It’s been a week of tremendous torture and annoyances sitting in lectures, seminars and workshops knowing you will have a coughing fit in front of thirty other people. To an anxiety sufferer, drawing any unwanted attention to one self is agonising especially when all you want to do is cough to your lungs desire. I’m still battling this so called, “Freshers Flu” but I have come up with a list of “treatments” that can help ease the pain caused by this menace.
1. DRINK WATER
It’s the most obvious method of treatment but so underrated. I was so reluctant with the common advice of drinking water when you have a cough, all because I was against the idea it will do anything worthwhile. How wrong was I. My mother had packed a Brita Water Filter Bottle in my luggage, to take with me to uni, only recently did I have the drive to use it. It has helped so much. The bottle itself motivates you to finish the entire 600ml. It’s transparent design allows you to see the good you are fuelling into your body. As water does, it’s kept me hydrated and banished the symptoms of a dry cough, whilst also returning me to my beloved uninterrupted sleeps.
2. AVOID DAIRY
I know how lush putting milk in your tea is. But I’m sorry to tell you, milk is the worst addition to your daily cuppa, especially when you have the flu. Dairy causes mucus to build up in the throat, which then causes vicious coughing. It is truly depressing, I know, but to overcome Freshers Flu, put the milk back in the fridge, close the door and walk away. It will be the best thing you do right now, not for your craving but for you throat for definite. Also, avoid drinking cold drinks at all costs as well as eating dry foods such as toast, crackers, biscuits and crisps as they only contribute negatively to how you are already feeling, more definitely in cases such as a dry cough. Stick to warm drinks such as herbal teas and replenishing dishes such as soup, pasta and salads.
3. TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL EVENTS
This was the hardest part for me. I love my social life and the people in it. Having to say no to plans is very difficult, especially when all you want to do is spend the night, forgetting the troubles of the day and take a long break from your accommodation room. But it is vital and more important for you to regain your health, even if it means saying no to a night out with your favourite people. In that moment you may feel very saddened by having to spend the night in your room while your friends are out having a great night, but I swear on my life you will not regret this. Quite recently, my heart was adamant it wanted to go out but my brain was thinking more intellectually, “why would you put yourself in a situation where you will contribute in making your health a lot worse, your mood more miserable and your attention span increasingly distorted?” (Yes my mind has a voice of its own) As always my heart always gives the wrong advice. Listen to the brain people and put your health first. Also, nights in don’t have to be boring. It’s great for catching up on your missed shows. As a student, without a television, on-demand sites are perfect during these troubling times. Just make sure it’s not BBC iPlayer yeah! (goddamn tv licence).
4. “COUGH SWEETS”
In times of urgency, cough sweets, soothers, lozenges (whatever you want to call them) are very helpful when you are about to go to class. Not only do they soothe the throat, the scent also helps to recognise you as a freshers flu victim meaning it’s great in gaining sympathy from your fellow peers.
5. STEAMING HOT SHOWERS
OML! who doesn’t love a great big hug of warm, comforting water on the skin after a long, exhausting day? it’s a luxury I will forever be thankful and appreciative of. When you have the flu or a cold, a hot shower can instantly make you forget your current condition and in cliche terms, “wash away your worries”. The steam also helps in clearing your sinuses, allowing you to breathe clearly again. It’s also the perfect excuse for having those extra 10 minutes in the shower.
So, there you have it, a five plan scheme in treating the symptoms of the plague, that is Freshers Flu. You are not alone my fellow students, but please do take my advice and allow yourself to be top priority. You matter, your health matters and your wellbeing. It’s okay to be selfish during this time and I have my fingerscrossed for your speedy recovery. Take care my lovelies.