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Natural-born givers

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By Diana Bejarano

Latinas are natural-born givers. They give of their time, their talent and their treasure. They give to their children, spouses and significant others, as well as to their parents, to their extended families, to their employers and to many great causes.  

It would be difficult to highlight just one Latina Still Standing who gives back, because I know so many who give immeasurably. I have grown up watching Latinas give of themselves; they have been great role models in many respects. My grandmothers, my mother and so many others have given selflessly. And, while I do believe that it is truly better to give than to receive, there is one person in a Latina’s life that is oftentimes left out of the giving equation. That is the Latina herself. 

I know that, during this time of the year, many of us will go above and beyond to give to others. We want to give the best to our children, our families, our friends and to many great causes that are near and dear to our hearts. This holiday season while we are wrapped up in giving so much to so many, let’s not forget to give a gift to ourselves.  

I know that “self” is not always top of mind, especially during the season of giving, but I would like to propose that, as Latinas, we learn to include ourselves as a recipient of our giving. Here are a few questions to ponder: How will you give to yourself? What will you give to your most important asset – YOU? How will you honor and be kind to yourself? How will you invest in your emotional well-being, your health, your body, your spirit and your soul? Have you added any gifts to this year’s list to help YOU de-stress this holiday season? If you have done this, kudos to you! 

There are so many simple ways you can be kind to yourself. So many simple gifts that can benefit your mind, body and spirit. Rest is one of them. Many of us try to do too much for so many, especially during the busy fall and winter seasons. Some of us have to attend events, prepare Thanksgiving meals, host holiday parties, shop for our families, volunteer our time and do all of this while holding down at least one full-time job. 

If we take a little time out for ourselves, we will reap the benefits of feeling more energized. It doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Perhaps it’s allowing the first couple of hours in the day to be your uninterrupted time to gather your thoughts, meditate, hike or go for a walk; perhaps it’s adding a much needed foot massage or spa day to your weekly calendar; or, maybe just simply picking a block of time to do absolutely nothing. 

If we do not give back to ourselves, it could be detrimental. If we invest in comforting and nurturing ourselves a little more, we will avoid “burnout.” Merriam-Webster defines burnout as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”

Please consider taking time to nurture your own body and soul. Give yourself the gift of rest and relaxation once in a while. This will improve your ability to give and, so, benefit you and all of those you love.

Happy Holidays!

Diana Bejarano is an Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach her at latinastillstanding@yahoo.com or latinastillstanding.blogspot.com

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