Tips to Avoid Illness and Absences

December 4, 2018
Posted in Student Tips
December 4, 2018 ACS

You might have heard the old saying, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up”. There are numerous variations on this quote, but the point remains the same: If you want to succeed, your presence is the first and most important requirement.

Of course, “showing up” becomes a bit more challenging at this time of year, when we all become susceptible to random cold and flu bugs. Any time you pack a large number of people into a small space (such as a classroom), your chances of spreading and contracting illnesses multiply. Use these tips to stay healthy, so you can minimize your absences and stay caught up on school work.

Wash your hands. Ever wonder why doctors and nurses aren’t sick constantly? You might have noticed that they wash their hands each time they examine a patient. Since germs hang out on every available surface – especially those we touch often, like doorknobs – washing your hands frequently can keep those germs out of your system.

Exercise regularly. Keep up with your regular exercise routine, to boost your circulation and immune system.

Supplement with vitamin C and D. Many people swear by vitamin C tablets or gummies, especially in the winter. Eating plenty of citrus fruit is even better. Vitamin D also boosts your immune system, so consume plenty of foods like fortified milk, eggs, mushrooms, salmon, and tuna. Or, you can take vitamin D supplements.

Sleep well. Poor sleep habits impact your immune response, making it more difficult for you to fight off invading viruses and bacteria. Continue to devote yourself to healthy sleep practices. This is good for your concentration and memory, too.

Reduce stress. High-stress people typically get sick more often. Take measures to reduce your stress, such as meditation, yoga, counseling, exercise, or engaging in a creative hobby. It might take some time to figure out what works well for you.

Avoid sugar. A diet high in sugar promotes inflammation in the body, which keeps your immune system overworked trying to combat it. Lay off the sweets, and learn to read food labels. Sugar lurks in many products where you wouldn’t expect it.

Avoid sick people. This might not feel very charitable, but protecting yourself is important. Limit contact with sick friends or family members. If you have a young sibling who gets sick, remember that little kids tend to touch everything. Disinfecting doorknobs, counter tops, and light switches can go a long way toward preventing the spread of cold germs.

Know when to slow down. At the first sign of an illness, remember to rest more and drink fluids. You can shorten your recovery time and prevent excessive absences by taking a break rather than pushing yourself to the max. And of course, go to the doctor as soon as you feel it’s warranted. Don’t try to “tough it out” if you think an illness is becoming serious.


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