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23 Free Self-Care Ideas For Your Next Relaxing Domingo

Self-care Sunday has become a popular hashtag on social media and for good reason. The world is finally beginning to recognize how much emotional labor women do and how much we need, um, time off. We need time to relax, rest and recharge — and we are finally not only making time for ourselves but also demanding that we get that time.

But you know what can be frustrating in our search for self-care? The fact that so many self-care ideas cost money. Now, I’m a big fan of pedicures and whatnot but they cost money. And although there are some cheap forms of self-care, like drinking a hot cup of tea at home, playing with your makeup, lighting a candle or painting your nails, they all require a bit of an investment as well.

That’s where this list comes in. For all of you chicas out there who want to do some serious self-care this Sunday, but don’t want to spend all your money, here are 23 free self-care ideas to rock your world.

1. Take a hot bath.

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If you don’t have bubbles for your bath, that’s okay. Many would assume that you need to have pricey, fancy-smelling bubbles to enjoy a hot soak but that’s just not true. All you need is a tub and access to hot water, and you’re good to go.

2. Meditate for 10 minutes.

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Meditation doesn’t cost a thing and that’s great. Sure, there are pricey apps and books but all you truly need is yourself and your breath. Find a quiet spot and then just sit in stillness, focusing on your breath. In and out, in and out, in and out.

3. Give yourself a foot massage.

beautyandspatherapist/Instagram

You can pay for a foot massage and it would be pretty fantastic. But, to be honest, you can do the same work yourself for free. You might not have the expertise but, trust me, when you work on your toes for the better part of half an hour, you’re sure to enjoy it.

4. Go for a walk outside.

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It doesn’t cost anything to walk outside. For some extra self-care, make sure that you head to a woodsy area or somewhere else that there is a lot of nature. That will help you chill out and relax. Trust me.

5. Offer to pet sit for the weekend.

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Pet sitting is one of my favorite ways to get self-care because there is a very special kind of love that only a pet can give you. Many of us can’t afford (or simply don’t want) to have a full-time pet, though. That’s why pet sitting for a weekend is a great self-care solution.

6. Do some stretches.

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Doing yoga at home is a great way to take care of yourself but you might not know all of the moves to get it done. Instead, what you can do is relax and simply do some deep stretches. You’ll especially love waking up every morning and doing these deep stretches then.

7. Journal about gratitude.

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One of the best ways to love your life is to engage in active gratitude. This means, typically, that you journal about gratitude. You don’t need a fancy notebook or anything for this, though. You can journal on your phone or just on a scrap of paper… so long as you write down what you are grateful for.

8. Go to your local library.

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If you want to do more reading as part of your self-care routine but don’t want to spend the money, then do you remember that little thing called the local library? It’s a great way to check out new books and, surprisingly, many library collections are even online now.

9. Put on some happy music.

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Nothing is as great for self-care as a little bit of dancing. Even if you don’t LOVE dancing, just go ahead and put on a happy song and watch your hip moves. I especially love doing this when I am doing chores around the house since the fun music makes the time go by quicker.

10. Write down compliments about yourself.

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Similar to a gratitude journal, but more focused on yourself. Some people call this turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts but I just call it complimenting yourself. Sit down and take the time to write down all of the things you like about yourself as well as all of your accomplishments thus far.

11. Let yourself sleep in.

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Sleeping in might actually be my favorite form of self-care, to be honest. Good sleep is essential for a lot of things, from creativity to fighting off diseases. So if you’re stressed out and in need of some relaxing, just turn off your alarm on the weekend and let yourself stay in bed.

12. Get some vitamin D.

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Just like walking outside will be good for you, so will taking in some serious vitamin D. You can do this by going to a sunny area and just… hanging out. Whether it’s a beach or a local park, you should try to absorb all the vitamin D that you can so that you can feel great.

13. Organize your space.

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Things, like making your bed every morning and organizing your makeup drawer, can do wonders for your mental health. If you’re in need of some self-care this weekend, then why not take a little extra time to organize something in your home and enjoy the benefits of a clean house all week long.

14. Call a friend.

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Some would say that you should call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and catch up and that this is a form of self-care. But you know what’s truly a form of self-care? Catching up with any friend, any time. It doesn’t have to be someone you are estranged from, so long as it’s someone.

15. Unplug for a few hours.

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It might seem a bit funny to read this on a website that you are probably reading on your phone, but hear me out: Unplugging for a few hours can do wonders for your mental health. You need to be able to relax without staring at your phone for the entire day, so here’s your chance.

16.  Put affirmations on your mirror.

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Similar to the complimenting yourself act of self-care, I highly recommend that you take little notes and put affirmations on them. Then, hang those notes on your mirror or in other places around the house and you’ll be treated to a boost of self-confidence every time you find one.

17. Read a favorite book.

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You don’t need to buy a book in order to enjoy some reading time. Yes, you can go to the library (as I advised above) but you can also just take some time and enjoy one of your favorite books on the bookshelf. Pick up the one you love and have read a thousand times, then read it again.

18. Watch the sunset.

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You can wake up early and watch the sunrise or you can get home just in time to catch the sunset. Either one is fine, though I have a love of sleeping so you won’t find me waking up first thing in the morning.

19. Sign up to volunteer.

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Volunteering is a great way to get some self-care. Know why? It will make you feel good to help take care of your community and to help further whatever cause is close to your heart. Whatever it is, take some time this weekend (and every weekend) to do good.

20. Clear out your social media “friends.”

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I love taking an hour or two at the end of every year and clearing out my social media “friends.” It might seem contradictory in today’s world where we are just collecting followers, but I find that it gives me some serious peace of mind to delete people that I don’t truly care about or, even better, people that kind of bug me for whatever reason.

21. Do nothing for 15 minutes.

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Here’s the deal: Don’t meditate. Don’t turn off your phone (though do put it away). Don’t do nap. Don’t do… anything. Just get comfy on your couch or on your bed and just lay there, letting your mind wander. Relax and don’t do anything and don’t think about anything either.

22. Take a nap.

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Napping, just like sleeping in, can be a great form of self-care. It’s definitely free and it also helps you to recharge. I especially love doing this on lazy Sundays after I have gotten my chores done (ugh, so much laundry!)… and then I wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my day and my upcoming week.

23. Get yourself off.

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This rarely makes it onto all of those self-care lists, and why not? If you want a good way to relax, then this is another favorite of mine. In fact, I usually like to pair this one with my tip above (take a nap). Nothing is quite as relaxing as having a great, big O and then going to sleep.


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Meet Mona Marie, The Caribeña Helping Women Find Their Strength And Freedom Through Pole Dancing

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Meet Mona Marie, The Caribeña Helping Women Find Their Strength And Freedom Through Pole Dancing

Ask Mona Marie about her greatest relationship, and she will tell you it’s the one she has with her pole. Through erotic dance, the entertainer has found beauty, confidence and freedom, and she hopes to impart these treasures to other women through her dance and fitness studio Poletic Justice.

At the Bronx, New York pole lounge and arts studio, beginners and skilled dancers can take a series of intimate classes on the art of pole, climbing, spins, inversions, floorwork, headstands and handstands as well as non-pole sessions on twerking, burlesque, dance aerobics and yoga.

For Marie, who grew up in the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx, it was crucial to create a space for women and femmes in her borough to come together, strengthen community and build confidence.

“There’s other pole fitness studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and I felt like I wanted to open a space where I’m able to give back to my community, and Bronx women are my community,” the 32-year-old businesswoman told FIERCE. “There’s nothing around here for us, just co-ed gyms, boxing gyms, nothing for women, and I wanted to help change that.”

At about five-to-ten people, predominantly women, though Marie stresses everyone is invited, to a class, clients get one-on-one attention but are still able to find the community many of them are looking for. With children, who are encouraged to accompany their mothers at the studio, working on homework or participating in strength-building activities, Marie starts every class by lighting sage and “speaking the good.”

“I have the women tell me something positive that happened in their day, even if it’s something as small as getting the wing on your right eye on point,” Marie, who is of Puerto Rican, Cuban and Jamaican descent, says. “It’s very important, especially as women. We are so busy trying to conquer the world and being a superhero in our everyday lives that it’s easy to forget the little things that make us smile.”

That’s the vibe at Poletic Justice: energizing and empowering. It’s not the type of studio that encourages counting calories or participating in squat challenges. Instead, it’s where women, often for the first time, recognize the beauty, wonder and power of their bodies as they are.

“I want them to feel empowered. That’s the only thing I want. I’m about self-love and building confidence. A lot of women want to know what it means to be sexy or confident. We all have our struggles. I want my clients to leave feeling good, that you released that negativity and allowed yourself to let it go and clear your mind. That’s what I want,” she said.

In order to get there, Marie says women need to be patient with themselves. While she stresses that you don’t need to have upper body strength or be a size 4 or below to do pole, she doesn’t bullshit clients, either. It takes time, practice and dedication to build the might and skill to master the art.

Another requirement: make sure you’re doing this for yourself.

“Women often have this idea that they need to be sexy for someone else and not for themselves. I’m changing that in my studio. Love and be sexy for yourself, and then let that confidence you gain and strength you are building for yourself be a plus for someone else, but it’s not for them,” she says.

Like many of her clients, Marie struggled with self-esteem and body image issues before discovering pole. With an athletic built, she didn’t see the beauty and sensuality of her brawny figure until she entered a gentleman’s club at the age of 20. There, strong women, who’d soon become her closest friends, captivated her attention with their impressive flips and stands. She wanted in. The next week, she applied and was hired. For three months, she observed the dancers from the backroom and practiced moves she’d watch on YouTube, finally gaining the know-how and courage to take to the stage herself.

Marie, a college student at the time, fell in love with the art, and realized quickly that she wanted to turn her new hobby into a full-time gig. Putting on solo club shows — one she even did especially for her mother, grandmother and aunt, who needed some reassuring after learning about her new erotic dance interests — appearing in music videos for acts like Mary J. Blige, Mya and Ja Rule, and eventually landing a “lifetime opportunity” as Madonna’s official pole choreographer and pole trainer during her 2015 Rebel Heart Tour all paved the way for her opening her own pole studio in 2016.

Poletic Justice, whose name plays on the Kendrick Lamar banger to reflect the poetic ease of Marie’s own stage lines, is more than a place for dance, aerobics and community, though. In 2017, when the organizers of New York City’s “Stripper Strike,” Gizelle Marie and Panama Pink, needed a place to convene, they called on Marie, turning Poletic Justice into the movement’s headquarters.

“It was nice to watch people express themselves in a safe space and try to see how changes can be made. I commend Panama and Gizelle for doing what they need to do. The battle they took on is necessary but difficult. This industry needs change. I understand it’s the sex industry, but it’s just like every other industry. It needs professionalism,” said Marie, who’s also calling for more rules and regulations that protect dancers against violence, exploitation and discrimination.

With clients who are mothers, career women, college students and high school dropouts, Marie hopes to retire the racialized sexist myth that dancers are promiscuous, and wants folk to know that pole is for everyone and has the capability of improving people’s lives.

“Pole and I have a very beautiful and loving relationship, perhaps the best relationship I had my whole life. It allowed me to find myself, my confidence and my freedom,” she said. “And if you let me, through pole, I will make you so confident and badass that you also won’t question going after the career you want or telling your partner to get out of your face.”

Read: Meet Mela Murder, The Puerto Rican Dancer-Actress In An Indie Film Drake Is “Obsessed” With

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20 Of the Most Single AF Latina Behaviors

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20 Of the Most Single AF Latina Behaviors

In case you need a reminder, we’re officially deep into “cuffing season”–the time of year when you feel you’d do anything to have someone to spoon with during the cold winter nights. Or maybe what you really want is just a plus-one to bring to holiday parties and family gatherings. As Latinas, we can receive a disproportionate amount of pressure from our families to find a novio that they’re convinced will make our lives complete.

However, if you didn’t already know, being a single lady during the holidays can be absolute ecstasy. There are tons of perks that come with being single around the holidays–or any time of year, for that matter. To provide some counter-programming to the omnipresent “cuffing season” narrative, we’ve compiled a list of behaviors single Latinas are known for.

Check it out below.

1. Sleeping Pretty Much Diagonally Across the Bed

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Yes, having someone to snuggle with when you’re freezing is a perk of being in a relationship, but stretching out like a starfish across your mattress is arguably even more satisfying. Instead of being smooshed onto the edge of the bed while your partner takes up more room than one body has any right to, single ladies get the luxury of having the whole bed to themselves. Not to mention, there’s no blanket tug-of-war with your lover. When you’re single, sleeping like a baby is pretty much a guarantee.

2. Getting Your Nails Done

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Out of all the activities single Latinas like to indulge in, getting a relaxing manicure is definitely up there. And for a lot of Latinas, the longer, the better. Getting a manicure is one of those things single Latinas do to show themselves they’re worth it. Who needs a man to make you feel loved when you can do that all by yourself. You’re worth it!

3. Chisme with Your Tías

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The great thing about being single is having more time to spend with family, as all your time isn’t being occupied with the boyfriend. That means, catching up on months worth of chisme with your tías. Sure, we don’t like it when the gossip slips into the mean-spirited kind, but for the most part, it’s fun to swap secrets and stories. Among Latinas, chisme is very much a bonding activity for Latina women. It’s something single ladies always look forward to doing.

4. Bingeing on Pan Dulce

How many of us have heard from our female family members that the way to keep a man interested is to “watch our figure”? Because of harmful messaging like this, so many Latinas feel embarrassed eating “bad” food in front of their significant others. Walking by a particularly fragrant panaderia can feel like torture when you’re on a health kick. When you’re single (and you’re worried less about how you look naked) it’s liberating to just let yourself eat cake. And we won’t judge you if you do so in large quantities.

5. Man-Shopping at Sunday Misa

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We’ve all done it–been at church and have silently checked out the eligible young men when we’re supposed to be praying. It’s arguably the perfect environment to score a date–everyone’s dressed up, smelling good, and on their best behavior (or trying to be). What could be more Latina than finding future bae at misa?

6. Ceasing Shaving Altogether (And Loving It)

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As we know, Latinas come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but there is a prevailing stereotype that most Latinas aren’t exactly smooth and hairless naturally. When you’re in a relationship, hair removal can be a pain in the ass (literally). Most Latinas have gone through life waxing, plucking, shaving, tweezing, and Nair-ing ourselves into bald oblivion. But when we’re single, the razor becomes less of a daily practice and more of an anomaly because you don’t have to worry about your mustache rivaling your boyfriend’s or your partner complaining about your prickly legs under the sheets. For hairy Latinas, it might only take a day or two of putting down the tweezer to grow your very own Frida. And you know what? It’s liberating. Frida was genius in more ways than one.

7. Buying a New Outfit for Every First Date

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It’s hard to say what we look forward to more when we have a date: meeting a potential love interest or shopping for an outfit beforehand. A lot of the time, shopping wins out. All bets are off in a long-term relationship, but on a first date, Latinas love to present the best version of themselves. There’s nothing more a Latina loves than hearing from her date “You look incredible” and responding, “Oh, this old thing?”

8. Creating a Fake Instagram Account to Stalk Your Ex

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Yeah, we’re that girl. Obviously, we’re dying from curiosity about what our exes are up to, but there’s no way we want them to know the extent of our interest. So like any sane person, it’s completely reasonable to create a fake Instagram account in order to stalk your ex’s Insta-stories un-detected. Because we know we look through every single person who watched our story to see if anyone interesting stands out. And we’d hate to give our exes that satisfaction.

9. Refusing to Let a “Spicy Latina” Comment fly on Tinder

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Like many single ladies, Tinder, and all dating apps in general, a hobby, a pastime, some could even say a way of life. But for every hottie you match with and have a decent conversation, there’s about one hundred who can’t wait to tell you how hot they find Latinas, attempt to speak to you in (crappy) Spanish, and telling you how they love their women “spicy”. Luckily, our mamas have raised us not to take disrespect lightly. When a man starts to bring up his Latina fetishes, we shut that down. Quick.

10. Listening to Selena Songs on Repeat

As a single lady, it’s empowering to be able to play whatever song you want, whenever you want, wherever you want–no input from a judgmental partner who thinks their taste in music is better than yours (you know the type we’re talking about). And nothing says “Independent Latina Who Don’t Need No Man” better than Selena Quintanilla. There’s something so comforting about listening to Selena songs on a loop–it’s a guilty pleasure without the guilt.

11. Belting Girl-Power Anthems in the Shower

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There’s no time we feel the full extent of our liberation more than when we’re in the shower, belting out a canción at the top of our lungs. When we’re in la ducha, we’ve practically transformed into Mariah Carey. Anyone that says otherwise…we don’t know her. When we’re really feeling ourselves, you’ll catch us reciting the lyrics to Bebe’s feminist manifesto “Ella” and getting goosebumps at how good we sound.

12. Wearing Whatever You Want

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Hetero Latino boyfriends can be known for their overt displays of machismo. For many Latino men, toxic machismo manifests itself through controlling behavior. We’ve all had those friends dress conservatively because their boyfriends won’t “let” them dress otherwise. As a single Latina, we have no such obligation. If someone so much as makes a comment about us not wearing enough clothes, we might just perform a strip tease to make a further point. Regardless of relationship status, our bodies are our own, but there’s no time we feel that more strongly than when we’re completely single.

13. Spending a Ton of Time With Your Amigas Because You’re Not Prioritizing a Man

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From a very young age, Latinas are programmed to believe that romantic relationships should take priority in our lives. This creates the unfortunate habit that many Latinas have of dropping their friends once they get into a serious relationship. But falling in love with your girl gang all over again once you’re single is worth the cost of heartbreak. Latina friendship is the best kind of friendship.

14. Pretty Much Living Off Your Ma’s Cooking

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What Latina doesn’t love to go home for the all-you-can-eat buffet that is cena de domingo? As a single Latina, eating food your madre cooks is too good to pass up. After all, cooking for one just isn’t practical! It’s too hard to half or quarter recipes and we often end up throwing out our leftovers when they sit in our fridge too long. Why spend hours on meal prep when you’ll be coming home with a Tupperware (or three) of sobras from your madre’s house?

15. Having a Set-Response To “Y el novio?” at Family Gatherings

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Latino families are notorious for being overly “concerned” about our relationship status. That’s why most Latinas have a game plan for dealing with nosy family members. “Y el novio?” “Not anymore, but I’m much happier.” “Y el novio?” “I’m taking time to work on myself for now.” We know what to say to shut down a conversation. If nothing, la familia has helped us develop one heck of a thick skin.

16. Crushing on a New Guy Every Five Minutes

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Another great thing about being single? Checking out whomever you want. The hot guy on your commute. The barista with impeccable banter. And don’t forget that Adonis with the bulging muscles at the gym. Sure, we have times where we wallow in self-pity at being single, but there are other times where we bask in being surrounded by man-candy and feeling free to flirt without guilt. And if there’s one thing Latinas are good at, it’s getting our coqueta on.

17. Pretty Much Living in Sweatpants

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Except for occasionally venturing out in heels with the girls, being a single Latina means #sweatpantlife. It’s one of the many things about single life that’s significantly more physically comfortable than being in a relationship is. When we’re by ourselves, we’ve got nothing to hide and no one to impress except ourselves.

18. Become Way Too Invested in Telenovela Storylines

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Sometimes, when you don’t have a love interest to distract you, it gets a little too easy to get invested in a fictional one. Telenovelas may be melodramatic and outrageous but damned if they don’t know how to lay the romance on thick. No, we don’t have a partner to make out with, but we can certainly imagine ourselves as the woman Aaron Diaz is professing his love to.

19. Referring to Your Pet as Your “Hijo” or “Hija”

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Even if our madre y abuela are begging us to get married and pop out babies, we know we can’t rush ourselves into a commitment before we’re ready. Until then, we’re perfectly content with babying the hell out of our mascotas. No midnight feedings, diapers, or tears–just fur and paws. And yes, we might dress our dogs in adorable onesies, because who’s going to stop us?

20. Being Genuinely Happy That You’re Blessed with the Time to Get to Know Yourself

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For all the buzziness of terms such as “self-care” and “self-love”, we know that these ideas are more than just a trend. Independent Latinas know that a partner can never complete us and true happiness comes from within ourselves. A well-adjusted single Latina uses her single time to work on herself and experience the liberating feeling of what it’s like to be truly, fully, independent. In the immortal words of Hailee Steinfeld “I love me. I love myself and I don’t need anybody else”.


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