Surviving Freshers Flu
Yes, it really is a thing.
If you are looking for a cure, I can tell you I don't have one. But what I do have are a very particular set of coping mechanisms, home remedies I have acquired over a very long career, tips and tricks that make me a Freshers Flu easier for people like you. If you read this now, it might make it a little bit more manageable.
Freshers Flu usually happens to everyone - you’re not alone, and you will get better (even though it feels like death approaches ever so slowly). Freshers Flu isn’t actually the flu - it’s just a really bad cold. You mixing with new people from all over the globe, and your immune system will be introduced to things it’s never encountered before. The best thing for Freshers Flu is trying to avoid it:
It’s easy to slip into bad habits, but keep your room, your kitchen and your bathroom clean. Wash your hands, use hand sanitiser and don’t use other people’s toothbrushes… very basic, very easy.
I get it, if you’re not a gym bunny, motivating yourself to exercise, especially during Freshers is really hard work, but it will help boost your immune system. If heading to the gym isn’t your thing, try some other forms of exercise - join a sports group, a dance club, or go for a run or cycle around the local area.
2am kebabs sound like the best idea in the world, but when your realise you’ve gone a whole week without putting a piece of fruit or a vegetable near your lips, it might be worth picking up a bunch of bananas.
If you do start to feel a little sniffly, the best thing to do is act quickly!
A Spoonful of Sugar...
You should get some own brand supermarket cold and flu tablets - they work just as well as the big-name versions. I also recommend getting the day and night type, as this will help you get some much needed relief while you sleep (take this from someone who once took the day time ones in desperation and ended up hallucinating that they were Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec…). Paracetamol is also great for getting a fever under control (but don’t take cold and flu and paracetamol at the same time, as cold and flu usually has paracetamol in them!). Throat sweets will also become your best friend, but go for the antibacterial ones, not the ones you think will taste the nicest.
Help flush out the illness by keeping your body hydrated. Water is a miracle liquid, and you should be drinking more water than usual when you’re ill, so keep a glass with you always, and if you’re using a bottle, remember to give it a thorough clean afterwards!
Spill the Tea
Tea for me is the ultimate cure for pretty much everything. Hangover? Tea. Sad? Tea. Thirsty? Tea. Can’t sleep? Tea. Ill? Tea.
For freshers flu, I suggest lemon and ginger tea (which you can get in most supermarkets), and add a squeeze of honey. The honey will help soothe your throat, boost your sugar levels and has anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. Ginger is diaphoretic, meaning that it will warm you from the inside and promote perspiration, as well as good for your stomach and digestion, especially if you feel nauseous. Finally, lemon is chock full of Vitamin C, which is great for your immune system - so if you can make it with fresh ingredients, it’s best, but the hot liquid will be warming and soothing, whether it's from a bag or not.
Shots! Shots! Shots!
No, not the tequila kind.
You can buy or make shots, not dissimilar to the tea above, which are packed full with ingredients to help boost your immune system to give you a quick boost - just what you need before a lecture to get you through. They range from having ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper and turmeric as ingredients, all with healing properties to perk you up and flush through your system, or at least get you through an hour of sitting and listening.
Get some Zs
I know people stereotype students as sleeping too much, but you’ll find that your body needs to rest to get better. Opt for a night in and sleep when you need to and listen to your body.
It sounds like an odd one, and the last thing you want to do is drag yourself out of bed and into a shower, especially if you’re sharing the facilities, but a hot shower can do wonders. The hot water will help relax your muscles and the steam will help clear out your sinuses. It may seem like a chore, but it will help!
Freshers Flu lasts about a week, and if you can power through, do. If your symptoms persist, or don’t seem to get any better after a week, then it might be worth checking in with your GP.
Don’t forget to sign up as soon as possible, so when you really need to see a doctor, you can!
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