College is all fun and games, until you wind up stressing out too much or overloading your plate and you wind up getting sick. When that inevitable moment happens and you find yourself under the weather, it can be really difficult to get back on track and healthy again. Here are a handful of tips to prevent you from getting sick in college, because it can happen at any time!
Get plenty of sleep.
Some college students tend to stay up super late and get up early for classes, meaning they don’t get enough sleep. Your body needs approximately 7-8 hours to function properly, even if you think you can get away with less. Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep, despite what you think! It is important to get enough sleep so that all of your body systems run properly, and it is best to stick to a schedule where you go to bed at a decent time rather than staying up until 4 a.m. every single night. Not getting enough sleep will also lower your immune system and make you more likely to catch a bug.
Eat a balanced diet.
Not only will you avoid gaining extra weight, it will help you feel better and even help you stay awake. What you put into your system is related to how you will feel and function. Sticking to healthy foods and straying away from soda and late night pizzas all the time will help you look and feel your best.
Drink lots of water.
I often find that I get less than half of the daily recommended amount of water each day, which really can harm your overall health. All of your organs need water to function, and without the right amount of water, you can find that you get headaches or dizziness. Staying hydrated can help you prevent illness and also help you fight it.
Working out releases endorphins that will help your mood improve, especially if you are having a bad day or feeling down. It also helps keep your body in shape and will help you become your best self. Try walking around campus or around the block for a quick and easy work out!
Find down time.
It can be really hard to find personal space and time for yourself in college when others around you influence you to have a “constantly going” mindset. Having time to relax will not only help your stress levels, but if you are constantly busy, that can lead to not eating right, skipping out on exercise, and not getting enough sleep, which can lead to getting sick.
Make sure you are washing your hands often, and keeping shared spaces (such as bathrooms, coffee makers, kitchen, classrooms, etc.) clean from germs. When you let your body get run down, it will be so much easier to pick up germs from these shared spaces, and in college you often have roommates or dorm-mates that can pass germs on to you.
While it is likely you will find yourself feeling under the weather at some point in college, use these tips to prevent it as much as possible. With finals and exams coming up, you won’t want to have to fight a sickness while trying to do your best in school too. Remember that staying healthy is important to you having the most positive experience in college.
Kenzie is a contributor for The Young Hopeful. She is also currently a sophomore at Kansas State University, where she studies Apparel and Textile Marketing with minors in Business and Public Relations. She is involved with her sorority, Pi Beta Phi and various clubs and campus ministries. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, photography, eating brunch, blogging, shopping, and running. You can find Kenzie on her blog, Twitter, Instagram, and more!