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Seven Steps to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter


By Samantha Snead


  1. Wash your hands. Doorknobs, computer keyboards, classroom desks, elevator buttons… Every surface you touch puts you at risk for coming into contact with those nasty germs. Hand sanitizer can occasionally be used as a substitute, but don’t overdo it.


  1. Clean your room. Keep Lysol wipes handy to disinfect desks and other surfaces, and vacuum the floor often. Remember that clothes and bedding are also covered in germs, so make time to do laundry.


  1. Get some sleep; 8 hours a night is optimal. Take some melatonin, or download a white noise app to play while you’re sleeping. Ideally, you should quit using electronics at least half an hour before you go to sleep to give your brain some time to recover from the light exposure, which can disrupt your normal sleep pattern.


  1. Sharing is NOT always caring. Don’t share food, water bottles, utensils, etc. Sharing saliva is one of the quickest ways to transmit germs from one person to the next.


  1. If you’re stressing about an upcoming midterm, or even the thought of getting sick, your immune system isn’t operating to its full potential. To combat this, make sure you set aside some time for whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed. Consider nixing the caffeine, which is known to cause an increase in anxiety. Meditation, yoga, journaling, or just lounging around in your room are all good methods of alleviating illness-inducing stress.


  1. Stay healthy. Skip the processed junk and fill your plate with a balance of dairy, protein, carbs, fruits and vegetables. Take supplements if you find that you’re lacking the essential vitamins you need, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Fluids and exercise are vital.


  1. Get vaccinated. Make an appointment at the CVS on West Chestnut Street, or just walk into the store on Electric Road. Check to see if CVS will accept your insurance plan; if they do, your shot will be free.