We get asked this a lot on our trending Tik Tok videos. Señora Era is not only for Latinas. Señoras welcome everyone into their family home to share a delicious cup of tea or a dinner, and anyone who wants to be can become a radical señora. That may also involve channeling the beautiful rituals and habits of the women in your own ancestral line who may be Italian signoras, Japanese Babas, Israeli Bubbes, or French Arrière-grand-mères.
However, in Hispanic cultures in the U.S., there is a heightened mental push to “hustle”. I think this is particularly relevant to our cultures if you’re an immigrant, or the child of immigrants. I think this has to do with the “first generation kid” effect. In many of our cases, our parents came to this country and had to work very hard to survive. So subconsciously, we feel the need to work just as hard to compensate for their back breaking work.
When your parents came here, they weren’t working from home or rubbing elbows with fancy finance bosses or movie studio executives. They were very likely waitresses, construction workers, nannies, and house cleaners — all honorable jobs that involved very hard labor. (Of course, I’m generalizing here. Some of your parents were lucky enough to be able to land professional careers in this country right when they arrived if they had a college degree that was transferable).
There’s chance that your cushy job makes you feel a little guilty and so you feel obligated to “outwork” everyone. And this is fine! Work hard and climb that career ladder. But there’s a problem the moment you lose balance and work becomes your entire identity – like it did for us – and becomes your primary source of happiness.
Sometimes it may also feel like we are obsessed with not wanting our kids to live with the same money or class anxieties that we grew up with, which leads to a hyper focus on our work and making more money.
I think the simple answer lies in creating work life balance by channeling the simple habits of the women of our past; señoras who worked hard inside or outside of the home but always had simple rituals based on calm, wellness, self-care and natural living.
Here are some of our favorite simple rituals that help us avoid falling into the hustle culture hole:
Herbal Tea: Señoras had rituals like drinking tea in the afternoon, or sitting on the porch with a cafecito or tecito (a little cup of coffee), vacuuming while they listened to their favorite radio station. Sometimes they had their own herb garden in their huerto en casa, where they sourced tea delights. The key is to steep for longer (10 minutes for fresh petals, 3 minutes for dry), and drink every 2 hours when you’re having a particularly stormy week. My favorite lately is the stress reliever mix chamomile and lavender. It tastes incredible but both herbs are meant for stress and relief of nervios (nerves).
Meal Prep: Señoras in my ancestral lines were big fans of making big pots of stew for the week: Porotos con riendas (Spaghetti with beans), charquican (stew with squash that was invented by the Mapuche Indigenous people of Chile), even Tupperware bowls full of tuna salad with light mayo for the folks on diets. Those YouTuber mom experts on meal prepping had nothing on the Señoras of your own family! Having meals prepped and ready to go give you back at least two hours from your day. That leaves you less stressed and with more time to do things you really want to do – like read that book you’ve been putting off.
Agua Water was very important to Señoras of the past. They recognized how necessary it was for a healthy mind and body. There is no denying that drinking a huge cup of H2O is all that you needed to put you in a better mood. If you’re not a huge water drinker, try adding hints of fruit like strawberry, peaches, or mint. You’ll drink twice as more as usual.