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Dealing with being sick at Stanford

As Stanford students, we’re often close with other people, whether it’s in the dorms, during class or at a little thing called Full Moon on the Quad. I’m almost always sick during Week 10 and finals week. As part of Stanford’s hip-hop dance community, I usually perform at the end of the quarter, so by Week 10 I’ve exerted all my energy in dance and in classes. Being sick while studying for finals is not fun, but I’ve found a few small ways to comfort myself.

 

Wearing glasses more often

I’m near-sighted, so I wear glasses or contact lenses. I try to wear my contacts as often as possible, but when I have a cold, my eyes get dried out more easily. Anyone who wears contacts will know the relief of taking out your lenses after a long day.

 

Eating dining hall soup …

I love soup, but I don’t eat it at school that often because I don’t have enough hands to carry a plate, a drink and a bowl in the dining hall. But whenever I’m sick, I make the extra effort to try one of the soups. I still don’t have three hands, but hopefully now I’ll eat soup more often in the future.

 

… or straight-up chicken broth

One night I was really hungry, but I was also recovering from a stomach flu, so I didn’t want to upset my stomach. I had a carton of chicken broth that I wanted to cook with but I hadn’t used yet. What did I do? I heated up some broth – not in a soup, just by itself. And it was really good. Even if you’re not sick, consider giving plain chicken broth a try. It’s surprisingly satisfying and low in calories (if you’re watching your diet).

 

Wearing warmer clothes

Even when it’s hot outside – and yes, even when I have a fever – there’s something comforting about being bundled up, especially when I’m sick.

 

Resting when I need it

I’m constantly trying to be as productive as possible. I make schedules and to-do lists, but I rarely stick to them. Sometimes, I get frustrated if I watch too many Youtube videos instead of doing homework.

When I’m sick, I’m a lot more lenient with myself. If I really need to take a break, I will, even if it’s not part of my schedule. My body is already fighting a cold or fever, so I need to rest as much as possible.

I’m trying to incorporate this mindset into my daily life, even when I’m not sick. I’m fairly good at taking care of myself, but I’m not always good at lowering my high expectations for myself. Being sick reminds me that I’m human: My body gets tired, and my focus is limited. I can’t always work for an hour straight, and that’s okay. When I give myself time to rest, I have more energy for the things that matter to me, like finishing my major and spending time with friends. I don’t need to be sick to take time for myself.

 

Contact Kristen Lee at klee23 ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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