water, this can give your immune system the boost it may need.
6. Make a conscious effort to include protein in your diet. According to Dr. Kalman from the Miami Research Associates, diets that are too low in protein have the tendency to deplete the immune system. You can do this on campus by focusing on incorporating yogurt, chicken and eggs into your diet.
On behalf of all of Her Campus we hope you manage to stay healthy and have speedy recoveries!