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How to Get Over the Winter Sniffles

That nasty winter cold happens to everyone. It almost feels inevitable—winter comes around and someone will get the sniffles. You can avoid the bugs by washing your hands frequently, but once you’ve got one you’re stuck. Here are a few ways to help the sniffles go away faster.

Stay Hydrated

Seriously, drink more water. I know everyone says this but that’s only because it is really important. Staying hydrated is even more important when you’re sick because dehydration can weaken your immune system. If you don’t like drinking plain water, try adding fruits or vegetables for flavor. If that still doesn’t work for you, tea, juice, and sparkling water are also good options.

Eat Well

Your body needs energy to fight off those nasty cold germs, and energy comes from making good choices about food. Eating nothing but ramen for 3 days is not going to give your body the nutrients and calories it needs to make you feel better. Try to get a healthy meal in at least once a day (even when you aren’t sick). Give your body the tools it needs to make you feel better. Make sure you get some of every food group! By the way, it’s a myth that drinking milk while sick makes your sniffles worse. Load up on healthy foods that will give your immune system plenty of fuel to fight with!

Rest Up

There’s a famous Winston Churchill quote about the importance of taking it easy: “Never stand up when you can sit down. And never sit down when you can lie down.” This is especially true when you’re under the weather! Rest as much as you can—your body needs it! Don’t push yourself too hard; you’ll only delay your recovery. It’s okay to miss that movie night and get some extra sleep instead. Sleep is so important to the recovery process! Resting allows your energy to be directed solely at healing.

Be Realistic

None of us want to let a little thing like the sniffles hold us back from doing what we want. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and honestly evaluate to see if you’re pushing yourself too far. Can you make it to 2 classes, a club meeting, a study session and dinner with friends? The answer is yes, of course you can, but you’re going to be exhausted. Is that a realistic schedule while you aren’t feeling your best? No! It’s okay to take time for yourself and rest. The world won’t fall apart if you miss this week’s study session. It’s definitely not the time to pull an all-nighter, either. Be realistic about what you can get done while still taking care of yourself and allowing room to heal.

Hopefully with spring right around the corner, the winter sniffles will soon be a distant memory for us all. If you do get caught with them though, I hope this article gives you some pointers on how to get over them quickly. Remember that it is okay to give yourself some slack and take care of yourself!

I study Criminal Justice at Hamline University, with minors in Forensic Science and Creative Writing.
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