TACO Tuesdays Aren't Always About Food
By: Gabriella Baltodano, Student Voice, Andrew’s Anthem
Recently, I have started trying to get into the habit of taking care of myself (I assure you this blog isn't about having a junk food day). I've realized that taking care of your mental health and loving yourself should be a priority. There are many ways to do this, some that take no more than 5 minutes. Taking a day to simply take care of yourself, unwind, and step away from your everyday routine is important.
My therapist and I created this idea called TACO Tuesdays. This would make any regular person think of eating tacos for dinner every Tuesday evening, but it is quite different. "TACO" is an acronym for "Taking Advantage of Comforting Opportunities". It may not be the best title, but you have to give me some slack as I thought of it in less than 30 seconds. We created this in order to get me into a habit of taking time out of my stressful day and unwinding. Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually problem days for me when it comes to my motivation. I tire myself out completely on the first two days of the school week and do not give myself enough time to take care of myself. This causes me to not want to get out of bed the rest of the school days afterwards. So, we created TACO Tuesdays to combat this.
A few things I have done on past TACO Tuesdays include: reading a book, making tea, listening to relaxing music, playing instruments, coloring, taking baths, and sitting on my roof. I often combine many of these. I try to do as many as I can-- depending on how much work I have. For example, when I read I usually always have music playing softly in the background and have a tea or hot chocolate to drink. Sitting on my roof, though it sounds dangerous and odd, gives me a different perspective on the world around me. I can feel the soft breeze, the sun on my skin, and the sounds of nature's beauty fills me. Sitting on my roof or on my hammock outside is the most relaxing for me.
The next 5 minute break you can get, go sit outside and look at the trees, listen to the cars pass, feel the texture of everything around you, feel the temperature as it passes across your skin. Take deep breaths, relax your shoulders and just let go of the burdens that have been bothering you all day/week. Slip into your senses and away from the billions of things on your mind.
Think about the day of the week that is the most stress filled for you. Make a silly acronym for it that only you'll understand, it doesn't have to take much of your brain power. Make it a priority, a habit, to take care of yourself on that day for a little bit. Eventually you can branch this into a daily habit, maybe use it whenever you need a little pick me up because your emotions are being too much of a hassle that specific day. This will make you a happier person-- knowing to take care of yourself is a wonderful trait. Do what works for you, that helps you step away from the stress of the outside world for a couple of minutes. When you go back to the "real world" you will feel much more refreshed.
Writing of the Week: A Day Away by Maya Angelou
If this was even slightly eye-opening to you, feel free to share with your friends or people who need it. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org