I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who constantly seems to be getting sick during school. Cold, flu, fever – you name it – I’ve got it.
(Okay, not quite to that extent, but it’s still pretty bad!)
With the hundreds of kids who walk the same halls and touch the same doorknobs and keyboards every day, it takes a strong immune system and careful preventative measures to stay healthy at school. On top of that, pressure, stress, and sleep deprivation are known to be linked to the weakening of immunity. And that is why I end up buried in a mountain of tissues and cough drops every single year.
It’s horribly inconvenient- and not to mention, uncomfortable- to always have to miss school because I’m at home sick, so lately I’ve been looking for ways to avoid getting sick. Here are five tips I found that help prevent illness during the school year!
1. The most effective thing you can do to evade sickness is to practice good hygiene.
Wash hands thoroughly and frequently, don’t bite your nails, and try to touch your face as little as possible. These may all seem like no-brainers, but you might be surprised by how much difference these little actions can make.
2. Drink water.
Getting in your eight glasses a day is great for keeping you in optimal health, which will make it much easier on your immune system when it comes to fighting off those viruses and germs. If you’re like me and often forget to drink water throughout the day, it may help to leave reminders for yourself; put sticky notes in your locker, your notebooks, set reminders on your phone, or download apps that can help you track your water intake.
3. Find time to play.
Life can get really busy, what with school, extracurriculars, and maintaining a social life, but taking time to simply play can strengthen your physical and mental health by reducing stress and providing stimulation for your brain. Play any way you like, whether that mean with games or sports, or simply going for a walk or bike ride. Bonus points if it’s something that makes you sweat- exercise can help fortify your immunity as well!
4. Sharing is not always caring.
At least, when it comes to items that can spread disease. Food, drink, personal hygiene items, and even earbuds are liable to pass around germs, so try your best to avoid sharing these things with others, especially if you know they’re sick.
5. Steer clear of germ hotspots.
There are certain areas in schools which are notorious for being home to the highest concentrations of germs, and you’d do best to stay as far away from them as possible. These ‘hotspots’ include places such as water fountain spigots, cafeteria trays, doorknobs, keyboards, desks, art supplies, and sports equipment.
School can really get overwhelming at times, and it’s hard to find time or energy to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle. And that’s okay, to a certain degree. You’ll probably have to pull a few all-nighters at one point or another, we’ve all been there. But in the long run, putting yourself and your health first is not only a positive thing to do, it’s absolutely necessary.
By implementing a few basic measures to improve your health – using the tips above to avoid getting sick, for example! – you’re giving yourself much better chances to do well in and to actually enjoy your time at school. This semester, make it a goal to take care of yourself and to stay as healthy as possible!