Overall health is important and it’s that time of the year again. The leaves are falling, autumn is in full swing. The weather is slightly bipolar making it impossible to know when to dress warm and when to leave your coat at home. And as we quickly approach our mid-term season we may be struggling with a big issue of our health is failing us. As much as we would like to stay in bed and push away all responsibilities, unfortunately, we are far from having any guilt-free time off. Here are some unofficial essentials to feeling better, staying focused, getting you back to being healthy.
GET PLENTY OF REST
We all think that we can power through any illness that dares to interrupt our busy schedules. And as much as we try to survive on nothing but DayQuil, soup, and coffee, eventually we end up burning out and needing to take more time to recover than we want. The best way to get ahead of the crash and burn is to start getting more rest from the start. No, I am not talking about the procrastination nap we all take to avoid doing the homework and studying we know needs attention. Start going to bed early the moment you begin to feel sluggish. If you’re anything like me, you may stay up well into the early morning watching TV despite the fact that you can barely keep your eyes open. It’s time to start looking at your schedules to determine a set time we can allow ourselves to go to bed. Set your alarm, take some NyQuil, and go to bed as early as possible, even if that means running the risk of looking like a grandparent who couldn’t hang. Now if you live in a dorm and can’t fully escape from everyday noise that come from the busy college life, including the opposite schedule your roommate/s may have, I suggest earplugs and an eye-mask to cut out any light and sound. Getting enough sleep will allow your body to recover and move towards wellness while also allowing you to focus on your work and attend your classes.
WASH YOUR FACE/STAY CLEAN
When you’re sick, all you want to do is stay in bed, never moving a muscle, wallowing in the despair of not being able to breathe out of your nose anymore. Trust me, you need to muster up any kind of energy to wash your face, your body, and your living space. I know it sounds so simple and unnecessary, but having a clean face and space can feel extremely refreshing when you feel everything but that. Keeping up with your hygiene routine allows you to feel the best and focus on the wellness of your body. It may feel exhausting in the moment to drag yourself down the hall and into the bathroom, but opening up your pores and keeping your skin hydrated will feel rejuvenating and awakening. This is no longer a nightly chore, it’s a spa retreat. The steam from your hot showers will open up your sinuses, allowing you to breathe better and feel more energized. Now that you are clean, its time to wash your sheets and anything you have touched recently. Clean up your dirty tissues and throw your gross sheets in the wash, light a candle, make your environment more like a spa and less like the quarantine section of the hospital. This will get you in the mental state of feeling better, allowing you to get your work done, maybe even leave your room to grab something to eat and visit some friends.
SCHEDULE YOUR WORKLOAD
The best way to stay on top of your assignments in any situation is obviously to stay organized from the start of the semester, but when you aren’t feeling well, your organization may go out the window. My best advice to fight this urge and set scheduled times to get work done. Give yourself a few hours to work on any or all assignments that need your immediate attention. Sit at your desk, the library, South College, Blue Wall, are any place that forces you to stay awake and focus on the tasks at hand. Without any distractions. This will make your time to rest so rewarding. Lying in bed with your laptop will result in a long period of procrastination, leaving your work to be subpar and your eyes fighting to stay open. Give yourself an honest amount of time to power through assignments/studying so you can keep up with your GPA while trying to recover. At the same time, don’t overdo it. If you aren’t feeling well, don’t try to get ahead on assignments, pull back if you need to. Your health should always come before your work even though it may not feel that way.
Everyone brings a reusable water bottle to class but if you are anything like me, you usually fill it once and never again throughout the day. First, wash your bottle to remove any germs that may have gotten you sick in the first place and then fill it up! Drink water like you’re trying to fight a hangover from last night. I’ve mentioned keeping your skin clean and hydrated already, but keeping your organs hydrated is probably more important to getting yourself back on the track to wellness. If you are one of those people who absolutely hate drinking water, another great thing to have is orange juice. Your body needs the vitamin C that orange juice has and it’ll help with a sore throat (not officially proven but my mom said so and I believe her). Along with drinking fluids, take any cold and flu medication at the recommended times. Taking it in the morning once is not going to have the same effect as taking it throughout the day. Along with that, taking medicine is not going to make you look weak or dramatic, we don’t have time to pretend like our immune system is going to heal itself when we’re sharing a bathroom with a lot of different strangers. Water, medicine, orange juice, wellness, repeat.
CALL/FACETIME YOUR MOM
Or your dad or your sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, best friend. This is probably the most important part of your mental and physical wellness. Being away from home, alone, and not feeling well is the absolute worst feeling. It is the moment that makes you realize you are now alone taking care of yourself, and it’s lonely and scary. So call someone you love and that’ll brighten up your mood. You can’t always go home, but sometimes you can get the same feeling of comfort, miles away, with a quick phone call.