Dodge the cold; phase through the winter flu!

Mohi Choudhury talks us through dodging the flu.

Mohi Choudhury
30th November 2019
Image: Flickr
Want a sure-fire way to avoid catching a cold or the flu this Winter? If that is what you want, you are reading the wrong article. But please, continue reading, your body might thank you further down the line.

A poor diet, unhealthy levels of alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, an erratic schedule, high levels of stress, over-exertion, and a weak immune system may contribute to your ill health. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t surprise you. Before you counter by saying that you’re a student and all of that is ominously inevitable. Relax. I am not going to shoot down a rigid schedule down your throats which you will probably dispense with immediately.

A healthy diet, sensible sleeping pattern, mitigated stress, and good hygiene can aid in your defence against these plagues

A quick and sensible internet search will inform you that a healthy diet, sensible sleeping pattern, mitigated stress, and good hygiene can aid in your defence against these plagues. This is all true, but no matter what you do, sometimes, you may have been dealt a bad hand, so your body is going to condemn you for days, if not weeks or months of misery. My pessimism and realistic outlook may dampen your spirits, but fret not, if you’ve made it this far, there may be hope for you yet.

I write this as someone who has recently recovered from a nasty cold, endured a stinging ear infection a few months prior, and am prone to fall ill around wintertime, but, countermeasures can, at least, lessen the potential damage. Prequel to the cold, I worked non stop for a weekend on a stressful and rigorous assignment. What was my reward? A sapping of my energy, a runny nose, a coarse cough, and a bitter attitude towards my fragile state which lasted for about two gruelling weeks.

Your education is important, but not at the expense of your health

It’s easy to say in hindsight that I should not have overworked myself, but sometimes we narrow our environment so sharply we fail to consider our health. Your education is important, but not at the expense of your health. I am not saying to neglect your studies, but I am saying to consider balance. Do you want to be exceptional at only one thing in life or do you want a life? Your choice. I know what I want.

Next up: the accumulated effects of eating out cannot be understated enough. Eat4Less, that overcrowded, cheap, and uncomfortable shop may serve as a quick fix for students on a budget but play that game for long and it will bring you down. This applies to places like Mcdonalds and so on. This is not to say that you should stop eating out; I do it myself but consider proportion.

Respect your body. Respect your health. Respect your limits

Is it a coincidence that alcohol is often correlated with many of the tragedies in modern life? Mix that with a night out (which has grossly become a synonym for clubbing) and you are playing a dangerous game which you may be trading for your health, both physical and mental. Again, it is your choice. Short term temporary satisfaction is, well, temporarily satisfying. That is precisely why we do it. Respect yourself. Respect your body. Respect your health. Respect your limits. The pathological viruses are unforgiving, and you have to be ready to fight.

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