It’s that time of year: chilly evenings, trees changing to hues of burnt orange and auburn, slipping into your favourite fall ensembles without worrying about your perfectly-straightened tresses getting spoiled by humidity. Oh, and apparently everyone on my campus is sick, too.
Luckily, growing up with an overprotective mother has taught me a thing or two about avoiding the common cold, even if you’re stuck in a study group with three people who probably should have stayed home for about a week:
We all know we should be drinking lots of water anyway, but in case you didn’t get the memo, drinking fluids, especially water, is a great way to avoid getting colds. Drinking water helps clean out any toxins in your body and helps your immune system run at 100% to help stave off colds. Even if you feel yourself starting to get sick, it’s not too late. Double, or even triple, your water intake to help kick the cold even quicker. Bring a bottle or two with you wherever you go so you never have to wait to rehydrate.
Sure you wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, and before you eat, but during cold season this simply won’t cut it. Wash your hands any chance you get, and wash them properly: this means wetting your hands, scrubbing with soap for at least 10 seconds (count in your head to be sure), getting in between your fingers, the back of your hands, and under your nails, rinsing, and drying. Use a paper towel to turn off the tap and open the door to leave the bathroom to keep your hands extra clean. We all touch tonnes of surfaces everyday that leave us open to picking up germs. One touch with unwashed hands to your nose, eyes, or mouth and you can leave yourself open to infection and colds, so go into handwashing hyper-drive for the next few months.
Not everyone believes in the healing benefits of vitamins and herbal remedies, but if you’re open minded I recommend 3 heavy hitters: vitamin C, vitamin D, and echinacea. All three of these supplements help amp up your immune system to ward off colds, and help you to heal faster if you’re a little too late. It may be a placebo effect, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a tickle in my throat, popped the echinacea for a week and have the cold amount to nothing. Of course, even with natural supplements you can overdo it: talk to a pharmacist when you pick up your vits before starting a new regime, and figure out how much you should be taking daily, and how.
What Do You Think?
What are your best tips for staying healthy this fall? Are you sick right now? How do you get over colds quickly? Leave a comment and let me know!