Your Immune System vs. the Changing Season

Every year, as the leaves begin to slowly float their way to the ground like golden snowflakes. I find myself looking at them in awe while also reaching in my pocket for a tissue to blow my nose.

Yes, autumn is a beautiful season that brings a crisp vibe to the air as well as comfy sweaters and snuggly feels. However, the changing season always seems to wreak havoc on my poor, poor immune system. I always find myself in bed with tomato soup for at least a week every single fall. I know I’m not alone in this because so far all of my suite mates have been sick this fall and I have had two professors cancel class today due to sickness.

So, what gives? Are we simply doomed to the sniffles and scratchy throat each year? As common and unavoidable as it may seem, there are definite ways to avoid or deal with the common cold.

Everyone knows the typical “wash your hands” rule but it definitely is not a throwaway tip. Remembering to wash your hands just a little bit more during this extra germy season could save you a few groggy days in class.

A weird tip that I heard recently is that you should be extra cautious about putting your hands on your face during this season. Apparently, it is more common for cold and flu viruses to enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.

Personally, there are a few favorite things I do once I already have a cold and am kicking myself for letting my body become infected. I always keep Vitamin C pills in my desk that I can take in the morning when I’m not feeling great and their effect is unbelievable. These can simply be purchased at most convenience stores. (I get mine at CVS.) Just be careful to only take one a day!

This is going to sound strange, but I also really enjoy going on long runs when I have a cold. I run every day anyway but, if I’m not bed ridden, a long run can typically make my lungs and nose feel like they have opened up a lot and can help with congestion if you have a mild cold.

Finally, it is essential to get enough sleep. I hate being told to sleep more than anyone, but with a cold, it can make a world of difference. Sleep and relaxation will help your immune system heal and get back to normal quicker, so give in to your lazy side for a couple of days and take it easy. Sooner or later, that dreadful common cold will have nothing on you.

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