Build up on your cultural capital this flu season

Posted on December 13, 2011

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Real proud I found an excuse to use “Treat Yo Self.” Original link RIGHT HURR.

The Romans failed to account for one season in our calendar year. It’s the season that turns “holly jolly” into mucus folly that is named, rightly so, after the most visceral of F-words: flu season.

With Petri dish-like dorms, shared shot glasses and packed buses that could just as easily act as cesspools, the University makes illness hard to avoid.

But fear not, readers. I’m here to help.

Consider this a type of holistic medicine — one that focuses not on filling your nightstand with an arrangement of medication that could qualify for any frame of “Intervention,” but instead one that cures the weary soul. It’s a three-part method, an anti-sickness triad that combats sore hearts rather than sore joints.

To begin battling your choice illness, I recommend a heavy dose of distraction. Pick a novel or television series you’ve planned to pick up for some time — the more addicting, of course, the better.

Watching “The Wire” in its entirety, for instance, will make being bed-ridden seem like a blessing in the disguise of hella street cred. Reading the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series will prepare you for the upcoming David Fincher film and grant you a certain caliber of cultural savvy.

Indeed, this dose of distraction can be ingested alongside any quantity of steroid or acetaminophen. The lone health risks, including content-induced laughter, tears or anxiety, coincidentally might transform into the best medicine you can take.

If the unfortunate circumstance of unskippable classes befalls your quest for distractive media, though, fear not. Perhaps Omar or the mysterious, tattooed Swedish girl have to wait until Christmas break, but your second remedy, a personal panacea, does not.

Allow me to explain. A personal panacea does not necessarily correlate with overcoming your sickness, but it sure makes you feel better in a different way. It’s a little slice of comfort sandwiched between Saltine crackers and VapoRub.

See, the personal panacea is yours to choose. It might take the form of aromatherapy candles, a hot bath or — when your stomach settles — orange sherbet. It’s an excuse to (for those “Parks and Recreation” lovers) “treat yo’self:” to indulge in something you like as a foil to the sheer hell of a chapped nose or upset tummy.

Finally, the one imperative in my at-home sickness solution is something intangible but nonetheless effective: optimism. Focusing on the positives in your otherwise dismal state will do wonders for your mental health.

For example, if you find yourself quarantined away from your social life, gossiping instead with the pharmacists at your local CVS and Ready Clinic, take an upbeat point of view. You’re making new friends — ones that can diagnose your future maladies for free.

Or, if you can’t even digest an oyster cracker without being moved to nausea — hello, surprise diet!

Remember, if the flu or some other destructive force leaves you disheveled this season, all is not lost. All can’t be bad if you find some fun distractions, pamper yourself and lose the sour ‘tude. Instead, you’ll just find yourself overcoming a slight bump in the road en route to Christmas break.

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