7 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself Without Spending a Cent

woman hugging herself with flowers surrounding her

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.

GIF of Shalita Grant doing heart center.Heart Center Love GIF by Shalita GrantGiphy

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.

GIF of Soraya Montenegro crying.Soraya Montenegro Cry GIF by MéxicoGiphy

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!

GIF of Selena dancing.Dancing GIFGiphy

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.

GIF of Sailor Moon sleeping.Sleepy Sailor Moon GIFGiphy

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.

GIF of Rachel Dolezal rolling up her window.rachel dolezal love GIFGiphy

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.

GIF of Harley Quinn reading.read suicide squad GIFGiphy

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!

GIF of dog having a spa day.Puppy Chilling GIF by eviteGiphy

Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram


Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.

graphic design highlighting Dolores Huerta 94 birthday, the iconic civil rights activist and labor leader.

Today, Dolores Huerta, one of the most important Latino icons within civil rights, is turning 94 years old. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to celebrate not only her robust life but also her immense contributions as a social justice champion. Huerta is a living legend whose tireless efforts have helped transform the landscape of civil rights, feminism, labor rights, farmworkers’ rights, and even environmental justice.

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