Back-to-School Blues: How to Naturally Prevent the Common Cold
The back-to-school season is full of energy: shopping for new clothes, finalizing class schedules, stocking up on supplies. But getting back to the hustle and bustle of the school year can also put you at a higher risk of getting sick; tons of other students are touching the same door handles and classroom supplies, not to mention the bacteria you'll come into contact with in public bathrooms and cafeterias. Whether you're a college student stuffed in a dorm room with three other students or a parent getting the kids ready to go, these natural solutions are great options for staying healthy this season.
Wash Your Hands
We’ve all heard the importance of hand-washing, but the back-to-school season makes this tip even more critical. Being in a classroom means that you come into contact with germs way more often than normal, so make sure you also wash your hands after handling money, before eating, and even in between some of your classes. When talking with little ones about the importance of hand-washing, glitter can be a helpful resource in teaching children how germs spread. Take your child outside and have them put glitter on the palms of their hands. Set a timer for 10 minutes, then explore together how far the “germs” have traveled.
Get More Sleep
Summertime leaves plenty of opportunity for bonfires by the beach, movies in the park and late-night ice cream runs. But with the school year beginning, it's important to get enough sleep to let your body recuperate so it has enough energy to fight bacteria. While sleep times may vary slightly depending on your gender and age, 7-9 hours is a good timeframe to aim for. Set your own bedtime and give yourself permission to put down the textbook when that time rolls around.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily routine and forget to relax. But pent-up stress can suppress your immune system, making it much easier to get sick. Whether your stress-reliever is going for a run, meditating or reading a good book, give yourself time to enjoy part of your day. Encourage kids to take a short break in between homework and chores, then using the weekend to play in ways that are enjoyable for them.
Weekdays can make it difficult to get a healthy meal on the table, but nightly take-out doesn’t provide the nutrients your body needs to fight off bacteria. Keep your immune system strong by planning meals ahead of time, giving special attention to increasing vegetables and minimizing heavily-processed foods. Not only will this keep you from getting sick, but you (or your children) will be able to better focus on schoolwork when you’re eating a balanced diet.
As you go into this school year, remember that taking care of your body and staying healthy should be your first priority. Your schoolwork, home life and relationships can't function well if you're not well. Get a head start on health this year by taking active steps to prevent sickness.
Credit: Photo on Freepik
- Lifestyle Staff