NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students share tips on how to keep your immunity up during finals stress and cold winter months

Why is self-care imperative for students during the winter of 2020?

A 1982 study from the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that stress weakens the immune system.

Three students recently shared personal tips on how they plan to stay healthy and untroubled while finishing off this fall semester strong.

As the weather changes, students continue their studies, and the holidays are approaching, it is important for everyone to remember to partake in activities that help boost the immune system.

Emmanuel Baez, a freshman at Northern Essex Community College, gave insight largely on how he tries to keep a healthy lifestyle: “I think that the three main things that help me feel my best is a good diet, good exercise, and a good amount of sleep. I drink a lot of water and eat foods that are high in vitamins, I exercise when I can, and even though I can get really busy with school, I think it’s really important to prioritze a healthy sleep schedule.”

He followed this up with the words, “Sleep is really important because it determines the mind-set you’ll have the next morning when you wake up.”

When it comes to health, a healthy diet is not the only thing that contributs to feeling your best. One’s mindset greatly determines their immune system as well. When it comes to Finals week, students may observe that their mindset fluctuates based on their worries due to their schoolwork. According to a study conducted by MentalHelp in 2016, Thirty-one percent of students surveyed said that finals were the biggest source of their stress.

Rose Alvarez, a freshman at Northern Essex Community College, added to this concept of the mind affecting the body due to school related stresses: “Finals week can be difficult for students because there is a lot of work that needs to be done in such a short span of time. I find that meditating before I start my work helps me when I over-analyze or stress for no reason. However, it’s all about finding what works for you and helps you relax best. It could be dancing, singing, drawing, listening to music, yoga, or even just taking a quick break.”

Luis Lopez, a freshman at Middlesex Community College, took a joyful and spirited approach to how he plans to keep calm during finals week: “I think that it’s always good to give yourself something to look forward to when you’re working or studying too much. So, I might do a study session, then reward myself with a treat. Then maybe I’ll complete a couple assignments and afterwards watch a Christmas movie. I might even do a study session through FaceTime if I think that the company will help me.”

Lopez added with ueful advice: “If you find yourself drained or unable to complete your work without constant negative thoughts at the back of your head, then that’s when you need to take the time to recognize that you may need to step back and take a moment of self-care.”

Self-care comes in many forms and it can be either physical or mental. Sometimes, self-care can just be about being honest with yourself or taking time that is exclusively for yourself. Nonetheless, self-care is extremely crucial during the coronavirus pandemic as it can be a dominant factor that keeps a community of people safe.