As term is coming closer to its end, it’s the time of the year when everyone is getting ill. Combine cold weather, student heating (because who needs to pay to turn the heating on when you can just put on a jumper?), long hours, deadlines and a lack of sleep; you’ve got a breeding ground for illness. Everyone you know is coming down with something, and it’s only a matter of time until you’re feeling the symptoms of a cold or some kind of run-down ailment.
It’s exactly the same for me out on placement. Even armed with my flu-jab, I’m sat at my desk this morning, writing this and feeling utterly grotty. What’s harder is knowing I need to be in all day and on my A-game. I miss going home for a nap between lectures when I’m ill. (Or on the chairs/ under a desk/ on the floor of College House which I often did when I was too ill to be upright, but too busy to take a day off…) Now, I have to stand up (UGH, being vertical.) in front of up to 30 kids, leaping around and trying to get them to understand y=mx+c. So, how do I tackle a day of illness, when I need to act like I’m not?
1. TEA TEA TEA. Tea is my quick-fix. It settles my stomach, its comforting, and its got a caffeine boost to get me through the day. My tea consumption has gone up since I started teaching anyway, but even more so when I’m ill. Wardrobe coloured and one sugar, please.
2. Water. I don’t like taking tea into my lessons, as I never sit down to drink it. Instead, I keep hydrated in my lessons with a bottle of water. It stops throat tickles and coughs (which are a PAIN when you’re explaining something), and also combats headaches and nausea. Lesson over= time for more tea.
3. Exercise. Harder to do when I feel awful, but I try to do some exercise, just to boost my mood, restart my appetite and help me sleep. Swimming is my current go to as its not too strenuous.
4. SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. Whilst I’ve lost my napping time, when I’m ill I get an early a night as I can. (Otherwise I end up falling asleep on the floor of my lounge, post-Masterchef, and my other half has to put me to bed.)
5. Prevention. Eat well, get a flu jab, look after yourself. You can’t guarantee you’re not going to be ill, but you can at least hold it off as long as possible!
And finally, one I learned from my undergrad days… avoid the library. It’s essentially one giant petri-dish at this time of the year from all the colds and all the stress. (Stress further added when you can’t find a seat.) Instead, try to utilise some of the other study spaces on campus; there are plenty! Avoid a fight for seats, and avoid losing a work day to the dreaded winter bugs!
Until next time, stay healthy and look after yourselves.