There are a lot of great things about living away from the ‘rents for the first time. But one thing that’s rather the worst is being sick away from the comfort of home. At home, your parents likely have all the sickness essentials, maybe your mom is quick with the homemade soup recipes or your dad makes sure you’re stocked on games, snacks, and medicine. In any case, being sick by yourself for the first time can feel really isolating. A following is a quick survival guide to help you prep before the January cold and flu gets to you and what to do once you get it:
The College Get-Better-Fast Sickness Survival Guide
- Stock your medicine cabinet yesterday. The next time you go to the grocery store, grab a bottle of DayQuil, Alkaselzer Cold & Flu tablets, and cough drops. Having these on-hand will help you two-fold. First, it really is true that if you take one of the first two medicines when you feel a sore throat or stuffy nose coming on, then you can often nip the sickness in the bud. Second, once you’re sick, going to the store is often the last thing you want to do. Better to go on to number two…
- Be honest and get your rest. Do not try and be a hero. If your nose is dripping and you can’t say two words without coughing, then it’s time to recognize that you are sick and you won’t get better by going out with friends. Besides, you don’t want to start a circle of sickness. What will make you feel better (and prevent the cold or flu from infecting everyone) is getting in bed and getting sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Additionally, email your professors and let them know your symptoms and ask if you can reschedule any exams or upload and email in any work that’s due.
- Fluids are your friend. Drink plenty of water and tea to flush out your system and consider adding in EmergenC or Gatorade for extra electrolytes to wipe out bad bacteria. For food, nothing competes with soup when you’re sick. A simple bone broth can help bolster your immune system. For extra cold-nixing properties, add ginger, crushed garlic, or
tumeric— all of which are effective cold crushing herbs and spices that humans have been using for centuries.
Even if you don’t have your mom, dad, grandma, or someone else with you in-person, don’t underestimate how much a phone call home can help when you’re sick. Sometimes just hearing a reassuring and friendly voice can go a long way in helping you rest easy when sick. In any case, we hope you keep the above tips in mind the next time you’re feeling under the weather and hope you feel better soon!