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.


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


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


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

a mother talking to her little daughter while the daughter sits in a sofa

First things first: I’m a “mande” girlie. That’s just how my mama raised me, even though I won’t say it’s right.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image of Vice President Kamala Harris

Originally published inThe Latino Newsletter–reprinted with permission.

Ever since President Joe Biden announced on Sunday afternoon that he would not seek a second term and endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as the 2024 Democratic Party nominee, several Latino Democrats and organizations have been sharing statements of support. Here is just a sampling of the Harris endorsements. (FYI, the New York Times has a comprehensive list of all Democratic elected officials who are all in for Harris as of Monday morning. This list is being updated, and other Latino Democrats are on the complete list.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Latina having coffee and looking thoughtful

Today there are many labels I proudly use during introductions. I am a first-gen Guatemalteca-Mexicana college student. Identity is one of the things we use to define ourselves and we cling to it- it’s our orgullo. Latino culture is orgullo. I, along with many others, understand what the experience is like when we’re told we don’t look as if we have the privilege of feeling the pride that is our culture.

Keep ReadingShow less