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Have you ever spent your free time running errands for someone else? Or given up on a thing you had been wanting to do so badly to help a friend? Yeah, we’ve been there too. Latinas (and women in general) have the tendency of taking care of everyone else first, and themselves last. It’s a cultural and societal custom for women to prioritize others even if it means sacrificing your own mental, physical, and emotional health. In light of that, we want to encourage you to be kind to yourself and do so in ways that don’t cost a cent.

Meditate

There’s no health without mental health. Everyday worries can get overwhelming. Take a few minutes to relax and practice meditation. There is no shortage of apps such as Insight Timer that offer free resources that don’t require a paid subscription. They offer useful guidance to help ground you and help you learn how to quiet down your busy thoughts. 

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Watch your fave Telenovela in bed

Busy work weeks and filled-up calendars can make it hard to get a day full of nothing. When you do manage to clear that schedule, get comfy in bed, grab your favorite snack or cafecito, and tune into a classic telenovela. There’s nothing like the over-the-top drama and edge-of-your-seat revelations (they switched WHO at birth??!) to take you out of the hustle and bustle of real life. 

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Sing it loud and proud

We know not everyone was born with Mariah Carey pipes, but that doesn’t matter in the least. Singing out loud and dancing can make you feel like you were, and the benefits are scientifically proven. From lowering stress levels to improving your posture, the list of mental and physical benefits is long. Turn that Selena or Bad Bunny up, grab your hairbrush mic and perform your heart out! 

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Sleep

It seems obvious and yet 1 in 3 Americans don’t get enough sleep. The preoccupations of the day along with jam-packed schedules, those late night TV binge sessions, and yes, our incessant use of those tiny screens glued to our hands are wreaking havoc on our sleep. And contrary to common belief, “catching up” on sleep by sleeping in isn’t as effective, or according to some studies, effective at all, at reversing the negative effects of sleep deprivation like weight gain, decreased mental cognition, and decreased immunity defense. So give your body what it needs! Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every day. 

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Saying “No.”

A tough one, we know. Latinas are quick to help others and say yes to those requests for help. How many times has “yes” slipped out of your mouth while your head (and heart) were screaming “NOOOOOO!!!!!?’ Overly committing yourself, knowing it’s going to cause more stress or add to burn out is harmful to not only yourself but often to others too. There’s a reason flight attendants instruct adults to put their oxygen masks on themselves first before helping anyone else with theirs. 

Learning to set boundaries is necessary to your mind and body, so begin practicing with “maybe some other time” or “I just don’t have the bandwidth to help right now, but thank you for thinking of me” and get yourself some rest.

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Reading

Set aside some time to treat yourself to some quiet reading time; even 20 minutes makes a difference for your mental cognition. Why not check out the latest from Latina authors? Your mind and spirit will appreciate everything it’s absorbing, and you’ll practice mindfulness as you focus on reading pages instead of being overly stimulated with mindless scrolling and 30-second videos. As our collective attention spans get shorter and shorter, practicing how to focus for longer periods of time is never a bad thing. 

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Spa Treatments

No, a spa day doesn’t have to cost you money. Grab what you have at home and get that skin glowing and ready! How often have you dug into those medicine cabinets and found a foot masque, or face treatment, or hair treatment you didn’t even know you had? There are also tons of DIY recipes using common kitchen ingredients to make everything from face masks to hair treatments to body treatments. Your spa treatment is just a quick internet search away!    

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