It’s that time of year again. The first cold gusts hits and by the next week, more than half of the seats in your class are empty. Or, the classes are filled and somehow you’re the only healthy one, so you’re surrounded by this orchestra of coughs and sniffles and you just know you’re going to get sick, no matter what you do to prevent it. As high school students, we’re really busy, whether it’s doing homework, hanging out with friends or playing sports, we’re constantly on the move. Is there a link between stress and getting sick? Probably, and important thing during sick season is taking care of yourself so that you can keep up with school, friends, work and everything in between.

1. SLEEP. There is literally nothing better you can do for yourself than a good night’s sleep. I swear, it’s the cure-all. There’s a catch though; it has to be a sleep without distractions, so phones off, computers away, and just you and your bed. The thing about school nights is that even if you go to bed at a reasonable time, you’re still not getting the amount of sleep you need to rebound from being sick. What I’ve learned in the past three years is that skipping a day, or even a half-day to rest up WILL HELP YOU IN THE LONG RUN. Rather than dragging out your sickness, why not take a day to chill? I’d rather miss a day than stay sick and tired for weeks on end.

2. TEA. The amount of tea I have consumed in the past two weeks, trying to get over a cold and cough is a little insane. There’s something about having a warm mug of tea in your hands when it’s freezing outside that makes me feel nice and cozy. You can’t go wrong with mint tea. Here’s a little tip if you’re not really a tea person: There’s no rule against adding a little milk and honey! Milk can thicken it up a little, and honey will make it sweeter, which is great for a sore throat! If you’re sick and need a miracle remedy, try making the following secret recipe:

  • A teaspoon or two of freshly grated ginger
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • A couple of squirts of honey

I swear, this special tea saves me when I feel a cold or sore throat coming on. I drink a mug before I go to bed and by the morning I usually feel better. It doesn’t take much to make this tea either!

3. The good ol’ cough drop. Honestly, this one is a must have. If you can’t stay home, go to your local drug store and buy the eucalyptus flavored ones. Whether you have a cold, a cough, or a sore/scratchy throat, pop one of these babies and you’ll feel a little better. They don’t taste bad either! They sell ones that numb your throat, but I don’t love the feeling of not being able to feel the inside of my mouth—but if you’re into that, go for it!

4. Wash your hands. Yeah, I know, I know, I sound like an elementary school teacher but seriously, it’s important. The amount of people at this school, and the amount of germs each of them are carrying at any given moment is enormous. Because there is such a huge population here at Franklin, and we interact with each other so frequently, the chances that you will get sick, or get someone else sick are pretty high. So, just wash your hands, for your sake and everyone else’s.

Make sure to listen to your body, know your limits and try to stay healthy during the next few cold months! 

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