With winter upon us, the stress of finals looming and germs lurking around every dorm corner, your college student will need to make staying healthy a priority. Share these tips to ward off sickness:
Pulling all-nighters will hurt your student’s health and rarely help his grade. Encourage him to get to bed at a decent hour and take naps as needed. Consider sending him ear plugs or a sleeping mask to protect his snooze time.
Obviously, partying will drain his health meter too. While you can’t monitor your student’s weekends and leisure time, you can remind him of the negative health effects of smoking and drinking.
Send your student a multi-vitamin, and remind him to eat fruits and vegetables high in vitamins. Recommend he check the health center for flu shot information, and load up on Echinacea, herbal teas and water.
Junk food can’t help your student’s immune system. Remind him to hit up the salad bar, and pass over the sodas in favor of water, juice or milk. Instead of ordering a late-night pizza, your student should have fruits, veggies, nuts and other healthy snacks on-hand.
If getting to the gym every day is unrealistic, suggest walking around campus with a pile of index cards to study. Getting some fresh air and sunlight can boost your student’s mood and health.
Encourage your student to take some time every day to stop, relax and breathe. Prayer, yoga and meditation have proven health benefits, and while a hectic schedule rarely permits slowing down, that’s when your student needs it most.
Kill those germs with anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and wipes around the dorm room. Remind your student to throw away leftover food and packages, sweep or vacuum occasionally and wash pillows and sheets regularly. Especially germ-ridden are computer keyboards and cell phones; next time you talk to your student on the phone, encourage him take a minute to clean both.
Going from the dorms to running across campus and into a classroom can present the body with widely varying temperatures. By wearing layers and keeping a rain jacket in the backpack, your student can keep from getting the chills or overheated.