photo: iStock

This winter really wasn't brutal at all. In fact, you could say we were pretty spoiled this year, with the exception of winter storm Jonas. But sometimes it's the constant weather changes that can actually make it easier to catch colds. So even though we're nearly past flu season, that doesn't exempt me (or anyone else for that matter) from suddenly developing sinus pressure, congestion, and all the other annoying things that come with the dawning of a cold or flu. But unlike most folks, I don't stock up on Theraflu or Tylenol PM. Instead, I rely on my abuelita's good ol' advice to keep me healthy and fever-free all season long. Here are a few of her tips to help keep the germs away!

Related From Vivala: Herbal Home Remedies for Colds and Flus

1

Bundle up

photo: Giphy

Bundling up in a puffy down coat complete with a hat, gloves, scarf, and snow boots might not be the cutest look. But it will keep you warm and safe from a cold — trust me on this one!

2

Drink up

photo: Giphy

Every winter, my abuela hounds me down about drinking fresh ginger tea, and this year I finally listened. Two to three cups of ginger tea keeps the nasty germs away.

3

Get a humidifier

photo: Giphy

I don't know about you, but indoor heating gives me everything from irritating headaches to itchy, dry skin to nosebleeds. If you can get past the mist and noise, I recommend getting a humidifier. Abuela swears by them, and I find they really do bring relief.

4

Don't go out with wet hair

photo: Giphy

There's this debate over whether or not going outside with wet hair really does cause colds. Well, this year I gave up arguing about it with Abuela, stopped rushing out the door with freshly washed strands, and have yet to get a cold. Just saying.

5

Have plenty of soup

photo: Giphy

All I had this season were warm liquids and plenty of homemade soups (and of course, sancochos) and found it helped to relieve a lot of my congestion. No snotty nose here!

6

Load up on Vicks VapoRub

It's a known fact that most Latinos use and abuse the heck out of Vaporú. Abuela has advised me to use this on practically everything, and I swear it works. I rub it on my nose, my chest, and even along my forehead. I might wake up smelling like menthol, but I feel great. 

Related From Vivala: Who Runs the World? Vicks VapoRub

7

Have vitamin C

photo: Giphy

While vitamin C doesn't necessary prevent you from catching a cold, it can help to reduce the longevity of a cold, which is why abuela has me stocking up on Emergen-C vitamin C packets all winter long.

8

Eat honey

photo: Giphy

Every winter, abuela makes her own homemade cough syrup using honey, lemon, and aloe vera. It instantly soothes my throat and clears up my coughs.

9

Have raw onions

photo: Giphy

My abuela's even made an all-natural cough syrup using honey and raw red onions. They are high in antioxidants and help fight free radicals that can cause colds or the flu.

10

Tie a bandana around your head

photo: Giphy

Growing up, abuela would always gently massage my head and then wrap a headscarf tightly around my forehead, whenever I had a headache, migraine, or bad head cold. Sure, I looked a little crazy, but it would always bring me instant relief.