The loud, horrid coughing coming from the back of the classroom? That would be me; I sincerely plead guilty. To those who have yet to suffer from a stuffy nose or sore throat, I am sorry -- do feel free to keep a meter's distance from my tissues and me. And to the rest who feel my agony, consider these strategies for self-care, productivity, and sanity preservation to help you make it through the season.

Be extra healthy.

Eat good food and stay hydrated with plenty of hot beverages. Coffee is tempting, especially when you’re drowsy, but the unpredictable effects of caffeine are best avoided for now. If you really need a wake-up call, try green tea. Home remedies work best -- like chicken soup, lemon tea, honey, etc. And, of course, seek any necessary medication or treatment as soon as possible!

Get LOTS of rest.

One good thing about being sick is your valid excuse to sleep longer. After all, your body needs rest to heal itself. Even during waking hours, it can be difficult to stay alert and perform to your fullest potential; so instead of working yourself to burnout, relax and get some much-needed shut-eye. Take a couple hours to work, too, with 15-20 minute breaks every half hour.

Stick with the simple.

Normally, when it comes to studying, prioritization reigns supreme -- but not on sick days. If you try to tackle essays, math problems, or other mentally demanding activities, it becomes easy to make more mistakes than usual, which only results in frustration. Instead, save these for when you feel better and go over straight-forward tasks that don’t require much in-depth thinking: reviewing class notes, studying with flashcards, or simply taming those overflowing binders and loose sheets of paper.

Stay updated and update others.

This is especially crucial if you’re staying at home due to illness. Stay updated and attentive of what goes on outside; it’s essential for success after you’re finally recovered! In addition, keep others updated too. Give teachers, organizations, and other individuals notice beforehand if you’re not able to make it to a class, volunteer shift, or study session. Keep on the ball about assignments and in-class material so that you’re ready to catch up.

Most importantly, relax! Don’t stress too much; give yourself the time to recover.

Take care,

Hannah

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