It’s that time of year again: students are starting to get sick. With all the studying, partying, and the cold weather, it’s very easy to pick up germs. What isn’t easy is dealing with the sickness when it hits you. I may not be a doctor, but I do get sick several times a year. Here are some of my favourite ways to feel better when you’re ill, and to try to prevent yourself from coming down with the “Laurier Plague”.
It can be difficult to ingest any sort of food when you feel like absolute sh*t, and nothing may seem appetizing. But your body needs fuel to power through this cold! Though the best choice would be to eat something nutritious, my advice is to find anything at all that sounds appealing, especially if you’re nauseous. An obvious choice for most people is soup, soda crackers, and ginger ale (but I usually opt for donuts and ice-cream).
Drink Plenty of Tea
Tea is a really great way to relax your throat if it’s sore or irritated. You can add ingredients with soothing properties such as lemon and honey, that also taste great. If you are nauseous, it helps to add a 1×1 inch block of ginger to a steeped tea, in addition to some honey to sweeten it and make the ginger less bitter.
Lots (and Lots) of Sleep
Getting tons of rest is key when looking to heal your body and feel better. This can be hard when you have classes to attend and homework to do, but if you budget your time well, you should have plenty of time for sleep!
Take a Hot Shower/Bath
A hot shower or bath can help with easing the pains and shivers that come with being sick. As an added bonus, the steam also helps to clear out your sinuses. But be careful, as hot water can spike fevers!
It is vital that your body gets enough fluid when you’re sick. Drinking water prevents dehydration related to fevers, nausea and vomiting, and a buildup of mucus. Read more here:
Steaming with Peppermint Oil
Another way to clear your sinuses is with peppermint oil. A remedy that I learned from a friend involves boiling some water and adding it to a bowl large enough for you to lean over. Then, add a drop of peppermint oil before leaning over the bowl and breathing in the steam. The effects are amazing. Just be cautious of the amount of oil and the length of time you do this for, as it can sting your throat!
Gargling with Salt Water
If your throat is sore or scratchy, add a teaspoon of sea salt to a cup of hot water, and simply swish the mixture around your mouth and towards the back of your throat. Gargling salt water not only helps to soothe the pain, but also kills bacteria present in your throat.
Visit a Doctor
If you’re feeling bad enough, make sure you see a doctor, as they can provide you with antibiotics if necessary. Some bugs you just can’t cure on your own!
Wash your Hands
Washing your hands is key to ridding yourself of the (many) germs you encounter throughout the day. I wash my hands one million times a day, whether I’m coming back from class, just finished riding the bus, or getting home from the store. You never know what germs you may have come into contact with.
Lysol and other anti-bacterial wipes are super important for killing germs on surfaces where you might not expect them. I use them to clean my door handles, my computer, and most importantly my phone. Think about all the surfaces that your phone comes into contact with on a daily basis. Pretty gross, right?
Don’t Overdo it
When you are starting to feel better, don’t push yourself to do too much. I know it’s tempting after feeling like crap for a week, but don’t get back into the swing of things too quickly. You can run yourself down again. Let your immune system heal!
Sharing Food and Drinks
I know it’s hard to resist taking a sip of your friend’s latte, but germs spread through saliva! People can be contagious even when they aren’t showing any symptoms! It’s not worth the potential risk of getting sick.
If you are unfortunate enough to come down with a bug this season, hopefully you can employ some of these tips to make life while sick easier!