Going off to university is very exciting. Moving away from home for the first time, living with new people and learning to be self-sufficient can be equal parts fun and daunting. You’ve probably got a list as long as your arm of all of the study materials, kitchen utensils and miscellaneous items that you need to pack, but have you given a thought to your health?
Stocking your medicine cupboard with the right essentials doesn’t have to be a threat to your student budget. Painkillers like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen are inexpensive and widely available at your local pharmacy. Pain relief will help with most pains including headaches and period pain, and can also be effective in relieving cold and flu symptoms like aches and high temperatures. Antihistamine tablets are especially necessary during hay fever season, but can also relieve minor food allergies, itching and insect bites.
We all know that at university, especially during Fresher’s Week, many students will choose to drink alcohol. As always we advise to know your limits when it comes to drinking, but also to rehydrate and look after your body after partying. Drink plenty of water, and if necessary oral rehydration salts are available at the pharmacy to help restore a natural balance of minerals and fluid in your body.
Anti-diarrhoea tablets, indigestion treatment, sunscreen and a well-stocked first aid kit with bandages, plasters and antiseptic are also important to keep when living at university. You never know when you might need them!
Looking after your health doesn’t just mean trying to prevent coughs and colds. It is vital to have an understanding of sexual health and to stay safe. Your university may offer a sexual health service where you can ask for advice, and there are often sexual health stands at student fairs that may offer free condoms and information leaflets. If in doubt, visit the pharmacy where we will be happy to answer your questions and queries.
It may sound simple, but retaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep is the best way to stay well at university. It may seem ‘easier’ to pick up that takeaway menu, but eating healthily is often more affordable than ordering a pizza- plus far better for your body. Try to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily, switch from white bread and pasta to wholemeal, and buy a student cookbook to help you prepare simple, healthy meals on a budget. Ensure that amongst the late nights and parties that you have an early night every once in a while, it’s all about balance!
University is a great life experience, and having a good time is important! Just be mindful of your mind, body and health, and visit us in the pharmacy if you have any questions or concerns.
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