Staying Healthy as a Nursing Student When the Weather Turns Cold

NursingSeptember 30, 2022

With Nursing classes underway, it’s easy to get caught up in managing homework, an outside job, and your family, if you have one. A busy schedule can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and when that happens, it’s easy to get sick. Plus, as New York’s cold weather arrives, we spend more time indoors with other people, and that can mean exposure to colds, flu, and Covid-19. But staying healthy while you’re in school benefits you and others who may rely on you. Here are 5 health tips to help you keep the sniffles at bay. 

Eat well. Good food is the cornerstone of a good immune system. It’s best to minimize processed snacks and fast foods, and go for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Start the day with a healthy breakfast so you don’t hit bottom by 11 am. For whole-food snacks, try something like apple slices with peanut butter rather than a sugary power bar. 

Stay hydrated. Maybe you’re already a good water drinker, but many students forget to drink enough, or they sip on sugary beverages instead. But drinking water boosts brainpower by improving focus and short-term memory. It also boosts energy levels and mood. If you’re feeling lethargic and fatigued at 3:00 p.m., reach for your water bottle instead of that coffee. Water also helps with digestion, nutrient absorption, circulation, and more.  

Get your Zzzz’s. Getting enough sleep at night is one of the most important things for staying healthy. It’s hard if the only time you can study is late at night, but try to organize your time so you can hit the hay on time for at least part of the week. Besides helping us avoid illness, solid sleep improves cognition, memory, and mood. It helps us learn new information and form memories, both critical to being a good student. Too little sleep contributes to irritability, inability to focus, and impaired memory.    

Watch the stress. When you’re managing multiple responsibilities, it’s easy to get over-stretched, but trying to manage too much leads to stress. A little stress is fine, but too much can wear you down and contribute to illness. Take study breaks. Try to manage your schedule so you’re not running from responsibility to responsibility without time to recharge. Slowing down is good for your health.   

Take time away from screens. Spending hours on screens is part of most people’s routine today, but it’s important to get outside even in cold weather. Bundle up and take a walk through a park if you can—somewhere with trees. Time in nature, even urban nature, offers a host of physical and mental health benefits, including better mood, improved attention, and reduced stress.  

Are you exploring nursing programs? St. Paul’s School of Nursing—with campuses in Queens and Staten Island—offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to get you started. Visit the Nursing page on our website, or call (855) 822-3018 to speak to one of our admissions representatives or to schedule a campus tour.