Winter has finally arrived and along with it, the inevitable sickness is never far behind. Colds make it difficult to concentrate, especially if you’re trying to battle through it in lecture. Personally, I’ve dealt with this kind of cold recently and it has inspired me to compile a list of the simplest tips to fighting off that cold, or at least dealing with it while you’re afflicted. While cold medicine is the obvious answer, let’s face it, there’s more that we can be doing to take care of ourselves. So here are some other things to try in order to keep the common cold at bay.
- Keep yourself hydrated
No, coffee and alcohol do not count you fiend. Those will just make you even more dehydrated. I’m talking water — drink it and drink it regularly. Alternately, try drinking fruit juices if you’d like to switch things up. This isn’t limited to the cold drinks either — try things like tea or even some broth. Sometimes warmer liquids can be very soothing for your weak body and make you less congested. I’d personally recommend a lemon tea with some honey. That’s the good stuff.
- Carry Kleenex EVERYWHERE
Sorry, “facial tissues”. No free ads. But seriously, there is nothing worse than the realization that your nose is in full faucet mode and you’ve got nothing to help you stop it. You may not think that you’ll need them, but just stuff some in your pocket and you’ll thank me later. I guess a handkerchief would work too — I probably wouldn’t judge you for it. The point is, nobody wants to be the one sniffling up a storm in lecture or wiping your nose on your sleeve. We’re not in kindergarten anymore, let’s at least try and keep things contained.
This is easier said than done, I know. We all have busy lives and a cold isn’t exactly the easiest thing to sleep through, but this is probably the most important step to getting healthy. Your body needs time to rest and recuperate and sleep is the best way for that to happen. Look after yourself, have a nap or try to actually go to bed before midnight.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
Now we’re getting fancy. I’ve had good experiences with this: basically, put a couple drops in some hot water and then take a few big sniffs. The peppermint oil has such a strong, minty smell that it will clear your sinuses right up. It helps to relieve the pressure caused by congestion and helps with relieving headaches as well. It can really sharpen your thoughts when your cold is making things hard to concentrate.
- Healthy eating
You should always be doing this, so this is kind of a no brainer. You may be thinking “but I already do eat healthily.” That’s great, but guess what? You still have a cold. All I’m getting at here is that your body is in need of an extra boost. Incorporate some more vitamin-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables into your eating habits and that will give your body the best shot at fighting back against your sickness.
- Wash your hands regularly
This is important. You already know you’re sick, so let’s take some preventative measures to at least try and limit the spread of things. Also, since your body’s immune system is weakened due to the fact it’s busy fighting off your own issues, it can be more susceptible to other things that get thrown its way. Wash your hands and keep it clean. For your own sake, try carrying around some hand sanitizer.
Hopefully, these tips can help prepare you for what seems like the annual bad cold. I guess that’s why they refer to it as the “common cold”. If your sickness persists and you need additional assistance, remember that Brock offers walk-in clinics at the Campus Pharmacy across the street from the main campus from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Stay healthy Badgers.