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Preparing Yourself: The Flu and Cold
The cold winter months are here, and everyone is getting a cold or a nasty flu. It is especially bad for students rushing around here and there, sitting at the computer, and touching things that everyone else has also touched. Can you imagine how many people have used their fingers on that keyboard and mouse in your classroom? How about the door handles you always open several times a day throughout your campus? In this contagious time of season, the viruses and bugs are having a party getting around, and everyone is having that party inside of them!
As a student myself, I have already caught a nasty bug that kept me in my bed for a week. As I heard, the student before in my morning class caught it right after me. As did the student beside me, who also missed a week of classes. It was basically a domino effect, which took out a lot of students.
I am going to help first with tips of prevention and healthy foods and fluids to take if you were unlucky enough to catch one of these bugs.
- Sanitize your workstation. Once you settle at your computer, you should immediately wipe down your keyboard, your mouse, and any part of hardware that you are prone to touch even briefly. Viruses can linger for a long time on these surfaces and lay in wait on your fingers for the briefest opportunity to jump into your system by mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Wash your hands. You must already know this, of course, but do this whenever you get off the bus, or leave class. Since you touch doorknobs and bus railings where there are most likely the bugs lying in wait, these are times to head straight for the washroom. You don’t have to use a Kleenex or napkin to wrap around doorknobs either. Try using a part of your scarf, sweater sleeve, or your winter glove to open doors after you just washed your hands.
For when you could not cover your vulnerable face in time when someone so rudely sneezes or coughs in your direction on that crowded bus, here are some at-home remedies to help soothe and speed your healing.
At-home Natural Remedies
- Tea. When I was knocked down by a nasty bug, first thing I reached for was my vast amount of teas. It does not matter what kind of tea you sip, as long as it is hot and eases your congestion and sore throat. Green tea is a good choice. Herbal tea is even better for relieving severe symptoms. The best choices are:
- Peppermint: soothes sore throat and sinus congestion
- Ginger: soothes sore throat
- Fennel: respiratory relief and immune system booster
- Yarrow: immune system booster
- Lemon with Honey: immune system booster and soothes cough
- Garlic. We all know garlic is good for you. If you have some on hand, use it! Add garlic to your soup for added benefit. I put garlic cloves on my buttered toast even when I felt miserable. A potent immune system booster containing anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, garlic also prevents infection or complications. If you want to use garlic pills, just make sure that it specifies “Allicin Rich” to the bottle, as allicin contains the anti-viral components.
- Onion. Cousin of garlic, onion helps in many ways when it comes to a cold or flu. They help in relieving that stuffed up feeling in your sinuses by breaking up the mucous and preventing a sinus infection. Your cough is relieved and it soothes severe symptoms of any bronchial distress with the flu. Having onion regularly strengthens your immune system and you may not catch another cold throughout the winter. If you do, it will certainly be milder and not last as long.
- Chicken soup. For that stuffy nose, chicken soup comes to the rescue! It soothes your sore throat with its anti-inflammatory properties and the sodium in it replenishes you after sweating. Best to have this after a bad, sweat busting fever!
So instead of paying a lot of money for over-the-counter remedies, try the at-home natural way. Think of it this way. Take what the earth has always given us. Go natural. Keep hydrated. Rest. And get better soon!
Stay healthy and Happy Holidays!