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Taking care of business

woman with cold

With classes ramping up, the last thing students can afford is missing class (or assignments!). Yet we are also faced with pressure to pack more into our schedules. More work to pay the bills, more events to have fun and meet people, more study time to boost your grades. It’s all important, but pushing yourself too far can mean all that effort goes to waste. You can’t do well if you get sick or burnt out. As I’m sitting here attempting to nurse my health back to normal, here’s some of my tips for taking care of yourself – both preventative maintenance and post “oh god why” illness impact.

Sleep is critical to maintaining your well-being – yet it is also the first thing sacrificed when our procrastination catches up to us. In fact, it’s usually always the thing sacrificed. The multiple versions of the whole “grades, social life, sleep – pick two” joke is so ubiquitous for a reason. Why do we punish ourselves like this?

Lack of sleep can impact your ability to pay attention and retain information. You’re less attentive, less productive, and even more likely to procrastinate further. Setting a regular sleep schedule will help you in class and serves as one of the best preventative measures when it comes to staving off illness. Stress and lack of sleep are not conducive to a scholarly environment, especially at exam time – so instead of cramming, make sure you have a study plan ready, and keep a decent amount of time set aside for sleep.

Heading into fall, some of us may be brash and feel that we can survive wearing our summer attire until the first snowfall. Don’t do it! As the days get cooler, bravado is not going to keep you warm. Even with outdoor sports, you will need to be prepared to add some layers if you don’t want to catch a chill.

If you do happen to get sick, remember your mother’s (or at least, my mother’s) old adage – drink lots of fluids! Whether it is soothing teas or hearty soup, not only can they help alleviate symptoms, they will keep you well-hydrated. When you’re stuffy-nosed and sweating out whatever illness you’ve contracted every night, keeping yourself hydrated will mean more rest, fewer “I can’t breathe!” mornings and put you on the slightly-faster road to recovery.

There’s been a lot of coverage in the Nugget over the years on proper study habits, self-care, and dealing with stress. Even if you think you won’t need them – read them! You never know when the information will prove valuable to you.

As I go grab another box of tissues, I’ll leave you with this – don’t try to be the hero. As much as you don’t want to miss class, do everyone a favour and stay home. Talk to your instructors and classmates to get assignment information and notes, work out how you can hand in necessary assignments or make up for missed participation. Coming to school sick means everyone in your class are that much more likely to get sick as well. So if you start to feel sick, stay home and get the rest you need so you can get back into the class-room sooner, rather than later.

– Nicolas Brown, Issues Editor

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