It has come to the time of year when almost all college students are struggling with one cold after the other. Walking to class the hall is filled with the sound of sniffles and there’s the one kid in your french class who’s had a head cold for almost two months. There are many reasons this happens, increased stress, lowered immunity, not sleeping enough and the simple fact that college campuses are known for being literal Petri dishes for sicknesses.
Getting sick sucks, and it can get in the way of productivity and success. I am not a medical expert but here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years from a relative with an immune disease.
Vitamin C- A Preventative Measure
The classic home-remedy for a cold is orange juice or vitamin c. However, the idea that this can help decrease the severity or duration of a cold is an old wives’ tale. While you won’t do any damage by taking that Emergen-C, it won’t help you once you’ve already got a cold. The best way to use vitamin c is before you get sick at all. Taking vitamin c supplements daily has been connected to decreased duration and severity of sickness, so start taking vitamin c before the cold season starts!
Get a Flu Shot
Yes, yes, yes, please do this. It’s so important for your health as well as for others around you. Just because they got the shot doesn’t mean you can’t give them the flu. The best way to get a flu shot is early in the day, so your body has more time to metabolize the shot before you go to bed. If you get it too close to going to bed, your odds of actually getting sick from it increases because your metabolism goes down at night and then the vaccine doesn’t move as much as it needs to. Local pharmacies usually offer walk-in flu shots and they are often fully covered by insurance. If you don’t have insurance or it’s not covered for some reason, here’s an article that can help you find the best shot for you.
Tea boosts your immune system, especially green tea or chamomile tea. Plus, green tea has a low amount of caffeine, so if you find yourself constantly crashing in the afternoon, adding a cup of green tea to your routine will benefit you in more ways than one. If you don’t drink caffeine (tell me your secrets!) chamomile tea is known for helping with relaxation and reducing menstrual pain, so is perfect for right before bed.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Nasty but Wonderful
My mom and I swear by apple cider vinegar. It’s the nastiest thing ever but it has amazing anti-bacterial properties that practically kill sickness before it can take hold. My preferred method is to add an ounce (shot glasses are useful for more than one thing) to a cup of chamomile or apple tea with honey before going to bed. Doing this decreases the taste of the vinegar and adds to an already beneficial drink. My mom is crazy and her preferred method is just a straight shot of the stuff, which is the most effective method but it’s SO NASTY. If you get apple cider vinegar, make sure to get unfiltered because otherwise, it won’t have all the good stuff in it.
And don’t forget to wash your hands, go to a doctor if you need too, get enough sleep and hydrate or diedrate!