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Top five: tips for dealing with sickness at UMass

A guide to rest and recovery for students away from home.

January 29, 2019

Being away from home is tough, especially when you’re sick. No one is there to make you soup or provide medicine, and any saving grace from UHS is a long walk from your dorm. I recently struggled with sickness myself and missed the comfort of treating it at home. If you find yourself suffering from a cold while at UMass (or wherever you’re reading from), here are five tips that may bring you comfort and quick healing.

  1. Order a Get Well Meal

UMass provides meals for those who cannot make it to the dining halls—a convenient and helpful service that I was unaware of. A Get Well Meal is composed of all of your essential health foods including hot soup, crackers, fruit, ginger ale, jello and other items. Placing an order is fairly simple: call the management staff of your closest dining hall, have a friend bring your UCard to process the order and you’re good to go. This service is a perfect substitution for your mom’s home cooking or lukewarm ramen noodles.

  1.     Hydrate

Everyone recommends drinking plenty of water each day. However, some people still forget this basic necessity. No matter what stage of health you are in, it is imperative to stay hydrated throughout the day. Also, water is not your only option when it comes to healthy drinks. Ginger ale is a good choice for soothing an upset stomach, while Gatorade rejuvenates your body by supplying electrolytes. Whatever your beverage of choice is, it is very important to stock up so you have plenty in your room to last throughout your sickness!

  1. Get some fresh air

This was actually super helpful for me when I was sick. Opening a dorm window can make you and your room less stuffy. Even this simple act can provide temporary relief. Getting some fresh air even just for a few moments can be beneficial, as it provides you with a sense of relief.

  1. Don’t travel to the pharmacy; stock up!

Keeping extra medicine in your dorm can come in handy. I always keep some extra DayQuil and NyQuil with me in case I come down with a cold or any other form of sickness. The combo box is $20 at CVS—which is expensive for us college students—but it will better prepare you for a returning illness. Yes, it comes at a small price, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with an illness on campus.

  1.   Make YOU your first priority!

With the craziness of college and busy schedules, it’s easy to forget that this sort of lifestyle takes a toll on the body. When you’re sick, do not stress over missing class or assignments. Rather, focus on getting your mind and body back to normal. Take a nap, listen to music, read a book—do anything that helps to ease, calm and soothe both your body and mind. That way, you can build up the energy and strength needed to get back into the swing of things.

I hope these tips were helpful, and that you’ll think of this list the next time you’re feeling under the weather.

Email Zach at [email protected]

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