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Health

How to Protect Yourself from Getting Sick

‘Tis the season to… get sick. This time of year is notorious for spreading the flu, cold viruses, and all-around bad bugs. This should be the happiest season of all, but if you’re stuck in bed sick it can be just plain miserable. Luckily there are little habits that you can adopt this month to protect yourself from getting sick and missing out on any fun activities.

Wash Your Hands

This may seem simple, but with more people getting sick and carrying around nasty bugs, it’s a lot easier to get them on your hands and get sick from them. You should wash your hands at all the normal times, but if you ride public transportation such as Trax or a campus shuttle, it’s important to wash anything off that could have gotten on your hands from the pole you were hanging on to. It is also important to wash your hands as soon as you get home to get rid of any grime or bacteria from your hands that accumulated during the day, especially before you eat or cook. If you don’t have time to wash your hands before or after classes, another alternative is to carry around hand sanitizer! Bath & Body Works is coming out with winter scents, so you can smell good as well as stay healthy!

Eat Healthy

This season is full of delicious comfort foods: mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, mac and cheese… It is also important to continue to give your body all the nutrients it still needs, however. Though these foods are delicious, many of them don’t contain all of what your body needs to keep your immune system working. It’s important to continue to eat leafy greens, plenty of fruits, and protein so your body can get all it needs to fight off disease and keep you energized!

Drink Lots and Lots of Water

This one might seem self-explanatory, but because the weather is cooling down, we often forget to drink all the water we need. If we have enough water our body can flush out any sickness that we might feel coming on, and it will keep us hydrated and feeling energized. If we don’t get enough water we can feel groggy, tired, and sick, so by drinking enough each day you can feel healthier!

Get Enough Sleep

This one might be harder to do as we enter finals season, but it is super important! While you sleep your body can rest, grow, and catch up on anything it must do. This includes forming memories, growing muscle, and fighting off infections. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep your immune system can suffer and you can get sick more easily. If you must pull an all-nighter, make sure you can take a nap or something the next day so your body can catch up, have a break, and keep protecting you!

Get Your Vaccines

Finally, getting a flu shot is easy, but many people still refuse to do it. Many pharmacies give out flu shots for free or for a low cost, and they only take a couple of minutes. The College of Nursing also gives free flu shots on certain days for anyone who wants them. Many people can also get a flu shot through their work, so ask office managers if that perk is available. This is something that many people forget to do throughout the season, but could really help you stay healthy.

This season can be the best of the year, but if you’re taken out by disease it can feel insufferable, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to to stay happy and healthy throughout the holidays.

Picture Sources: 1, 2, 3

Rebecca is a sophomore finishing her last year of prerequisite courses before starting the nursing program. She works at an oral surgeon's office as a surgical assistant and receptionist.
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