Five steps to endure finals week — sickness free!

From social gatherings to midterms to stressful finals, every college student finds it difficult to juggle a busy life, leaving no room for the flu. Of course, we all know how viruses and bacteria are more excited and quite “jumpy” when it comes to this time of year. While chicken soup is good (for the both the body and the soul), no studious student wants to eat it due to sickness. So for your pleasure, the Highlander Features team is providing you with a full study guide of tricks, “treat”ments and advice that will make your tonsils say “Ahhh.”

  1. Stay laughing. Firstly, people who laugh a lot are much healthier than those who don’t. Dr. Lee Berk at the Loma Linda School of Public Health in California found that laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds have it best — they laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults, meanwhile, only laugh 15 to 100 times a day — so laugh!
  2. Stay clean. Simple hygiene tasks such as brushing your teeth, grooming your beard which catches bacteria, removing your daily makeup that transports bacteria around your face and sanitizing the bathroom after each use play a big role in preventive medicine. Don’t be lazy and please — don’t reek during finals week.
    • First, you can not put your immune system at risk and end up with a fever while working on your final. Your brain already melts just because of studying and you don’t need a fever on top of that.
    • Another reason is that we, the students surrounding you, can’t do well on our own final if we can sense an unpleasant smell.
  3. Stay fit. While not everybody has time to go to our version of the Olympic arena — the SRC — to work out, a healthy body is a healthy mind. Be practical. No matter how athletic you are, it’s easy to find ways to infuse physical activity into your daily life. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should get at least two and a half hours of physical activity a week. Simply choose to take the stairs to your classes instead of the elevator; they are much faster too. Plus, walking, especially in fresh air, causes you to breathe deeper which delivers more oxygen to your brain and results in more retention of information. Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness. It also reduces your risk for many chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Find something you enjoy, such as jogging, running, dancing or playing sports recreationally.
  4. Stay nutritious. Take one unhealthy snack out of your routine and replace it with fresh fruit or raw vegetables.
    • First, foods that do not have a high fat content tend to be easier to digest by your digestive system since it does not require the liver and gall bladder to work as intensely and therefore less energy from your body. That means you will have more energy to spend on studying. Food taking a longer time to digest is not pleasant and can cause some students to experience nausea before testing. So, limiting these foods will take it easy on the upset stomachs. One less organ to worry about!
    • Second, with stress and hormonal imbalance comes acne and most fruits have antioxidants that proactively work in your skin to remove oils that cause acne.
  5. Stay rested. You are probably going to get the same score on the final whether you pull an all-nighter or not. Studying with a tired mind does not retain any information. It is in your best interest to study and set a limit to when you will stop and go to sleep. The CDC recommends at least six hours of sleep for an average adult. Keep in mind that many questions can be solved or narrowed down with logic that comes with a well-rested mind.

Good luck on all your finals! Remember that early detection of sickness is a key factor to responding quickly and effectively. Take advantage of the Health Services Center near Pentland Hills and ask any questions about possible symptoms and advice about over-the-counter medications for mild symptoms. When in extreme stress, ask yourself:

POP Quiz:

When does winter break begin?

Answer: Soon!

You can do it!

Just laugh well, clean well, eat well, sleep well and everything else will be well!

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