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How to avoid the Sewanee Plague

If you go to Sewanee, you know that the Sewanee plague is real and it’s here. School has been in session for only a little over a month and it seems as if the everyone at school has already been sick at least once. Currently as I am writing this, I am bundled up in a blanket wearing socks and a scarf trying to recover from a low fever. I want to share some of my tips for how to take care of yourself while you are sick and activities that may help you avoid getting sick in the future.

  1. Make Sleep a top priority- ​​This is the one thing that I swear on and believe is so incredibly important. College students are notorious for staying up late trying to finish a paper, studying for an exam or just socializing with friends. We think that we can just catch up on sleep over the weekend but studies show that doesn’t speed up the recovery process at all. When we are sick, our body NEEDS rest (lots of it!) . Getting extra sleep can truly speed up the recovery process. Some people don’t recover and have symptoms for weeks and the not getting adequate sleep is most likely a contributing factor.​

  2. Go Outside- Being outside in the fresh crisp air, is a nice change in surroundings from the same air circulating inside a dorm room. Being in small confined spaces exposes you to all sorts of germs, but studies show that a walk outside can raise your immune system. The smell in the fresh air can decrease stress and increase feelings of happiness as well.

  3. Light Exercise- A light jog (outside!) can help relieve symptoms of stuffy nose, headache and cramps during the sick period. The oxygen that circulates the body is really healthy and good for the body. My favorite jog is out to Green’s view, it’s short and the view is beautiful. It can increase mood as well.

  4. Drink Water- Definitely be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. I know how difficult this can be because it seems as if the body seems to not even absorb it at all and I have to get out of bed in half an hour to pee. But really, plenty of water helps replace fluids lost and helps your body to function. This can help lighten the feeling of nausea. A tip is to add some fruit such as a lemon slice into it for a little extra flavor to make it easier and more appealing to drink!

  5. Pay attention to diet- Sometimes I have the weirdest cravings when I’m sick (one time when I was sick, all I wanted to eat were sweet potato fries) Truth is though, there is nothing beneficial about eating french fries and burgers when you’re sick. Not only is it difficult to digest, it can trigger additional stomach pains. While the body does need energy, we should be aware of the foods that are good and bad for the body. Vegetable soup is a great option, add in some pasta for added energy!

  6. Stay warm- The first thing my mom always asks me when I tell her that I’m sick is if I am wearing socks. Staying warm will comfort the body and make you feel better especially if you are congested. This is why we love being covered in blankets when we are sick. Don’t worry about looking silly wearing a sweater and uggs (I did that on friday) because it really helps lessen the severity of symptoms!

  7. Use hot water- Whether it is to make tea for yourself or to take a shower or even washing your hands, keep the water hot and steamy. A hot steamy shower can help dislodge mucus in the nose. It also helps to wash away germs that are on the body. Adding honey to hot water or tea can help with a sore throat too and add a sweet touch to a drink!  

Displaced New Englander who loves the outdoors, sweet tea, sunsets, dogs and the beach.
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