This time of year, we are all exposed to different ailments because we are usually indoors most of the day. Germs and viruses are all over the place, especially for students in college. I noticed that there are specific self-care remedies we use at home that my kids completely forget about when they are away in college. So, I wanted to remind them and you that there are things you can do to take care of yourself while away from home. I broke these self care remedies into common ailments like sore throat, cough, fevers, jaw tightness because of stress, stress migraines, neck tightness, problem sleeping, sinus congestion, and lower back pain.
I always recommend going to the student health center first, but if you don't have the time, you can try these. Remember that these suggestions are just that; I am not a doctor, but I found these remedies helped me and my kids take the edge off of the ailment so I could function until I had the time to get to the doctor in a day or two. Let's begin.
***I added Amazon links that are examples of products you can buy for these ailments if you have stronger remedies than these home remedies below. If you click through and buy something on Amazon, I will receive a small referral fee at no additional charge to you.
For a Sore throat:
Gargle with salt dissolved in a cup of lukewarm water.
A teaspoon of honey mixed with one squeezed lemon juice. Use a spoon and swallow it slowly.
Take throat lozenges.
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For a cough:
Drink water throughout the day.
Drink herbal tea with honey.
Take your temperature.
Use Advil twice a day as instructed.
To bring the temperature down, use ice in a baggie, and place it on your forehead for an hour or so.
Stay covered under lots of blankets to force your body to sweat it out.
For jaw tightness from stress:
Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to force your mouth not to lock closed.
Massage the sides of the jaws near the ear for 5 minutes.
Use a mouth guard at night.
For stress migraines:
Do it in a circular motion using your pointer and a middle finger placed on your temples and massage for a few minutes.
Press with your thumb between the top of the nose and the eyebrows for 1 minute.
For sprained wrists and ankles:
Another self care remedies are for strained wrists and ankles. This one comes up often in our home because of too much typing or walking around campus.
Add ice for 20 minutes 3 times a day.
Then, alternate between heat and cold twice a day for 20 minutes.
For neck tightness:
Massage your left side with your right hand by crossing the front of your body to get to the opposite shoulder of the left side. Do it for 5 minutes. Use the left hand to do the right side.
Heat the heating pad for a few minutes in the microwave. Add to shoulder for 20 minutes at a time. Do it a few times a day.
For problems sleeping:
Turn off devices at least 1 hour before going to bed.
Write down your to-dos for tomorrow.
Stay away from caffeine (coffee /black tea) and sugar afternoon.
Pray (if you do that).
For upset stomach:
Eat candied ginger cubes.
Drink Canada Dry ginger ale.
Stay away from spicy foods.
For sinus congestion:
Another aliment is sinus congestion. These self care remedies are great for feeling better again.
Blow your nose.
Take a hot shower that has steamed up.
Use the Netipot or saline once or twice a day.
Eat spicy buffalo chicken wings for quick relief, then blow your nose.
For lower back pain:
Bend down and touch your toes for 30 sec 3 times.
Do some leg stretches by twisting your midsection by crossing your leg over the other leg. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
While these ailment remedies are wonderfully helpful, it's essential to prevent these ailments from happening in the first place. Here are some things you can do to help your body stay healthy throughout the year.
Preventative care to stay healthy all the time:
- Take vitamins daily.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Eat a combination of veggies and meats. Avoid starchy foods, like potatoes, bread, pizza, etc…
- Do exercise 3 days a week.
- Do meditation or yoga at least once a week.
- Clean your room weekly with wet cleaners like Windex or white vinegar with water on paper towels.
- Hang out with friends and family. Stay connected with others in person.
Well, there you have it. I hope this self care remedies help you and your college student stay healthy this winter. Below are some additional self-care posts to keep you healthy this year. Feel free to visit them as well.
TOP SPOTS TO CLEAN IN YOUR HOME TO STAY HEALTHY THIS WINTER from our website
EASY HEALTHY SNACKS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS DORM LIFE from our website
8 Quick Self-Care Strategies for College Students
21 Easy Ways to Practice Self Care
I loved that you touched on tips for prevention *and* recovery. I'm curious, does Canada Dry ginger ale have more restorative ingredients than other brands?
And saline spray does work wonders. I keep reading that you should spritz it in both nostrils just prior to any airplane flight and then again every hour to stay hydrated and keep germs from hanging around. I tried it on my long-haul flight to Italy in September, and though I often get sick on flights, I stayed healthy until day 14 of the trip, which I suspect is far past the incubation for any in-flight germs!
Thanks for listing all of these simple remedies! I like how you included preventative care tips to stay healthy, those are so important!
Ah yes, what a great topic. College can be a petri dish for illness, and for most young people, this is their first time trying to figure out what to do on their own. I have a neck pad that heats in the microwave and I love it. Sometimes that really helps with that muscle tightness you get from working on a computer for long periods of time!
I too have several heating pads for different areas of the body. Did you know there are ones for hands? Yep, Very nice! You just microwave the little bean sack place them inside the gloves. Love that we can use the microwave to heat things up like that since every college student has one or has access to one.
Simple remedies that people just don't use. I love these. Don't have anyone in college but this is a good reference for anyone. I remember getting the flu when I was in college and my parents were traveling (or my mom would have drive down and picked me up). When you are sick is not the time to look for answers. Be prepared.
I totally agree, Janet. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Thanks for including jaw tightness. I developed terrible TMJ in college due to roommate stress. I would have appreciated these tips then. I'll be forwarding this to my college freshman daughter.
Thanks, Andi. My son was dealing with TMJ in his first semester near finals. It's what sparked me to write this post.
What an awesome list of easily implementable remedies! As I read them, I realized that most of them I was aware of and have used, but there were a few I'd never heard of like eating spicy buffalo wings for sinus congestion or chewing gum for jaw stress. It also reminded me about those "calls" I'd get from my daughters when they weren't feeling well at college. I'd often share one of these tips with them, even though they knew them. But I think touching base with their mom, made them feel a bit better too. When they lived at home, I took care of them. And being away (and not feeling well) was another part of shifting into adulthood. They wanted their independence, but they also wanted the comfort of being cared for.
I get that. The spicy buffalo wing idea was my husband and I's remedy our freshmen year in college and it works, temporary. And, who doesn't love chicken wings? lol
My doctor recommended saline spray for sinus headaches last year and I really like it. better than taking medication with who-knows-what in it!
Saline is great! Great for dry climates too when you travel. My husband brings it along when he goes to Utah.