As the autumn-colored leaves start falling from the trees and a cold chill fills the air, you might develop congestion and a cough despite all the layers you’re bundled-up in.
It may seem like everyone around you is developing a small cold, leaving others sick and weak with fatigue, but what happens when that person is you?
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you fight the cold quickly and stay on top of school while keeping your roommates and family safe:
We all know it’s uncomfortable drinking fluids with a sore throat, but no matter how uncomfortable it may be, it’s vitally important to drink enough fluids and stay hydrated.
During the cold months, it’s easy to get cold weather dehydration when “sweat evaporates more quickly and doesn’t accumulate on the skin in the same way,” according to a Safeopedia article by Bubba Wolford. This makes the body lose more fluid than it can lose on a hot day.
Carla Navarrete, a junior biology major from St. George, said, “Water is essential for dealing with the cold.”
You can mix water with Vitamin C packets, which are sold at the store with the title “Emergen-C.” These packets come in over 20 different flavors, some of which help with different sicknesses. For example, the orange flavor is packed with key antioxidants and has more Vitamin C than 10 oranges while the raspberry flavor includes Vitamin D and Zinc.
Halie Foster, a junior art major from Las Vegas, said these packets are “not the best tasting, but are helpful.”
Another thing Foster said she encourages students to avoid is drinking dairy products. According to Natural Society, dairy products increase mucus, which makes your cold longer and harder to get over.
According to Lifesum, hydration helps you perform at your best while accomplishing everything you need to get done throughout the day. So, you will perform better in school when you drink water than when you’re dehydrated.
Eating nutritious foods
It may not be appetizing to eat food when all you want to do is sleep, or maybe you’re craving food you shouldn’t eat, but your body needs appropriate nutrition.
Foster said she encourages students to stock up on healthy foods before the cold season arrives, one being chicken noodle soup. She said, “Always have chicken noodle soup stocked up, three cans at all times!”
Having cans stocked up before cold season arrives may also save a trip to the grocery store when you’re not feeling your best.
Callie Peacock, Booth Wellness Center registered nurse, said: “Lots of healthy foods don’t taste good when you’re sick. Snack or eat small meals of easy to digest foods, like bananas or toast. A broth-based soup, such as chicken noodle soup, can comfort a sore throat and provide needed calories.”
According to Extension, eating nutritious foods will also help your performance in school by increasing brain function and promoting positive outcomes. While you may not be hungry, eating will help you mentally, so you can function properly throughout the school day.
Getting enough sleep
Cuddling up in a blanket, lying your head on a pillow, and watching movies makes having the cold a little better and makes the time go by quicker, but you still need to make sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep.
“I think the best thing to do while you’re sick is rest, ” Navarrete said. “Your body needs the energy to heal itself and many people feel the need to power on, which usually makes them feel worse.”
You may not want to be bed-ridden and instead want to do more active things, but you won’t get over the cold if you go outside and be active.
Sleep is key and in order to sleep well you may want to dress comfortably and be warm.
“Wear pants, a hoodie and don’t forget your beanie,” said Oscar Plancarte, a freshman general studies major from Beaver Dam, Arizona. “Have a huge warm blanket when you’re sick.”
Sometimes its hard to get sleep when you continue to toss and turn from left and right due to the struggle of breathing from a stuffy nose. If this is something you struggle with, you should try taking hot showers, using humidifiers and tilting your bed, according to Khadija Beauty.
Getting adequate sleep is also effective when it comes to paying close attention in school. According to Studiosity, the brain will organize important information, so you don’t forget what’s important.
Just like how COVID-19 has precautions like wearing a mask and keeping a 6-foot distance from others, having a cold comes with precautions as well.
Peacock said: “Hand hygiene! Hand washing is the single best tool we have to manage the spread of germs.”
According to the Mac’s Pharmacy website, diseases and other colds are more likely to spread when you don’t wash your hands. If we touch things that are full of germs, it’s easier to contract a cold. We can also contaminate others by having a cold and touching things without washing our hands.
Lori Mayfield, assistant professor of nursing, said, “If you are sick, try to stay home, so that you’re not infecting other people.”
It is better to stay home than to get others sick, especially during the cold season because the cold spreads easily.
“Be considerate, tell your roommates you are feeling ill, and maintain social distance in shared areas,” Peacock said. “Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces you’ve touched.”
By following these precautions, you’re more likely to help others focus better in school, so no one has to worry about who can contract the cold.
Using a Planner
While a cold stops you from your daily routines and schedule, school continues around the clock, and it’s hard to always be on top of things when you’re constantly grabbing tissues or coughing into your elbow.
“Balancing school and work when under the weather is probably at its prime with Zoom University,” Navarrete said. “I use a planner that’s color coded for all my classes and assignments, and that helps a ton.”
A planner allows students to stay organized. All kinds of planners are available at stores and give students the opportunity to keep all their assignments together in an organized fashion.
“Time management is essential in college and even when you’re sick,” Peacock said. “Take time to rest before and after your class time, so that you don’t fall behind and cause yourself more stress.”
It’s hard to not fall behind while you have a cold, but it is possible to keep up by doing small bursts, Foster said.
Mayfield said, “It’s OK, you have permission to not do it all when you’re sick.”