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8 Ways to Stay Healthy When Your Roommate is Sick

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NYU chapter.

It’s that time of the year again: cold and flu season. Living in cramped New York apartments can be a drag during these long months, especially when your roommate is coughing and sneezing just a few feet away from you. It might seem inevitable that you’ll catch those germs, but if you try these tips, you might just make it through without getting sick yourself.

1. Boost your vitamin intake

Taking a multivitamin daily is important for maintaining your health, and it’s especially important when your immune system is more vulnerable. For an extra boost against colds, vitamin C is your best bet. Supplements like gummies, Emergen-C, and fortified juices can give you that extra oomph. Some scientists also think zinc and echinacea can also keep you healthy.

2. Stay clean

Make sure to be extra careful of surfaces that your roommate touches a lot, like faucets, knobs, and drawer handles. Also make sure that you’re cleaning your phone and computer keyboard frequently. Germs easily pass from surfaces to people, so wiping a few places around your apartment with antiseptic wipes is a fast way to prevent that spread.

3. Clean even more

Thought that wiping down some surfaces was enough? Maybe not. Also be wary of other things you and your roomie share, like pillows, towels, and soap. Try simple fixes like using a separate hand towel and using your own soap, then be sure to put everything in the washing machine when your roommate is healthy again.

4. Keep your hands germ-free

Wash your hands even more than you normally would, and carry around a travel-sized hand sanitizer when you’re on the go.

5. Stay hydrated

Drink a lot of water! Water is a great and easy way to boost your immune system. Try investing in a cute water bottle — it will be a perfect accessory and carrying it around will remind you to drink more. Tea is also great, and tons of options like green tea, lemon tea, and ginger tea have amazing health benefits.

Just try to avoid alcohol, because drinking interferes with your REM cycle, which can take a toll on your health.

6. Get your sweat on

Sweating will let your body naturally release of toxins. We can’t all have nice spa days and lounge around in saunas, but try taking a long, hot shower or bath and soaking up the steam. Working out is also a great way to get rid of toxins, but make sure you wipe down any handlebars, seats, and other surfaces before you start.

7. Clear the air

Air purifiers can help clear out viruses and bacteria. They can be expensive, but there are some smaller, more affordable versions available like this one. On a budget? These plants will keep your air clean and make a great apartment accessory.  

8. Get some zzz’s

One of the most important things for staying healthy is getting plenty of sleep. Get at least 7 hours, but if you’re starting to feel sick, it’s best to shoot for 8-10 hours. It might seem impossible on a college student schedule, but your body will thank you.

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Madison is a current Gallatin junior pursuing a concentration in Magazine Journalism and a minor in Nutrition. Besides obsessing over french bulldogs, peanut butter, and books, she aspires to be an editor someday. The city serves as her limitless inspiration, and you can most likely spot her in the park either writing away or leafing through magazines. She is currently the campus correspondent for Her Campus NYU and has previously interned and written for Bustle.com, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and NYLON. She believes in freshly baked cookies and never taking herself too seriously. Except when it comes to her career, of course.  "Creativity is intelligence having fun." - Albert Einstein