Tips and tricks to avoid the back-to-school sickness

Caragh McErlean/File

All the students coming back from winter break aren’t just bringing presents back home; many are carrying germs from wherever they stayed – germs that you may not have built up immunity against. These little germs are the reason why it seems like you always get sick the first month back at UC Berkeley. However, you can avoid such a fate. Here are some tips for keeping yourself healthy.

Wash your hands often

This is probably one of the easiest pieces of advice to follow. By washing your hands, you will prevent the germs around you from getting into your system. So, wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating and maybe even after class. Hand sanitizer can also help clean your hands, but remember to still wash your hands for at least 20 to 30 seconds.

Avoid close contact with sick people

This one seems obvious, but it is worth remembering. Avoid being too close to friends who are sick in order to not catch what they have. You don’t have to give them a hug right now – you can wait until they’re better. This doesn’t mean you should keep away from sick friends entirely – just keep your distance and consider getting them some soup to help them feel better.

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is your immune system’s best friend. The more stress you put your body under the worse shape your immune system is probably in. So, help your immune system stop any disease before it gets bad by going to sleep earlier than you normally would.

Avoid touching your face

Germs often enter your body through your mouth, nose and eyes. Often, this just comes from you reflexively touching your face. If you don’t think you touch your face that much, try not to touch your face the rest of the time you’re reading this article. So, if you can help it, don’t let those germs in.

If you feel like you’re getting sick, take care of yourself

There is a chance that you do come down with something, but it’s not the end of the world. Take care of yourself at the first sign of symptoms. It should get you better faster. Take a nap, drink lots of water, try to get some chicken soup and do what makes you feel better. You’ll be better and back to your lectures before you know it! 

Being sick can suck. This is especially true when it means missing out on class and having to catch up. However, you can avoid it. Act like the germaphobe is your spirit animal and you may have a healthy semester.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .