By now most of us know about the importance of self-care. Living in a high-stress, overly-connected world, it’s sometimes hard to stop and take time for ourselves. Plenty of books and articles out there tell us time and again that we need to slow down and treat ourselves. But long before self-care became a viral must, it was something that our own mamas and abuelas were practicing in their own way. Here’s how you can incorporate some of their Latina wisdom into your own self-care routine.
Keep Your Home Clean, With Or Without The Fabuloso
Most of us have memories of our moms cleaning constantly. When I was a kid, I didn’t understand why. Now as an adult (and a mom), I totally get it. Having a clean home makes life easier, less cluttered, and generally makes you feel better. Some Latin moms even went so far as to cleanse the house of negativity (anyone remember throwing a bucket of water out the door on New Year’s?) Regardless of what you believe, studies have shown that keeping a clean home can keep you more active and healthier. Whether you indulge in the Fabuloso on your kitchen tile, use sage to get rid of negative vibes, or declutter Kon-Mari-style: cleaning can totally be a form of self-care.
Following Your Abuelita’s Advice On How ‘El Quien Madruga, Dios Lo Ayuda’
Remember how your grandparents and parents used to always be the first ones up, even on a Saturday morning? Turns out, they were on to something. Studies have shown that being a morning person can result in positive emotions, adding to your general well-being.
Have Regular Dance Parties…Or, You Know, A Regular Saturday Night
It’s not like all Latinxs dance all the time, but you know when certain songs come on the radio, you can’t help but feel your hips shake just a bit. Our people are responsible for so many dance styles (salsa, merengue, bachata, tango, etc.), and we don’t save dancing for special occasions alone. Who didn’t catch their mamí cleaning house while doing a little shuffle here and there? Dancing is good exercise, reduces your stress, and even reduces the risk of diseases like dementia. Win-win.
Binge Watch… Your Favorite Telenovela
Abuelita was the champion at marathoning novels once upon a time. But while she had to wait until they were on TV (very often in long blocks of about 3 to 5 hours), we are fortunate enough to have the power to stream. You can find great ones now on Netflix, or for less popular ones, on YouTube. Cup of chamomile tea and Baila Con Migo, anyone?
Follow This Advice: “Dime Con Quien Andas, y Te Dire Quien Eres”
Translation: “Tell me who you’re with, and I’ll tell you who you are.” It was often used by my own parents to try and get me to stop hanging out with “the wrong crowd.” But here’s the thing: I don’t think it meant what they think it meant. Instead, I think it has more to do with making sure you surround yourself with people who are going to raise you up versus drag you down. Self-care is about making sure to care for yourself, and your friends are the ones who will make you feel good. Cut out the toxic people in your life, block the haters, and raise yourself up and those around you by being around those who would do the same for you.