This time of year, we are all exposed to different ailments because we are usually indoors the majority of the day. Germs and viruses are all over the place, especially for students in college. I was noticing that there are specific self-care remedies that we used at home that my kids completely forgot 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 tasks down to different common ailments like a 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 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.
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.
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 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 strained wrists and ankles:
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 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:
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. Stay away from 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 helps you and your college student stay healthy this winter. Below are some additional self-care posts to keep you healthy this time of year. Feel free to visit them as well.