Avoid the Swine Flu while Living in a College Dorm

The possibility of contracting the swine flu can complicate your life when you live in a college dorm.  Let’s face it, staying healthy in college is hard enough with crazy schedules, late night study sessions and balancing work, school and life. Avoiding swine flu only adds to the complexity of staying healthy. Living in the dorm only increases the likelihood you might be exposed. While there is no guarantee you will avoid the swine flu, there are definitely ways you can reduce your chances of contracting this disease that seems to target the young and seemingly healthy. Use these healthy practices and your overall health may improve while you avoid the swine flu!

Did you know that you touch your face an average of sixteen times an hour?  That is why cleanliness is incredibly important. Wash your hands often. Buy a bottle of hand sanitizer from the dollar store and use it in between hand washings. If you touch your nose or mouth, wash your hands immediately. Avoid touching door handles and telephones sick people have used if you can. While it is often impossible to avoid such things, a purse-size bottle of sanitizer will come in handy.

Having the swine flu is worse than being considered rude. Buy a can of disinfectant and use it. Spray phones, computer key boards, desktops and other items students who might be infected have used. A small container can be placed in your backpack for use in the computer labs and desks.

There is a time and a place for sharing.  Do not allow others to drink from your cup and do not drink from theirs. The same is true of sharing food.  Don’t eat off of someone’s plate if they show any signs of illness. 

At the same time, drink a lot of good things from your own cup. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages while the swine flu is a problem to allow your body to build good defenses, but do drink lots of water, herbal teas and healthy juices.

Guard your immune system. While you are avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks, add another no-no to the list. Sugar. Avoiding sugar can also help boost your immune system. If you can’t avoid it completely, at least reduce the amount you eat.

Sleep. Give your body at least eight hours of rest. Learn to schedule your time so you have plenty of time to accomplish all your goals and still have time to sleep. One way to do this is to learn to say no to things you do not want or do not have to do.

Avoid sick people. This is especially true of anyone suffering from respiratory problems. Do not volunteer to become the nurse to your sick boyfriend or girlfriend if you can become infected. They provide school nurses for that very thing. If you must be around someone who is ill, keep your distance and avoid breathing opening around them. Wear a mask if you can. I know it sound ridiculous, but if you become deathly ill it will be too late to rethink protecting yourself. Encourage those around you to use a tissue when they cough or sneeze.

If your budget can handle it, or mom and dad will help out, add a few items to your daily intake. Use vitamin C supplements, and probiotics to your menu. Of course, fresh citrus fruit would be great. A juicer in your dorm room will allow you to juice fruits and vegetables that can help protect you from the swine flu by strengthening your immune system.

In spite of your best efforts, if you did get the swine flu, protect those around you. Stay in your room, away from your classes and suggest your roommate move out until you are well. Clean up after yourself. Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Sleep, rest and, if necessary, go to your doctor for medications. In this way, you can help others avoid the swine flu while living in a college dorm.