We are all sick right now. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to soften the FOMO as I make myself my sixth cup of Lemsip and cancel my plans all over again.
But I’m not entirely wrong. As the normal Freshers bug sweeps its way across campus, reopening means we are also facing the consequences of “immunity debt”, aka everyone getting sick at the same time because we’ve spent the last year and a half limiting our social contact.
Of course, if you’re experiencing any more serious or long lasting physical or mental health concerns, seek medical advice. It’s also worth saying that Covid cases are on the rise (again), so if you have any Covid symptoms, take a PCR test.
Nonetheless, here are some tips to look after yourself, whether you’re currently feeling under the weather or just trying to stay healthy!
If you’ve got a recurring weekday alarm, give yourself a break and turn it off until you’re feeling better and allow that crucial immune response to kick in. You don’t need me to tell you that maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is also a great defence against infection. However, I really could have done with someone telling me as a Fresher that it’s always better to listen to your body than your flatmates trying to drag you on yet another night out. Re-sell your ticket on Leeds’ Students Group to soften the blow and have a quiet night in, safe in the knowledge that your Monzo account won’t be spammed by Uber receipts.
One of the now-confounding images that’s stuck with me from my first semester at Leeds was a collective effort to take as many Vitamin C supplements as possible, as if they were ordained with a Pfizer level defence against all sickness (in reality, a lot of the vitamin will come straight out in your pee). Whilst vitamins and minerals are undeniably good for you, you can’t ignore the basics like eating three meals a day and always eating before consuming alcohol! Maintaining a good diet at uni can seem daunting at first (not to mention time-consuming and expensive) but learning a few, balanced meals that you can batch cook and freeze for later, such as a chilli or curries will pay enormous dividends.
As the end of lockdown means the return of pre-Covid expectations for assessment and (some) in-person teaching (meaning you can’t just hide behind a turned-off webcam and muted mic), you’re not alone if you’re feeling stressed. And on top of academic pressures, many of us are finding our diaries packed with Give It A Goes, Otley Run’s, and seeing those friends you’ve inexplicably still got after three lockdowns. In short, it’s a lot. Take time out for yourself and get acquainted with saying no to things before you start to feel overwhelmed.