Six ways to stay healthy in the New Year

Make 2021 a healthy year by focusing on these tips from the University Health Center.
Make 2021 a healthy year by focusing on these tips from the University Health Center.

If 2020 taught us one thing, it is the importance of protecting and caring for our physical well-being.

COVID prevention remains a top priority, but it does not have to be your only health focus for the new year. The University Health Center shares additional steps you can take to elevate your physical well-being in 2021 and beyond.

Schedule an annual physical.
Everyone, no matter their age or health status, can benefit from visiting a primary care provider at least once a year for a checkup. This visit includes a thorough examination of your body and usually lasts 30 minutes to an hour. It is an opportunity to check your health status, ask questions, get tips for living a healthier lifestyle and develop a game plan for any current health problems. If you have been struggling with a symptom or concern such as chronic dry skin, allergies, acne, pain, or something similar but haven’t made time to get it checked by a doctor, mention it during your visit. To schedule a physical* at the University Health Center, call 402.472.5000.

Schedule other routine health care appointments.
In addition to an annual physical, it is recommended that college students have a biannual dental exam, annual eye exam and annual reproductive health exam* (if applicable). Scheduling these types of appointments at the beginning of the year ensures you make time for them before you forget or your schedule fills up with school, work and other activities. These preventive care services are available by appointment at the University Health Center for your convenience.

Get your flu shot.
Although you might not be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now is still a good time to protect yourself against the flu. Students can get their flu shot for free at the University Health Center by appointment.

Learn your family medical history.
Are you aware of the conditions and diseases that run in your family? If not, set aside a few minutes to talk about this with an immediate family member, such as a parent, grandparent, sibling, etc. You will need to share this information when you access health care in the future. This knowledge will also help you develop healthy habits now so that you can reduce your risk of developing the same conditions or diseases later in life. The US Surgeon General’s Family Health Portrait is a useful online tool to help you collect your family history information.

Find and keep a copy of your immunization record.
You submitted a copy of your immunization records when you were admitted to UNL, but do you have a copy on hand? If not, ask your parents, childhood doctor or county health department for a copy of your immunization records. Store it safely in your residence and bring it with you to your doctor’s appointments. If your records show you are missing childhood immunizations or immunizations that are routinely needed, such as an annual flu shot or tetanus-diphtheria booster, your provider may recommend you receive these vaccinations during your physical.

Restock your first aid kit.
If you were sick in the fall, you may have used up some or all of your common medicines, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and cough drops. If you are running low on supplies, visit the University Health Center pharmacy to purchase common over-the-counter products at a discounted rate. Make sure you also have Kleenex, lip balm, tea, honey and other non-medicinal supplies that can help if you feel under the weather.

Remember, the University Health Center is here for you. If you have a health care need, call us at 402.472.5000. Telehealth and in-person visits are available depending on your concern. Visit our website to learn more about services and hours.

*Please note that student fees do not cover physicals and reproductive wellness exams. However, these charges are covered by most insurance companies, and financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Click here to learn more about what is covered by your student fees.

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