Sick Season Survival Guide

The weather is changing and holidays are (slowly) approaching. Unfortunately, this time of year also has some not-so-fun aspects. As it gets colder, the number of runny noses, coughs, and congested chests peaks. Getting sick is one of my least favorite things and it makes me feel absolutely miserable. During my first year in college, I got sick a couple of times, which was not fun, but did allow me to build up an arsenal of supplies that ease my discomfort.

  1. 1. Kleenex

    This is an obvious one but super important. Keeping a stash of Kleenex with you throughout the day prevents you from having to hope classrooms have them or run to the bathroom and use the abrasive tissue in there. Having soft face tissues can prevent discomfort from the irritation of blowing your nose.

  2. 2. Chloraseptic Spray/Lozenges

    A scratchy or sore throat is one of the telltale signs that you are coming down with something, and it can be downright annoying. Some medicines help to target this pain but don’t always do a thorough job. I’ve found that using a spray or lozenge that directly targets the irritated area will give me much more relief.

  3. 3. Decongestant Spray

    Having a stuffy nose may be the worst part of getting sick (IMO). It makes sitting still or trying to go to sleep a lot more frustrating. When your nose gets severely stuffy, a decongestant spray can provide fast-acting relief and help you sleep easier. It’s important to use them correctly though – otherwise, it may only make your congestion worse!

  4. 4. Vapor Decongestant

    There are other forms of decongestants that can be helpful as well, such as a vapor decongestant. This product helps relieve congestion by inhaling a vapor to reduce pressure.

  5. 5. Hot, Steamy Showers

    If you want to relieve some of the pressure in your sinuses or head, but you don’t want to take medicine/are waiting for your dosage to take effect, enjoying a nice, hot shower can be really helpful. The steam can help temporarily ease the pressure and it’s also a good way to relax. 

  6. 6. Hot Tea

    Drinking hot tea can help soothe symptoms and aid your immune system. It’s a good way to stay hydrated and certain teas have benefits. Ginger tea helps fight toxins and cleanse the body, green tea helps to enhance the growth of immune cells and echinacea tea has been proven to help reduce the duration of a cold and prevent it from returning.

  7. 7. Rest (As Necessary) & Getting Active

    Sometimes, being sick can make you feel really drained. It’s important to listen to your body and get the rest that you need to recover. Once you’re feeling better and more energized, try to reintroduce exercise to help your body recover, like by taking walks.

Keeping up good hygiene practices is the first line of defense against sickness, but it’s not always possible to avoid it. If you do come down with something, finding the right supplies to make yourself as comfortable as possible can make recovering a little easier.