10 Strategies to Beat Sniffle Season

By Vivian El-Salawy on January 11, 2018

Winter break almost seems too good to be true – you get to spend the holidays with your family and friends, take a break from what must have been a stressful fall semester, and most importantly, you get to indulge yourself in some delicious holiday grubs. However, whether you spent the break at home playing video games or up in the mountains of Vermont on a ski trip – every college student always seems to get hit with the sniffles coming back into the spring semester. Here are 10 strategies to beat sniffle season:

1. All hail hydrate.

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There are endless benefits to drinking water, and for such an easy thing to do, it is often overlooked. According to Healthline, it is recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. These are just a few of the positive effects that water can have on your body:

  • Maximizes physical performance
  • Increases your energy and relieves fatigue
  • Prevents and treats headaches
  • Relieves constipation

If you haven’t gotten sick yet, go ahead and drink of glass of water anyway, especially if you feel bored or hungry. There are also studies that provide that there may be times where you feel hungry, but in actuality, you may just be dehydrated.

2. Get a flu shot.

It’s not too late and it’s the number one thing that you can do prevent yourself from getting the flu. Most universities offer free flu shots on campus at their designated health and wellness centers or clinics. You don’t even need to make an appointment for them – you simply provide them with the required information, and it generally takes no more than a few minutes. Even if you are unable to get it done at a university, stop by a local drugstore and get yours done at their clinic (usually for free). It is worth the extra mile.

3. Wash your hands.

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This sounds like an easy one, but you would be surprised by how many people do not wash their hands after using the restroom, especially in college. In fact, don’t even wait until you have used the restroom to wash your hands. Whenever you’re in public and you interact with things that may have been touched by other people, consider whipping out your hand sanitizer or washing your hands the next time you enter a building. Anything from door handles, railings, and so on, can put you at risk for getting sick this spring semester.

4. Stay warm.

It may be spring semester, but it is still very much winter, and whether you go to school in Florida or Maine, this winter’s weather is especially unpredictable. Having said that, do not let yourself underestimate it. Put on an extra layer if you see that it is especially cold a certain evening. Make sure you keep your hands and feet extra warm as well.

5. Stick to that resolution.

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This one sounds silly, but seriously – eating healthy food and exercising on a regular basis actually helps you maintain your physical health and reduces your risk of getting sick. Stay away from junk food, and eat something with more nourishment.

6. Speak up.

If there is somebody in your classroom that is coughing without covering their mouth or sneezing, and then wiping their snot on themselves without sanitizing themselves, don’t be afraid to speak up. Of course, you should never go out of your way to make somebody feel uncomfortable about the fact that they are ill, but if you notice that somebody is not making an effort to contain their illness to themselves by not covering themselves when coughing or sneezing, don’t be afraid to politely request for them to cough into their arm or to use a tissue. Of course, do your part as well by keeping your distance from people displaying symptoms.

7. Sharing isn’t always caring.

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College really is a time of sharing – you share drinks at a bar, food at a party, and so on. Don’t double dip, for that double dip may be the reason that all of your roommates catch whatever it is that you have, or vice versa.

8. You snooze you…win?

Rest is so incredibly important, whether you are already sick or just about to get sick. Put your social life on pause and spend an afternoon in bed, taking a nap or doing another relaxing activity. Better yet, turn it into a “you” day and treat yourself. A day in bed doesn’t have to be a day wasted.

9. Listen to your mother.

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Listen to your mother, and actually take your medicine. Even if you just feel your cold coming on, go ahead and take your medicine as a preventative measure. If you are already sick, invest in some cold medication. If you are unsure as to what is best to take for your situation, do not hesitate to visit your on campus health and wellness center or clinic. They will gladly help you out.

10. Think ahead.

The most aggravating situation is getting sick right before an incredibly important moment in your life, such as a performance, a speech, or an exam. Think ahead and start taking extra care of your body during sensitive moments such as these, especially since your immune system can take a blow as a result of stress.

All of these strategies seem obvious and simple, but so many people overlook the importance of taking these small and easy steps to stay healthy. According to University of Arizona scientists, when someone is sick in an office setting, it only takes four hours for surfaces such as coffeepots and printers to show traces of infectious viruses. Make an effort to keep both yourself and those around you extra healthy this semester by keeping in mind these strategies, and you may have one of your most successful spring semesters yet.

Vivian El-Salawy is a senior at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and the Good Life Community magazine, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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