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How To Fight The Winter Chills: Illness Tips And Tricks

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

I bet we have all noticed a change in the weather — the wind has begun to blow a crisp and chilling breeze, our breath dances in the early morning air, the beanies are out, and leg warmers are… literally everywhere… like seriously, where can I get a pair? 

But more importantly, with the chilly season upon us, the season of sneezes, coughing, and chills are right around the corner. So along with dressing warm, staying hydrated, wearing a mask whenever possible, and always washing your hands, here are some of my favorite illness tips and tricks to fight the chills this winter season, and I’m not talking about the wind. 


While Vicks is typically used on the chest for coughs and can be applied on areas of the skin suffering from soreness, I’ve also noticed the benefits of putting Vicks on the bottom of my feet! I know it’s strange, but hear me out. Vicks Vaporub contains a potent aroma that aids in cough suppression and is absorbed through the skin to aid in muscle aches, so why not put Vicks on our feet where we have hundreds of nerve endings that communicate messages throughout our entire body? While it might seem weird, after a few days your cough will not only subside, but your feet might feel a bit softer and less tense. I always do this before bed and then put on socks so my sheets and floor don’t get sticky. While it might seem silly, I swear by it. You can also put it on your chest, as advised on the label so that you can continue to smell the rub working its magic all night long. And heads up… there is a lavender scent which I think might be preferable for many of you. I give this trick 4/5 stars! 


This tea not only looks beautiful but tastes of soul-healing magic. 

What you will need:

1 handful of washed blueberries

2 handfuls of washed raspberries 

A few branches of fresh and washed thyme (or from a bottle)

1 lemon

½ teaspoon ginger (powder or pieces/ shavings)

2 tablespoons of honey

1-2 teabags of hibiscus tea (or any other herbal tea you enjoy) 

OPTIONAL: you can also add some fresh mint leaves

Hot water 

The process:

It is quite easy. Once you have added all of your dry ingredients to a teapot, you will then add your hot water and stir. Once satisfied with your stirring, let the tea brew for 5-10 minutes and stir again before pouring to serve (be sure to strain when pouring so you’re only consuming the tea). I hope you like it and can feel the healing at work! I give this trick 5/5 stars, especially because it’s delicious! 


While I think some of us might lose our appetites when we get sick, it is so important that you are still eating throughout the day to remain strong to fight your cold. In my experience, light foods are usually the best. What I mean by “light” is that these are foods that use fresh ingredients i.e. chicken soup, or vegetable broth-based soups, and steer away from heavier foods, such as dairy products, although some dairy can actually provide a lot of great nutrients in a small amount of food while you’re sick (MayoClinic). If you want a solid dairy-based prebiotic, I always recommend and love Yakult, which is a Japanese probiotic milk drink used to aid in digestion and immune support. This is the time to increase your intake of herbal tea, water, broth-based soups, vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, and any other foods that can provide nutrients and keep you warm (Healthline). These tips are 5/5 stars… also because they are tasty and super healthy!

  1. REST

I know the school system doesn’t allow us to feel as though we can pause even for a moment, but you can and you must. Preventing a cold or flu or healing from it requires us to rest. Take this as a sign to pat yourself on the back for everything you’ve accomplished and take a moment to appreciate yourself without suffering from the guilt of being “lazy.” Because guess what, rest is productive! So put on your sweats and fuzzy socks, hop into bed, and enjoy all those books and movies you’ve been putting off, or simply enjoy dreaming because it’s all part of the package towards remaining healthy during the cold winter season. While I will emphasize to sleep as much as you can, I’ve listed some great binge-worthy Netflix material below if sleeping isn’t your style:

(1) Wednesday

(2) Arcane

(3) Love, Death, and Robots

(4) New Girl

(5) All American

(6) The Witcher

These shows are 5/5 stars for binging through the flu season for me! 

Good luck with the winter season everyone and I hope these tips and tricks help in making sure the only chills this season are those of the winter winds! 

Sage R.J. Lang is a fourth year at UC Davis, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Education. Sage has pursued their undergraduate degree while traveling abroad, including Davis, Santa Barbara, Washington D.C., and most recently Thailand. Sage has been writing since 2015 and looks forward to sharing their voice with the readers of Her Campus before graduating and pursuing their many career dreams. While Sage's focus is more usually creative prose, they look forward to expanding their horizons towards a more journalistic and personal style. Sage hopes to improve the experiences of current, new, and incoming Davis Aggies with their articles and looks forward to engaging with campus doing something they love deeply.