No matter how enchanting and magical winter can be, it’s always a huge challenge for our mind and body. You don’t get enough sunlight, bare trees look dull and depressing, and the cold keeps testing your immunity for strength. Add here all the stress that comes with college, and you’ll have a killer combo that can confine you to bed with flu or something worse for weeks ahead.

That’s why it is crucial to develop a working routine that can give a leg-up to your immunity and keep you healthy and sane in these cold and dark times. It includes proper nutrition, sufficient physical activity, and regular relaxation practices. So, here are 10 tips you can implement in your routine to be safe and sound in winter.

Regularly Wash Your Hands

Germs are everywhere: on the money bills, door handles, cafeteria tables, and on the phone you likely don’t let go out of your hands. The rule is simple: obey a hand-washing practice if you don’t want to get sick. From an ordinary cold to worms to gastrointestinal infections and even hepatitis, students can get real sick by just forgetting to have their hands washed before going to eat. So make it a habit and make sure they’re properly cleaned with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.

Stick to a Balanced Diet

Food fuels the human body with energy and plenty of elements to help it resist various viruses, parasites, and disorders. In winter, it’s evermore crucial to provide your body with healthy elements that keep your immunity alert and maintain body temperature. Try to eat more protein, season veggies, and don’t overindulge with high in sugar and fat foods. While some red wine can be good for your health, avoid heavy alcohol use. This is true for caffeine too; better replace it with herbal tea or squeezed juices.

Stay Hydrated

In winter, we don’t normally lose much water and therefore, don’t get thirsty too often. It’s easy to forget that you need to drink at least 6-8 cups of clean, fresh water per day and this may lead to dehydration. Regardless of the temperature outside, water takes an active part in our metabolism and keeps our skin elastic and healthy. So make sure you have enough of it per day.

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Don’t Sacrifice Sleep

Overwhelmed with college assignments, students easily label sleep as something unessential and this way put their health and well-being at serious risk. On the flipside, sleep is what helps your mind process the information received during the day and relax your nervous system. Students who tend to pull all-nighters struggle with memorizing information, feel regular fatigue, and more often suffer from anxiety and depression.

Never. Sacrifice. Sleep. Especially in winter, it may play an Old Harry with you. Reconsider your schedule, abandon what you can, or ask someone to help you do homework. Finally, you could try some time management tricks to have everything done faster.

Take Vitamins

Although this is not the decision you should make by yourself, taking vitamin supplements is a great way to support your body during the winter season. When fruit and vegetables are scarce, and sunny days are so rare, students may feel a lack of vitamins A, E, and D. Just make sure you do the tests and consult your physician before you start taking any meds.

Keep Your Place Clean and Ventilated

When it gets cold and dump, windows are more often closed than open. This may lead to the accumulation of various germs, viruses, and other microorganisms bad for our health.

No matter how freezing it is outside, by regularly ventilating your place, you make sure that your room is fresh and oxygenated. To avoid catching a cold, just stick to a “five min/each hour” rule; it’s long enough to refresh the air inside but not too much to get sick. And don’t forget to regularly clean your room; otherwise, a bad smell will be the least of your troubles.

Exercise

Regular exercising has many benefits; one of them is keeping our immunity strong and resistant to various diseases. However, if you’ve never exercised before, winter may not be the best time to start jogging outside. Instead, choose something indoors. You can attend yoga classes, a swimming pool, or enjoy a variety of exercises at the gym.

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It’s not common to talk about it but take after-training precautions: make sure you don’t go outside heated up or dressed too light for the weather. Otherwise, you’re sick in bed before you know it.

Have a Stress Management Routine

College is stressful, and stress is the fiercest enemy of our health. Learning how to manage stress is a guarantee of a healthier and more enjoyable college experience. It may be anything that brings you joy and relief: meeting friends, exercising, reading, music, walking, or punching a bag. Find what helps you release negative energy and embed it into your life.

Stay Out of Infected People

People get sick in winter – it’s the fact. Some of them stay at home, others ignore all the safety measures and endanger the health and safety of other people.

But if you know that someone who got sick will be at the party, perhaps staying at home and binge-watching your favorite Netflix show is a wiser decision? Don’t follow your friend’s example when it’s wrong – make your own health a top priority.

Get Vaccinated

Even if you’ve taken all the safety measures, it doesn’t guarantee that you don’t get sick.

Vaccination is no guarantee either. However, it gives you a chance to avoid heavy symptoms and recover faster even if you didn’t get lucky to spend the winter without sick leaves. Vaccinations have been keeping humanity healthy and safe for over a century and it’s a tested preventive method against winter flu too.

Once the winter is at the door, don’t refuse from all the fun afraid to get sick. Instead, use these 10 tips and enjoy the season.

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