Published: Oct. 10, 2018

female sick with a coldViruses can last 7–10 days, meaning symptoms like a stuffy nose, body aches, fatigue and a sore throat stick around for a while. Since antibiotics typically don’t work for viruses, it’s important for your student to do what they can to feel their best. As we head into flu season, here are some tips to share with your student to stay healthy this year. 

1. Get a flu shot

Year after year, the flu vaccine has been proven to be the most effective way to prevent the flu. The most common type of flu vaccine is made up of parts of inactivated flu viruses and cannot give you the flu. 

Free flu shots are already available to all CU Boulder students at specific walk-in hours on campus (they just need to bring their Buff OneCard):

Wardenburg Health Center

  • Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

The Health and Wellness Services Clinic at Village Center

  • Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Fit Well Suite at The Rec

  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 1–3 p.m.
  • Tuesdays, 5–7 p.m.

2. Keep it clean 

Washing our hands often is one of the best forms of defense against the flu and common cold. If warm water and soap aren’t available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative. Your student can pick up a free travel-sized bottle at the Health Promotion Resource Center (room 130 in the Wardenburg Health Center). 

3. Support a high-functioning immune system

Everything we do, from what we eat to our stress levels, affects our immune system. Encourage your student to eat regular balanced meals, hydrate with lots of water and sleep 7-9 hours a night to help strengthen their bodies and fight off infections. Finding time for light physical activity and sunshine is also good for your student’s health.   

4. Practice good health habits

Encourage your student to do what they can to look out for everyone’s health: wipe down communal surfaces like doorknobs and counters with disinfectant, cough and sneeze into an elbow or sleeve and stay home when they aren’t feeling well.

If your student finds themselves under the weather, encourage them to drink warm liquids like tea to soothe a sore throat and stay hydrated, get extra rest to let their body recover and use over-the-counter remedies as appropriate to find relief. In fact, they can pick up free cold care supplies like cough drops, tissues, tea, honey sticks and gargling salt in the Health Promotion Resource Center.

5. Remember those good health habits for all areas of life  

When our mental health is cared for, our physical health follows. It’s important for your student to take time to relax, organize their thoughts and find healthy ways to deal with everything they have going on. 

Mindfulness practices like journaling, de-stressing activities like yoga and coping mechanisms like talking with a trusted friend or family member can be just as important as washing our hands. Prioritizing self-care mentally and physically is key to a healthy, balanced semester for your student. 

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