How to Avoid Winter Colds

Hey girls,

Winter feels like it has officially landed here in Boston! It is so chilly outside and with this cold weather comes sickness if you aren’t taking care of yourself. As Emersonians, it can sometimes be difficult to remember how important it is to put your health before school and your social life and this causes people to get worn down and catch colds. Since I know none of us has time to get sick, let’s look at some quick, simple things you can do to stay healthy.

Take your vitamins! Although it is sometimes hard to eat in a healthy way at college, it is important that your body is receiving everything it needs to function properly. If those large, flavorless horse pills aren’t making you happy, buy some gummy vitamins! They’re chewy, delicious, and great supplements! Another way to do this is, of course, to eat right. Eating well will give you the vitamins you need, and even if that broccoli isn’t the most flavorful thing on your plate, it is important that you maintain a balanced diet. This also includes staying hydrated. Water does wonderful things for your body, especially removing toxins. Drink either that or orange juice instead of carbonated sugar. Healthy substitutes can make a big difference. You are what you eat!

Sleep! If you aren’t giving your body the time to rest, you are sacrificing the efficiency of your immune system. You become more likely to catch a cold and it will take you longer to recover from one. This is a crucial part of your daily routine and people tend to overlook it. Adults need around eight hours each night and teenagers need nine to ten. This is considered the optimal amount but also remember that more sleep isn’t better for you either. Try to keep the amount of time you sleep consistent each night. If you aim for the same bedtime and wake up around the same time each day, this is supposed to be better for your body and improve how you feel in the morning.

Wash your hands often! Did you know that colds and the flu can be passed through coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces? Our hands are constantly in use and touching the world around us as we go through our busy days, whether that happens to be doors, elevator buttons or desks. Lots of people touch these every day, and if there are colds going around, the chances are very high that it could be on one of these commonly touched areas. Washing your hands frequently can help you get rid of whatever you pick up during the day. This is especially important since we constantly touch our faces, which have plenty of openings like our mouths, noses and eyes that let bacteria and viruses easily avoid our first layer of protection, our skin. With clean hands, this becomes less of a problem.

With that in mind, clean your room! Using antibacterial wipes, wipe down places that are touched often: doorknobs, handles, desks, switches, etc. This way, most germs you picked up on your hands won’t stick around in your private room. Also, if you’re as busy as most Emerson students are, you probably struggle to find time to do your laundry. This is not ok! Leaving unwashed or damp clothes in a room can cause bacterial buildups as well as fungi. Clean living is healthy living.

These are just a few tips for staying healthy this winter but if you keep up with them, they should help you have a jolly winter season. Happy holidays!