Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

Latinos are always worried about something. We worry not only about our health and wellbeing but also about those of loved ones, increasing our stress levels.

It’s an ongoing cycle that creates significant problems both physically and mentally.

It’s not a secret that we deal with more issues than most. A recent national study demonstrated that everyday stressors like family, money, workload and health are just the tip of the iceberg regarding our community’s worries. They point out that Latinos in the U.S. are “more likely to experience fear of deportation and ethnic discrimination, which has independently been linked to higher stress levels and worse health.” Let that sink in for a minute.

Are Latinos really incapable of relaxing? Is it not something we can indulge in as other communities do?

Are the anxiety and stress so deeply embedded in our DNA from generational trauma that we can’t ease it?

Science says stress is a severe problem that we should learn to tackle. Stress is linked to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Unfortunately, a lot of these health problems are common in Latino households. Think of your social circle — do someone’s elders suffer from these issues? I know that in my family, obesity and diabetes are most common.

We often blame our community’s poor diet for these serious health issues, but by now, we have endless digital resources that can reverse this traditional toxicity.

What’s more, we should also look into our mental health, which could be part of this problem. With the amount of generational stress, we can imagine that a poor diet is only part of the muddle.

It may seem like a lot of history to face, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help change our future.

There are many ways that we can start developing healthier habits to allow us to relax. This doesn’t necessarily mean linking relaxation with food or drinking — I’m talking about delving into the nitty gritty with your immediate household.

Talk to your family about exercise (maybe therapeutic cleaning for your traditional loved ones) or mental work (maybe in the form of simply listening to meditation music for your traditional elders). 

While mental health is still taboo with Latinos in 2022, little discrete changes can help your family relax more and avoid further health complications.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to better our community.