You hear that?
That’s the sound of ten people on the bus coughing in unison to the tune of WINTER IS COMING. Get your hanky’s out kids, we’re about to learn how to not spiral into a whirlpool of sniffles and despair – aka the dreaded winter head cold and other nasty spin-offs. Last year I put off getting my flu shot. Big mistake. What my doctor originally thought was the flu was in fact pneumonia and I ended up being hospitalised. Granted, my body tends to welcome illness like it’s on the search for the new frontier of human resilience, but I digress. Here are a few simple but effective ways to avoid getting sick this winter.
Dress appropriately for the weather
Great advice for life, generally. But going outside in shorts and a singlet when it’s -5 degrees Celsius is just tempting fate. Cover it up, mate. You’re not about to get a tan any time soon so you may as well wrap a scarf around it and call it a day. Invest in one decent winter jacket and wear the crap out of that bad boy until it falls apart. A good pair of closed-in shoes wouldn’t go astray either – you don’t need ten pairs of shoes and five jackets if you spend a semi-decent amount on one quality clothing item that will last you the winter. Start thinking about this now, because it’s only going to get colder.
Don’t forget about greens
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to comfort food. Mainly pasta. Especially macaroni. It’s super easy to fall into habits of eating hot comfort food when you’re confined to the indoors because White Walkers are transforming your neighbourhood into a frozen over ice-prison. It’s even easier to forget that broccoli can still be purchased in most grocery outlets across the country. Don’t neglect your veggies, mates, it might be all that’s standing between you and a super bad case of the flu. Make sure you’re still factoring them in to your meals every day. Tick the box. Move on. If you’re just not in the mood to eat your greens, here is a recipe that expertly hides the healthy stuff.
Along with greens, water is probably the most neglected necessity during winter (except, ya know, exercise). The average amount of water a person should drink per day is roughly 8 cups. That might not sound like much, but after a day of drinking hot chocolate and coffee and scoffing down macaroni (yes, we’re back to pasta), you’ll find you run out of time in the day to actually consume the amount of water you need. Dehydration creeps up in you in winter, carry a water bottle around with you and try to finish it once or twice.
Exercise your right to modern medicine
The flu shot is a beautiful thing. I recognise this more than anyone, having delayed my yearly vaccination just long enough to develop pneumonia and get hospitalised last winter. I literally couldn’t have my flu shot until after I recovered, leaving me pretty vulnerable to more illness. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t get sick easily, go and get your flu shot – most universities administer the vaccine for free for students living on campus, so keep your ear to the ground and don’t waste any time getting vaccinated. There is nothing worse than a fever that leaves you bedridden for days. Do yourself a favour and keep on top of it.
“Most universities administer the vaccine for free for students living on campus.”