Chicken Noodle Soup with a Flu Shot on the Side

Silence was a virtue in the noon Psychology as a Natural Science class last Thursday. Every time Professor Heyman completed a thought, he was bombarded not by questions but by coughs, sneezes, and the unpleasant sound of congested beings. If you are a freshman here, you’ve probably been sick, are sick, or will get sick. And for you upperclassmen, don’t let those guards down—the germs from Upper and Newton aren’t as far away as you think they are. For those of you who have managed to avoid getting sick so far, I applaud you. Fight on. Here are some friendly suggestions for those of you who are experiencing a BC bug.

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Image via Flickr/konarheim

 1. Hydrate– The classic H2O, chicken soup, or juice will keep you from getting dehydrated. Chicken soup in fact is thought to reduce inflammation and relieve congestion by making that mucus move, so take advantage of the soup selection in the dining halls. 

2. Sleep –The benefits of sleep are no myth. Especially towards the beginning of your sickness, the more sleep you get, the stronger your body will be to fight against the cold. Tell yourself that you’re going to go to sleep at a certain time and do it. If time is an issue, consider advice #3.

3. Stay in – Please. This is both for your sake and for the sake of the uninfected. Whether you were planning on going out on the weekend or going to work at Eagle’s Nest, don’t do it. Perhaps even consider emailing your professor and skipping class. Staying in will force you to sleep or at least rest your body.

4. Head over to Health Services – Woah what’s that? You may ask. If you are one of the many BC students who has never even walked into Cushing (the nursing building, not the freshman dorm on Newton), then you’re probably unaware of how great of a service they can be to you.  If you are past the “staying in” stage and can’t function on your own, you can journey to the inpatient unit and rest on one of their 10 beds while a doctor comes around to take care of you.

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Photo Courtesy of The Gavel

5. Take Vitamin C – My roommate has this cute white bottle labeled C 500 mg with smiling comic characters of oranges, passion fruit, peaches, and mangos on it– all good sources of Vitamin C.  According to the medical center at the University of Maryland, Vitamin C may shorten the length of your cold by a day or so.  If you’re not a fan of lozenges or don’t want to deal with the stickiness of a juicy orange, try pouring some Emergen-C powder into your water bottle.

6. Relieve a sore throat with salt water – gargle eight ounces of water with ½ teaspoon of salt mixed in it. This will temporarily relieve a soar or irritatingly scratchy throat.

7. Get your flu shot – whether you have gotten sick or not, it is crucial that you do this. If needles scare you, just remember that the flu can lead to hospitalization and even death. That should scare you even more. BC is teaming up with Maxim Health Systems to provide on campus flu vaccinations this week on October 10th from 1:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the Murray Function Room on the 4th floor of the Yawkey Center. There is a $25 fee and you can pay by cash, check, or credit card.

8. Take Day and NyQuil – Over-the-counter cold and cough medications will help reduce flu symptoms. And for those of you who still find advice #2 troubling, NyQuil should do the trick at night. Too much medication can make your symptoms worse though and even cause damage to your liver.

9. Go o’natural – if medicine is not your style, try herbal tea with honey and lemon. The honey will soothe your throat while the lemon can help you breathe a little by reducing mucus.  The Echinacea herb is thought to shorten colds and expedite healing. You can find it in many teas or just as supplemental pills.

The Echinacea flower

The Echinacea flower
Photo Courtesy of The Gavel

10. Find comfort - Curl up in a ball on the floor and have your closest friend dump her basket of clean, warm, fresh-out-of-the-drier laundry on you. Don’t even think about it. Just do it.

Feature image via Flickr/ huckablue.

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Aya Tsuruta