Avoid a Cold
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Jillian Torre

It’s that time of the year again. Everyone around you is sick and it seems there’s no way to escape the germs.

Even if it may seem inevitable that you too will catch this seasonal cold there are still ways to try and prevent a week of stuffy noses, sore throats, and violent coughing.

1. Wash your hands. It is always recommended to wash your hands frequently, but this is even more important now when germs are spreading faster than rumors. Also keep your hands away from your face. There’s no easier way to get sick than constantly touching your mouth and nose with germ-infested fingers.

2.  Get sleep. I know these two words are a foreign language for most college students but getting at least eight hours of sleep every night is imperative to staying healthy. When your body doesn’t receive the rest it needs your immune system doesn’t work to its best ability. And a weak immune system is not something anyone wants while germs are spreading through the air.

3. Eat right and exercise. When you eat healthy and exercise your body is performing at its best. A strong immune system will help keep away the sniffles.

4. Keep your distance from those already sick. This is easier said than done. Many times it is our roommates or suite mates who are the sick ones. I’m not suggesting to sleep in a friends room just be cautious about sharing drinks and other items. Simple things like the TV remote or door handle can spread more germs than you think. Wipe down these items with disinfectant wipes frequently to limit the spreading of germs.

5. Don’t stress. Stress can also help weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to a cold. With finals around the corner stress is expected but combined with the mass amounts of germs floating around campus the stress can trigger the store throat and runny nose. Try taking ten minutes out of your day to relax and de-stress. And if that doesn’t work just remember that the holiday season if finally upon us and soon we will be home with our families decorating and baking cookies.

6. Drink fluids. We’ve all heard this a million times but it really is true. Hot liquids are essential to not getting sick and are also good to get rid of a cold if you’ve already caught one. Hot tea, especially green tea, is great for fighting a cold. If your not a tea fan try hot water. This will help soothe an irritated throat. Orange juice is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.

7. Clean or replace your toothbrush. We all share our bathroom with others; others who may be sick. If your toothbrush is out in the open it can be a Venus Fly Trap for germs. Wash it with hydrogen peroxide, or better yet replace it, to stop those germs from being on a one-way trip to your mouth.

No one wants to be sick during the last couple weeks of the semester so follow our advice to staying germ free. And if you do start feeling sick head over to Health Services right away. Don’t wait for the cold to get to its worst to seek medical help.