Staying healthy during the seasonal changes

Courtney Williams


Well, if you’re anything like me, the turning of the seasons, since Groundhog Day predicted an early spring this year, means an onset of colds, bronchitis, allergies and any number of sniffles and coughing. Yep, welcome to cold season.

The rule at my house growing up was if you didn’t have a fever and if you weren’t throwing up, you were headed to school, no matter how crappy you felt. And I’m proud to say that I’ve held true to that mantra throughout my college career.

I am the queen of sinus infections and getting random illnesses so I figure I’ll give you a little insight on how to stay cold-free this spring.

We all have that one cabinet or drawer stuffed full of medicine and Band-Aids and Neosporin and any other number of things. First things first, look at the expiration dates on the bottles or boxes. Yes, Tylenol has an expiration date. Don’t take anything that’s expired, that should just be common sense. I keep my medicine drawer organized by the type of medicine it is, so I know where to find something on short notice.

At the onset of a cold, I take Echinacea, an immunity system booster. If all else fails, I hold onto the idea that it will at least fend off an illness long enough to get some real medicine. Probiotics are also a good immune system helper, and they aren’t too expensive to get at the drugstore.

If a cold hits you so fast you don’t even have time to grab a tissue, stock up on cold meds: DayQuil, NyQuil, Tylenol Cold, whatever helps you. I’m a fan of the NyQuil brand, and the good thing is most medicines come in day and night forms so you are set for whenever you need it.

If you wake up with a stuffy nose, watery eyes, and you can’t breathe, try a sinus rinse. You can get the kit at Walmart or any other drugstore, and you just mix the packet with warm water and squirt it up your nose. I know it sounds nasty, and at first it does feel weird, but it really cleans out your sinuses. I’ve been doing them since I was nine, and they really work wonders. When I’m sick, I do them at least three times a day.

When I was in third grade, I had to have surgery on my sinuses because I got sick so often. I’m hoping it doesn’t get to that point for you, and it shouldn’t if you take care of yourself. Get lots of rest, drink vitamin C, hot tea with honey, and lots of WATER. And if you feel like you can’t move or function because you feel so blah, just stay home. No one wants you to get them sick.

Cheers to a healthy year!


Some other tips for beating a cold:

– Drink at least two bottles of water a day. My water bottle is 64 ounces.

– Vitamin C is your friend, and your body needs it. Apple juice is good, orange juice is better, and don’t forget the different flavored Vitamin C drops.

– Hot tea. With honey. Enough said.

– Sleep. Hey, it’s an excuse for naptime.

– Steam it up. Take a super warm shower and let the steam clear out your sinuses.

– Go to the doctor if you feel really bad. It’s OK to go to the doctor. You don’t have to be the tough guy.