Surviving Cold and Flu Season at Uni – Part 2

Now, despite following all the advice from my previous post about how to best avoid getting ill throughout flu season, somehow it still managed to get through- I blame that one guy in the lecture who didn’t stop coughing the whole time.

Here’s a few tips to make being ill and away from home comforts that little bit easier.

1- Stock up on Pain Killers.

Trust me on this one- there is nothing worse than being ill and having to get out of bed to go and buy painkillers and other supplements because you don’t have any in your room. It’s a good idea to keep a ready supply of both paracetamol and ibuprofen stocked up in case of any kind of illness or injury, but remember, most shops will only let you buy either two or three packs at a time, so don’t try to bulk buy all at once. There’s also no need to spend loads of money of them- I find that although the named brands may look prettier- they are not worth the £3-£5 you can spend on about 8 tablets. I prefer the non-branded store own pills that are so much cheaper and do exactly the same job, but also leave money left over for some other treats!

Lastly on pain killers, make sure you don’t just buy the variety that contain caffeine. There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep when you’re ill because your pain killers also contain caffeine.

2- Know your Dosages.

Always read the instructions on the back of any medicine containing supplement, including lozenges and drinks, as the last thing you want to do is to take too much or too little. But as a general rule- yes, you should be able to take paracetamol and ibuprofen together, and this will help fight off any illness quicker- but always check the packaging first

3- Drink Plenty

… of water and other healthy fluids to help flush the illness out of your system- effervescent vitamins are great in this situation. Warm drinks (such as honey and lemon or hot squash) will also help to unblock sinuses and soothe sore throats.

4- Fresh Air

Although leaving the confines of you cozy bed might be the last thing you want to do, getting out in the fresh air will help you to feel better sooner, and it gives you the opportunity to stock up on any essentials you might have run out of, such as ice cream. Make sure you wrap up warm!

That’s all for now, I hope if you’re I’ll you feel better soon, and if you’re not, then lucky you! Disclaimer- I am not a doctor! If you feel really unwell or have any questions regarding health, speak to a professional.

Surviving Cold and Flu Season at Uni – Part 1

Through the winter months, wherever you decide to go to uni (unless it’s somewhere sunny like Australia) you will inevitably come across someone with a cold, who- with just one ill times sneeze- can pass all of their germs onto you. This merry-go-round of bugs is especially heightened at uni, because you will be interacting with new people all of the time from all  around the country and some further afield that will all bring different kinds of winter flu and cold that your body hasn’t encountered before. It may well also be your first time being ill away from home, so things might seem a bit daunting without mum around to check up on you every few hours and feed you dry toast.

But don’t fear, as I have complied a list of a few little tricks to help to avoid being caught by the bugs in the first place, and part 2 will be about how to cope when you do have them!

1- Flu Jab.

Along with the highly recommended and pretty much essential meningitis vaccination you will be offered prior to starting uni, you can also request to have the flu jab. Some people will be even able to get it for free, depending on conditions such as asthma. Even if you’re not legible for the free jab, it’s well worth the few pennies you’ll pay and can help you avoid the flu during the colder months.

2- Vitamins

Now, I’m going to sound like my mum here, but hear me out. Taking a daily vitamin supplement can be great in the fight against germs as it will give your body the best possible defences for keeping you healthy. You may also find that taking vitamins daily will help improve your energy levels and general all round health and well-being.  Vitamins come in all shapes and forms, and you do not have to spend a fortune if you don’t want to. You can get vitamins to swallow with water, to chew, or to dissolve in a drink, depending on your preference- there’s even a pretty good range in poundland!

Vitamins and minerals can also be obtained naturally by eating more fruit and veg, rather than just instant noodles and microwavable meals!

3- Staying Warm

Although an alcohol blanket may feel like enough to keep you warm on a night out, it actually doesn’t do much good for your immune system. On nights out, try taking a small jacket or scarf with you that can fold up into a bag for once you’re out. If even that doesn’t sound like you- avoid walking long distances in the cold without an outer layer, especially if it’s raining.

Secondly in staying warm, if you live off campus, it might be worth investing a little more money in keeping your place warmer over winter, or making use of lots of woolly jumpers and hot water bottles, as there’s nothing worse than coming in from a long day at uni to a cold home.

That’s all for now, but if this post has come a little too late for some and you’re already suffering, look out for my next as it will be based around surviving a cold at uni.