We all know what time of year it is. Coughs, sore throats, headaches, and even the infamous “frat flu”. I definitely don’t need to remind you it’s cold and flu season. And in a time when we’re living through a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep yourself as healthy as you can be. Because we all know nothing is worse than being sick. Keep reading for 5 ½ ways to stay healthy this time of year.
1) Get plenty of sleep and exercise
Even if it’s just setting aside a half hour a day to go to the campus rec center or walking up and down the Greenbelt, getting some physical activity can give your body that extra umph to fight off pesky viruses. Exercise is also a fantastic way to naturally help your body get more sleep. College students should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, and exercise can make you extra tired to hit that right amount of zzzzzz’s.
2) Wash your hands frequently
I’m going to assume you’ve seen the thousands of signs and commercials about how to wash your hands, so this is a gentle reminder to simply wash them a few times a day. Think about how many things we touch. From keyboards to door handles, bike handles to iPhone screens — our hands do a lot of the dirty work in our lives (pun intended). Be sure to wash your hands before or after you eat, use the restroom, or handle garbage. And maybe a few times in between just because!
3) Try to eat as healthy as possible
Especially during cold and flu season, the body needs nutrients to help fight off the illnesses floating around. Be sure to try and eat at least one serving of fruit and vegetables a day, or even devote some time to trying new foods or trying a new recipe. But, let’s be honest here, we all have that craving for ice cream or a pack of Sour Patch Kids — and that’s okay! It’s all about healthy moderation and finding what works for you.
4) Set aside some time for your mental health
Lots of stress can make your body extra susceptible to viruses. It’s completely A-okay to take a day or even just a few hours to yourself to clear your head and get away from the stresses of school or work or whatever else may be going on in your life. Maybe you go for a walk or choose a quiet night in watching your favorite movie or show. Mental health is just as important as physical health and if you feel the need to talk to someone else about what’s going on, the team in University Health Counseling would be more than willing to help.
5) Get your flu and COVID-19 shots
One of the best ways to protect yourself from certain bugs going around is by being vaccinated. You can get both flu and COVID-19 shots at the Boise State Vaccination Clinic. These shots are free, safe, and available for all students. All you have to do is roll up your sleeves, hold your breath, and kick these preventable viruses to the curb.
5 ½) If you feel sick — stay home!
At some point, no matter how much you try, you’re going to get sick at some point. And although being sick is always a bummer, sometimes, unfortunately, it’s our only way to recharge. We live in a world that’s constantly on the go, and sometimes having a few days to sit at home and do nothing can actually be a good thing for your physical, mental, and emotional health. So, if you’re feeling under the weather, stay in bed, get caught up on Netflix or that book that’s been on your side table for awhile, and let yourself relax. Sometimes doing nothing at all is the best thing you can do!