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Top Tips to Beat Flu

5 Jan

In the British press recently, there have been a lot of stories about the spread of flu. Here we would like to reassure you, and offer some top tips on how you can best avoid spending the week ill in bed.

The first thing to say is that if you have gone home for Christmas, you certainly shouldn’t worry about returning to the UK. Every winter thousands of people get flu, but for almost all, a few days in bed is all they need to get back to normal. If you are generally healthy anyway, then flu, although a pain, is nothing to get too worried about.

However, you would still rather not get flu at all eh? Well, good news! Here are our top tips to avoid flu:

1. Help protect yourself and others by stopping flu germs from spreading. If you cough or sneeze then cover your mouth with a tissue and then throw it away. If you can, wash your hands after too.

2. Keep your immune system at its best, by eating healthy food, exercising and getting enough rest and relaxation. (You do all that anyway though right?).

3. There is a vaccine to prevent flu, but it is only offered on the NHS if you are in a ‘high risk’ group. This means if you are pregnant or have any long standing health conditions (like asthma or diabetes). If you are not in any of these groups but are still worried about getting flu, then you can buy a vaccine from a High Street pharmacy for around £7 to £12.

4. If you do get flu, then the best way to recover from it quickly is to simply go to bed. Resting, staying warm, and drinking lots of water and tea are as good a cure as any.

Finally, just a quick note to say that although Swine Flu has been built up in the press, it is rare, and even so, the vast majority of cases who catch it, will simply suffer very similar symptoms to regular common flu, so there is no reason to worry about it. However, if you are suffering from bad flu or are worried you may have caught Swine Flu, then it is always safest to contact your local doctor, or ring NHS Direct for advice on 0845 4647.

If you are studying in the UK and not yet registered with a doctor, or have questions about the NHS, then check out our Student Guide to Health.

Image: alancleaver_2000 on Flickr


Things to Do in London this Christmas

13 Dec

Christmas is fast approaching (it’s less than two weeks away now!) and London is getting into the spirit of the season. Here we have a look at some of the best places to visit and things to do in the capital during the festive time of year.

Ice Skating: Every winter, outdoor ice rinks pop up all over London, offering thousands of people the chance to get their skates on in some of the most stunning settings the capital has to offer. If you haven’t experienced outdoor ice skating before, then it is well worth wrapping up warm and spending an hour two showing off your best moves. For a full list of all the venues and details of how to book tickets, visit here.

Christmas Markets: If you’ve still got Christmas presents to buy or simply enjoy shopping, then the Christmas markets in London offer a great alternative to the normal high street shops. The numerous markets offer everything from quality food and drink, to hand made gifts, to unique fashion items. Full listings here.

Christmas Carols: What better way to get into the Christmas season than to join in with some traditional English carols. Whether you would rather get involved yourself and sing your heart out, or if you would rather just listen to the pros, there are loads of options in London. You can find all the information you need here.

Theatre: Going to see a play at the theatre is a great way to spend an evening with friends at Christmas time, and London is sure to have something to suit you, whatever your tastes. Whether you fancy a light hearted pantomime, a Shakespeare classic or a modern art house performance, you’ll be able to find it at a London theatre near you. Click here to search for performances and theatres in London.

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Image: laffy4k on Flickr

Thanksgiving Celebrations in the UK

24 Nov

In America there are huge Thanksgiving celebrations planned for tomorrow, but how about in the UK? The number of Americans living in Britain is increasing all the time, so it makes sense that Thanksgiving celebrations are also growing year on year.

Thanksgiving is a festival mainly celebrated in the United States and Canada and is traditionally a chance to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. These days it is a time for family and friends to gather together every year on the fourth Thursday of November (tomorrow) and eat a huge Thanksgiving dinner.

The dinners are always based around a roast turkey as the centre dish, though this is usually matched by a huge number of accompaniments. These can include cranberry sauce, stuffing, yams, mashed potato, corn on the cob, dumplings, green beans, peas, carrots and pretty much anything else the cook fancies (a bit like the British Christmas lunch).

This American tradition is growing in popularity in the UK as more and more Americans come to live and study here, and restaurants all over the country have started serving Thanksgiving dinners. However, the award for biggest UK Thanksgiving celebrations has got to go to Plymouth this year.

The coastal city of Plymouth in Devon is going all out with its festivities this year. It all starts on Thursday morning when the Mayor will raise the American flag accompanied by a pipe band and the American national anthem. Over the weekend there are then loads of American themed celebrations, including, of course, a huge Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant.

Whatever you are planning to do for Thanksgiving, make sure you eat lots and have fun with friends and family.

Britain has lots of its own unique celebrations and festivities that can you read about in our light hearted Guide here.

Image: tuchodi on Flickr

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