Thompson Rivers University

Nicole’s Notes: Top tips for self-care and cozy productivity

November 5, 2018

Work Study student Nicole Stanchfield discusses the many ways to prevent the flu - and how to maintain productivity if you do catch a bug.

As a Work Study student for the Faculty of Student Development’s Communications and Marketing team, Nicole Stanchfield is seeing student life in a whole new light. Currently completing her double major in psychology and sociology and is enrolling in the social work program in 2019, Nicole is documenting her mature student experience. She also wants to make time to explore university offerings to further expand her social, academic and personal horizons. 

I’m writing this blog from my bed; my head stuffed full of sniffles. I’m snuggled up in my PJ’s and sitting next to a cup of tea. The room diffuser is blasting lavender and eucalyptus, which not only makes it easier to breathe, it creates a glorious day at the spa atmosphere. If you’re like me and feel guilty for taking that time, I would suggest you practice something I like to call cozy productivity. While buried under a blanket, catch up on reading assigned chapters, access the library online, research peer-reviewed articles, or book an appointment online with the Writing Centre. Make to-do lists to prioritize your week ahead.

Even better, if you can prevent or mitigate any cold or flu bugs, here’s a handful of tips to keep yourself healthy all winter long.

1: Wash Your Hands

Student life is full of germs. Transit poles, door handles, bathrooms….EW! Stopping the spread of bacteria is as easy as washing your hands. Be sure to get your suds on and give them a good scrub. Lather up and wash for 20 seconds, rinse thoroughly and dry hands completely. Don’t forget to use the foot pull to open the bathroom door instead of the handles.

2: Sleep Is Your Friend

Exam time is a dangerous stomping grounds for immune system sapping bugs. Psychology faculty member and sleep specialist Denise Weisgerber said, “Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to or exacerbate other problems. Sleeping less than six hours per night has been associated with adverse health outcome, including metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and weight gain.”

Sleep deprivation impacts memorization, alertness, comprehension, which affects attendance, performance and grade point averages. Do yourself a solid and don’t stay up all night to cram before those exams. Pop on over to the Wellness Centre for a rest, information or a cup of tea.

3: Try My Cold Busting Elixir

Speaking of tea, I’d love to share my immune boosting go-to beverage to break a fever and hit that nasty cold where it hurts.

  • Brew a chamomile lavender tea for two to three minutes.
  • Fill 2/3 of your cup with the tea and top up the rest with orange juice.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, stir and sip away!

While we are on the subject, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Hot water and lemon is another excellent combination.

4: Get A Flu Shot

The number one way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu shot.

The Medical Clinic offers a flu shot free of charge if you fit the eligibility criteria. If you do not meet the requirements, influenza clinics are available at your local pharmacies.

5: Break A Sweat

Exercise is an essential aspect of maintaining overall health. According to the New York Times, studies show that “long-term regular exercise can considerably improve the immune defense mechanism against viral infections such as colds and the flu.” Head on over to the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) to move those muscles. Don’t forget that you get free use of the Aquatic Centre with your uPass!

Living a balanced life as a student can be hard sometimes, but you’re not alone. TRU has many services to help and support your mental and spiritual health as well, such as the Wellness Centre, Counselling and Multi-Faith Chaplaincy.




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