6 Ways to Tide Through Flu Season

Flu cases have increased, and the chillier weather is causing more of us to fall ill.

Crowded classrooms, shared hall spaces, and close contact with other students during activities don’t help matters. However, there are ways to minimize your chances of catching the flu and to recover quickly if you do get sick.

Here are a few simple things we can do to boost our immunity seasons during this period!

1) Stay Hydrated

During this time, drinking a lot of water is important! Carry some with you at all times.

Don’t like the taste of plain water? Infuse it with lemon, mint, or something you appreciate! If you stay in hall and have access to a pantry, consider doing something fun but beneficial with your hallmates — like a soup swap, for instance! Each person can prepare a different type of soup, and you can exchange portions. It’s a fun way to discover new recipes and consume nutritious things.

Don’t forget to explore herbal teas like lemongrass or chrysanthemum! These not only taste great but can also have various health benefits.

2) Eat Well

Spice up your meals! On top of making dishes more flavourful, spices such as ginger, garlic, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

Oranges, grapefruits, or fruits like pomelos are rich in vitamin C, which can help support your immune system. Other great foods include those with probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, to support a healthy gut microbiome: a balanced gut microbiome is linked to a robust immune system.

Consider zinc-rich foods too, like lean meats, poultry, beans, nuts, and whole grains! Ginger is anti-inflammatory; consider a powdered ginger drink during super chilly, nose runny days!

If you need ideas on quick meals for hall life, here is an article on easy meals that may help!

3) Bring an Umbrella

It’s easy to forget this, but put an umbrella into every bag you own. Or make it a habit to check for one before you leave hall/your home! To stay extra dry during sudden downpours, consider adding a poncho, too. It’s light and easy to bring around, and especially useful on days when the winds are too strong and threaten to wrestle your umbrella from your grip.

4) Keep Your Spirits Up

A bad mood can lower your immune system, which you need in tip-top condition during this time. When it’s impossible to eliminate negative feelings or unexpected problems, try these ways to add some cheer!

    • Create a playlist of your favourite rainy day tunes. Listening to music can be a great mood booster, especially when the weather is gloomy. Quick-paced music or lo-fi? Whatever floats your boat!
    • Create a “wellness jar” filled with positive quotes, affirmations, or small notes of encouragement. Pull one out when you need a mental boost during challenging study sessions.
    • Chronic stress can keep you sick for longer, without your knowledge. Even if you don’t feel like you have to, take a break! Take time out to connect with the green spaces around you and breathe in some fresh air. Incorporate simple desk exercises into your study routine. Stretch your arms, rotate your ankles, or do seated leg lifts to keep your blood flowing and reduce stiffness.

5) Get Sufficient Rest

Resist the urge of revenge procrastination! Save the Tik Tok scrolling for your journeys to school (or during designated breaks). It’s tough, but chronic sleep debt does a number on you. Not to mention how loopy you feel the next morning.

If rest eludes you because of a busy schedule, consider slotting in an hour each day for a digital detox. Put away your devices, go for a walk, or engage in a non-screen-related activity to reduce eye strain and promote relaxation.

6) Socialise Responsibly

Avoid close contact with individuals who are visibly unwell to minimize the risk of infection. While the worst of COVID-19 is over, keep spare mask with you at all times! Clean shared spaces and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your hall room or classroom regularly, especially if someone is sick. This includes doorknobs, light switches and laptop keyboards.

Of course, this may not be entirely doable, so keep hand sanitiser, well, handy. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure.

Remember that a healthy you is the best you. Do take care of yourself so that you can focus during lectures and classes!

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