I remember in college I would often get sick because I was always a tad stressed with all my studying and workload, and because living in a dormitory, sickness seemed to spread more quickly. Today our contributor and resident college student Cheryn is here to share ways to prevent getting sick this season, so you make the most of jumping in the autumn leaves! – Georgia

The transition from summer to fall is truly a beautiful time of the year: the leaves change color from green to an array of red, orange, yellow, and purple, and the cool breeze feels great on your face, and that latte feels nice and warm in your hand. But this time of year is also notorious for the common cold and the fall sniffles. Getting sick puts a wrench into enjoying this magical season so today I’m sharing some ways to prevent getting sick so that you can enjoy this time of year to its fullest.

Ways to Prevent Getting Sick:

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Photo Credit: World Design Guide

1. Have a Humidifier or Steam Vaporizer

Hydration is key, especially when the air is getting cooler and drier. Adding moisture into the air of your bedroom or office will prevent many airborne viruses from getting to you. It also keeps your skin and body parts (eyes, nose, mouth) from getting dry and irritated. Speaking of dryness, be sure to keep your hands moisturized with salve or hand cream. Try making this comfrey salve at home.

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2. Put on Layers

Too hot for a sweater, but too cold for a t-shirt? Wear both! It’s crucial to stay warm at a time like this. Although it’s a myth that cold temperatures will get you sick, a change from high to low temperature does evidently lower your immune system. This is why a lot of people tend to get sick when it suddenly starts turning chilly, since many are still accustomed to wearing thinner clothes fit for early autumn. So layer on!

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3. Drink Water… Lots of Water

Again, hydration is super important. Dryness can irritate your throat, a sign that you are increasingly getting more vulnerable to germs in the air. Also, it just sucks to have a sore throat.

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4. Have Masks and Symptom Relievers Ready

Definitely a good idea to prepare for the worst. A package of one-time use masks are disposable masks that surgeons wear for sanitary reasons. These masks can be bought online, and are a much better option than reusable ones. Reusable masks have to be washed constantly and may still have germs and bacteria left afterwards — inconvenient and unsanitary! For me personally, I always found that it if I thought I was seeing even the slightest symptoms, having a Nyquil, some hot tea or bone broth before bed always does the trick. I also focus on foods that boost my immune system.

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5. Boost Your Vitamin C Intake

Vitamin C plays a huge role in strengthening your immune system and renewing and protecting your cells, including skin cells and red blood cells. Basically, you’ll be healthy and have great skin too — isn’t that great? Vitamin C supplements have their benefits, but to really get the most vitamins in your system eat fresh fruit. Some delicious fruits that are packed with vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, papayas, watermelons, and berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries).

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6. Try to Stay Stress-Free

It’s cold, and the days are getting shorter but the pile of work is getting bigger. It’s okay to take a break when you need it. In fact, take one as soon as you start feeling too stressed before you burn out completely. Go watch a movie, take a nap, play a video game, do some yoga, or read a book. Take a Saturday off to do something that you’ve been holding back from doing because you were “too busy” or afraid you weren’t being productive enough. Trust me, you will be less stressed and even more efficient in your work after taking a break. Remember, stress may cause a vicious cycle of getting sick, and feeling more stressed as a result.

Still feeling chilled? Check out this article on how to make venison barley soup that will keep your toes warm and you stomach full.

Know any other ways to chase the fall sniffles away? Let us know in the comments below! You can also tag us on Instagram at @georgiapellegrini, and be sure to follow us on Facebook!

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Cheryn Shin

Cheryn is a college student from Seoul, South Korea. She currently studies at Wellesley College. Cheryn loves writing, reading, playing video games, and watching movies; chances are you'll catch her doing one of these things at all times!