Sick Of Being Sick? Here Are 5 Steps I Took To Overcome Flu Season

Unfortunately, flu season is upon us. Freshman year, sickness hit me like a ton of bricks multiple times every quarter. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I spent most of the year with a lingering cough. But this year, I have done as much as I can to avoid sickness or at least overcome it quickly. I can proudly say I have only caught the cold once, and I was able to beat it in less than a week (with no remaining lingering cough whatsoever). Here are five tips and tricks that worked for me during flu season:

  1. 1. Get The Flu Shot Early

    Last year, I made the mistake of waiting two weeks into the school year to get my flu shot. And by this time, it was too late because living in freshman dorms means being exposed to tons of new germs. My roommates and I got each other sick, and soon enough, it seemed like our entire floor was coughing. This year, I made sure to get the shot before I moved in so it could kick in as soon as possible. So next time flu season rolls around, be sure to get the flu shot before school starts! UCLA does offer a free clinic, but it is good to arrive on campus having already received it. 

  2. 2. Maintain A Healthy Diet And Lifestyle Overall

    My diet was not the best last year. Freshman 15 is real when you have all-you-can-eat dining halls and several take-out options at the number one public university (subtle flex). Also, I didn’t work out as much as I should have. These habits left my body feeling weak and drained of energy, making it that much easier for sickness to take over. Since I wasn’t feeling energized or healthy enough to go about my day-to-day activities, how did I expect myself to fight the common cold? Now, I limit junk food and go to the gym as much as I can, which has had even more benefits than avoiding sickness. Working out is an efficient way to relieve stress, anger or anxiety instead of reverting to unhealthy coping mechanisms. By staying on top of my diet and working out, I have felt a substantial lift in my mood, energy and overall well-being. 

  3. 3. Take Probiotics

    On top of eating cleaner, I started taking probiotics this year to support my immune system, and they have worked wonders for me. Not only do they combat sickness, but they also contribute to better digestion. You can get probiotics from several different foods or drinks like yogurt, kimchi or kombucha, but I prefer to take Up&Up Probiotic Gummies. They taste delicious and aren’t a hassle at all. So, if you are looking for something to give your immune system the extra support that it deserves, I strongly recommend giving these probiotics a go. 

  4. 4. Drink Lots Of Water And Hot Green Tea

    I am sure we are all tired of hearing that water and green tea are the solutions to all of our health and beauty problems. However, they have both had a huge impact on my overall health. Since I did not hydrate enough last year and was constantly eating bad foods, there really was not much to clean out my system. But, both water and green tea are fantastic for flushing out toxins from your body and therefore contribute to a stronger immune system. I try to drink green tea every morning, which aids metabolism and works well with honey if you have a sore throat. 

  5. 5. Get Enough Sleep

    As hard as it is in college, getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is essential for maintaining proper health. Just like how eating the wrong foods minimizes energy, lacking hours of sleep leaves you feeling exhausted (something we are all familiar with) and makes you prone to sickness. Forcing myself to reduce my naps and hop into bed earlier has made me feel much more ready to take on the day. But, if you do end up getting sick, try to stay in bed and get as much sleep as possible. Even if you need to have your friends take notes for you in class, your body will thank you for it. Getting tons of extra sleep while you are sick makes a drastic difference. 

While getting sick is inevitable to us as human beings, we can always be proactive and take control of our health beforehand. Whether this means adjusting your diet or getting enough sleep, taking that first step towards a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do to minimize the chances of getting sick this flu season.