The idea of self-care has lost all its meaning. Even we childfree Latinas think it’s something we only get to have as a treat, but in reality it’s something each and everyone needs every single day. It should be ingrained in your routine, a habit that’s done from muscle memory.
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But our culture doesn’t want us to think that way. La cultura prefiera que nos quedamos callados. It doesn’t want us to put our own needs above those of other people. It wants us to shut up, be quiet, and do more for others than you do for yourself. And that’s toxic.
So let’s bust out from that toxicity and BS! Here are 3 take-aways from this episode about self-care:
- it should be as routine as brushing your teeth
- it can be as simple as a morning cup of tea
- that you can do it in both small and big ways, like Simone Biles did in 2021
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In this episode
- Radio Manguito Chupado on TikTok
- HBO’s House of the Dragon article: Womanhood Is War in ‘House of the Dragon’
- Ep 24 of The Maker Muse Podcast: Choosing Yourself is Sanity with Ana Del Castillo
- Amazon Store: Vava Milk Steamer
- August Uncommon: get 20% off your order through this link
- Simone Biles article: The Breaking Point for Biles: When it comes to Black women in sports, we’re ignoring the real issue
[00:00] Paulette: Buen día mi gente and welcome to La Vida Más Chévere, the place where child free Spanglish speaking Latinas are inspired to find their confidence, la confianza, to overcome some of the bullshit and toxicity in our culture. I’m your host, Paulette Erato.
[00:19] Self Care. Is that an overused phrase or is it actually an underused practice? While it might be an overused phrase, it doesn’t make it any less important, and part of living la vida más chévere, this carefree life, is ensuring that you’re taking care of yourself.
[00:39] Now, look, I’m not gonna do a deep dive into self-care practices. I’ll save that for when I can have like an expert on the podcast to discuss different approaches and techniques. And if you are maybe that expert, feel free to fill out the guest form on my website, which I’ll leave in the show notes and then we can talk.
[00:56] Self-care has been repackaged from something you just did without thinking about it and resold to us as an aspirational luxury that you have to earn. And I’m here to remind you that that is bullshit. Self-care is just another way to say taking care of yourself. What I want you to take away from today’s show is that self-care should be as routine as brushing your teeth, and that it can be as simple as a morning cup of tea, and that you can do it in small and big ways.
[01:30] So what I’m gonna do is talk about two different examples of what self-care can look like for you. El primero, the first will be something I do every day as part of my self-care routine, and the other will be an example from popular culture that you might have heard about. Before I jump into my story, I want to make sure to say that talking about self-care, especially as Latines, is particularly important because our cultures don’t necessarily prioritize the individual.
[01:59] We’re taught mostly to put family first, that our individual needs aren’t as important. In fact, I just came across a post on this very thing on Tiktok. It’s from the YouTube podcast, Radio Manguito Chupado. It’s a Mexican podcast with host Kikis y Ana Julia talking (en español, por supuesto) about how in Mexico it’s the family’s needs that take precedence over one’s own.
[02:22] So if you don’t believe me, go check that out. The links in the show notes. I’m gonna take what Kikis y Ana Julia said one step further and assert that our culture actually really loves martyrs. Women who subjugate their entire lives and selves to a bigger purpose, whatever that means. That’s why mothers and women who sacrifice for la familia are such a dominant theme.
[02:47] In fact, have you watched House of the Dragon? There’s a line where the queen says to her daughter that the “child bed is our battlefield.” Lots of cultures subscribe to that philosophy. Obviously, as a child-free Latina, I don’t. I think that’s just patriarchal horse shit. And because we’re here to challenge cultural norms so we can each live our own versions of la vida más chévere, and part of changing the conversation, part of changing the tradition of sweeping shit under the rug, part of changing the way we operate around the way that our society sees that, is to talk about self-care. Okay? So let’s jump in.
[03:28] What I want you to understand is your energy is you. And if you’re taking care of your energy, you’re taking care of you. You need energy to simply exist and you need to nurture that energy so you can simply show up for you. Because you are the single most important part of this equation. You! You might have people that depend on you, a partner, people at work, whatever.
[03:53] But just like an iPhone with a dead battery is pretty worthless, you’re not gonna be any good to yourself or anyone else if you’re depleted of energy, of what makes you, you, of what runs you. So I’m gonna tell you a story that might paint me as a little extra. I have actually been called extra because I do this, and the bottom line is I do not care.
[04:15] If I’m too much for you, go somewhere else. Go find somebody who’s less because I am not going to be. In fact, I’ll link you to an episode on the show notes with Ana del Castillo and you can hear how she feels about cutting off pieces of yourself to fit in someone else’s box of you. The bottom line is be extra.
[04:36] This is part of my self-care. Okay? So if you wanna think, that’s extra fine. But I highly recommend you do something like this for yourself because it’s delicious. Every morning I have a tea latte. It has a nice thick layer foam on top. It’s made with almond milk, and then sometimes I’ll even post ’em on Instagram. I actually made a reel about my morning ritual recently.
[04:59] I’ll link you to that too. I look forward to this tea latte every day, and I have one almost every day without fail. But this started as a way during the pandemic to have something to look forward to. We drink a lot of tea and coffee in this house. He drinks the coffee, obviously. I like my tea blends. And way back in 2020, we couldn’t go out to get that, especially early on when we didn’t really know what was going on.
[05:24] But we knew we had to stay inside because you were basically risking death by going to Starbucks. Or an encounter with a Karen, or both, and that sucked. So we were looking for a way to recreate that same feeling of fresh made lattes at home. But also just to have something to look forward to the next day. Because when you’re stuck inside these walls, I don’t know about you, but for me, every day just became a carbon copy of the next, and we needed a diversion to break up the monotony of the day-to-day.
[05:56] By the way, having something to look forward to motivates your brain. It gives you that enthusiasm to keep going and to keep a positive mindset. Which is so much easier to do when you are enthusiastic about stuff. Which at the time we needed, I needed desperately in those early days of lockdown. So we started making tea lattes at home every day with this cheap little hand frother I got at IKEA like 15 years ago.
[06:25] It was old! And a few months into this new normal of ours in lockdown, it just crapped out. So that severely impacted the ability to have a tea latte, my comfort drink, every day. This was my daily self-care. My one thing I was getting to look forward to every day. Well, my husband is a techie, so he did some research on what the best milk foamers are out there.
[06:51] And by the way, he’ll deny this, but he’s a total coffee snob, so he takes his coffee tools very seriously, which includes the milk frother. So he did the research and he found a pretty inexpensive one that could make milk froth both cold and hot. Choices! It makes this really nice creamy foam for your morning drink, and if I can find it on Amazon, I’ll put a link to my Amazon store in the show notes so you can get one too.
[07:15] I think it was about $30. And you might think that’s ridiculous or cheap. I don’t know. I’ll just say that we’ve used it every day for three entire years and it’s still going strong. And this little bit of enjoyment in a cup every morning. This ritual of getting up and having it first thing in the morning, that’s one simple part of my self-care.
[07:36] It’s now part of the routine, and even though I can now walk down the street to the local coffee shop and get a cup whenever I want, the first one right when I wake up is the one I look forward to every day. I get to play a game now called Which Tea Will I have Today? Today I’m drinking a green tea.
[07:54] It’s called Big Easy from August Uncommon. They’re a local LA tea blender. I’ll leave you a discount code in the show notes. Their tea selections are my favorite. All right, so that was how to do self-care in a simple, small way. Let’s talk about self-care in a big way. Onto the second example of self-care.
[08:12] This is the one that comes from pop culture news, way back in summer of 2021. If you remember, the Olympics in Tokyo were delayed a year because of Covid, so they actually took place in summer 2021. That summer in Tokyo, the most decorated Olympic gymnast, the GOAT greatest of all times, Simone Biles dropped out of the competition. And so many people were disappointed in her.
[08:36] Why? Because again, our culture loves us some martyrs, doesn’t it? See Simone was suffering from a dangerous condition that’s called the twisties: when you lose your sense of balance and you can no longer tell where your body is in the air, so you don’t know where the ground is. That kind of disorientation is terrifying.
[08:54] And because she was going through that, Simone decided she wasn’t able to compete. She wasn’t gonna risk breaking her neck coming down wrong cuz she couldn’t tell where the floor was. And that makes total sense. She recognized her boundary. And then the days and weeks afterwards, lots of people had opinions about that.
[09:12] But opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one and most of them stink like shit. You might remember how Simone was compared to Kerri Strug, the gymnast from the 1996 Olympics. Kerri was part of the Magnificent Seven and she was not allowed to drop out of the Olympics despite injuring her ankle. Instead, she was forced to do a vault routine twice on that busted ankle.
[09:35] She wasn’t given the choice to say no, so she had to push herself and further injure herself because the team really wanted another gold. Supposedly, they already had the gold medal locked down when this happened. They just didn’t know it yet. And do you know what a gold medal for a team competing in the Olympics gets them?
[09:53] I mean, aside from the accolades and the endorsements and all that stuff, that just comes from probably just being at the Olympics. I mean, we’re talking about the top of the top best athletes in the world, right? Anyway, a gold medal for a US team is the equivalent of $37,000. So the team would get to split an additional $37,000.
[10:16] Kerri Strug earned her team, all seven of them, another $5,000 each. Now, that’s a lot of money to you and me maybe, but imagine tearing up your ankle for the chance to make $5,000. Now team U S A in 2021 was a different makeup. It was a different environment. By this point, we’d heard a lot that had come out about the abuse that these gymnasts had suffered at the hands of their doctors and how all of that was covered up.
[10:43] So Simone said, enough! I’ve done enough. I’m not putting my own health at risk anymore. She got a lot of backlash for it, but she also received a ton of support. And what she demonstrated, what she showed the world, was that she was putting her own well-being ahead of needing to win another medal, in real time for all of us to see during what was the weirdest timeline of our lives with a global pandemic.
[11:09] She made a choice to take care of herself. She made a choice for her own mental and physical health and well-being, and that’s all a part of taking care of yourself, of self-care. So kudos to her. I applaud her for knowing her limits and not putting a few thousand dollars above her own well-being. As she did that with the entire world watching her do it. With all of their shitty opinions and commentary, she did it anyway.
[11:37] So if Simone Biles can do it with the entire world watching her, you and me as anonymous individuals, we can also put our own well-being first. We can also take care of ourselves. We can give ourselves self-care.
[11:54] So to recap mi gente, self-care doesn’t have to be an ostentatious luxury. In fact, it should be as routine as your morning cup of coffee or tea, because self-care isn’t a one-time fix.
[12:07] It’s a consistent and ongoing set of habits so that when you run into obstacles that could injure your well-being, you know better than to keep going. Because putting your own well-being first will already be a habit. You’ll know your limits. You’ll know when it’s time to stop and when it’s time to keep going, just like Simone Biles did.
[12:27] Because self-care is another facet of self-awareness, which you as a child-free person living la vida más chévere, you clearly know a thing or two about. And then when you start feeling like your self-care is too routine, like you’re taking it for granted, then go book yourself that aspirationally luxurious spa weekend or whatever.
[12:48] Treat yo’self to another type of self-care that is new and fun for you. Just don’t forget about the rest of your routine. Okay? Stay hydrated. And that’s a burrito!
[13:00] Got something to say about this week’s episode? Feel free to DM me on Instagram, TikTok, or even Twitter. My info is always in the show notes.
[13:08] And if you’re looking to be a guest in the future for La Vida Más Chévere, check out the guest form on my website at PauletteErato.com. That’s Paulette Erato dot com. And hey, muchísimas gracias for listening to this episode of La Vida Más Chévere. Are you subscribed or following on your favorite podcast app? If not, now would be a great time to do that.
[00:13:28] New episodes come out every other Tuesday. I’m on Apple, I’m on Spotify, wherever you listen. And then can I ask you a favor? Please spread the word and share this podcast with your family and friends, tu familia y amigues, because they’ll probably need a little bit of this in their life too. And I’d really appreciate it if you could rate and or review it wherever you’re listening to it right now. Hasta el próximo martes. ¡Cuídate bien!