Valentine’s Day can be an easy time of year to question our lives, in terms of present and future relationships, social standing and generally what we think of ourselves. Self-doubt can be in the air as often as amorous thoughts are. The dreaded question, “Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day?” hangs heavy for those with and without significant others. The Day easily pressures us to be devoted, committed and content in romantic and platonic relationships, and in life.
The weeks leading up to The Day are also the catalyst of stress for many students just getting back into their routines after five and a half weeks of break. Add in the freakishly cold weather we’ve been plagued with, and you have a fine recipe for an unintentional bout of self-neglect.
In response to these annual feelings that we’ve all experienced at one time or another, the Feminist Association of Wheaton (FAW) hosted an event that specifically promotes self-care and self-appreciation, and that serves as a reminder to take care of the most important person in everyone’s lives: ourselves! The event, entitled “Be Your Own Valentine,” took place on Thursday, Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, in the Balfour-Hood Atrium from 4 to 6 p.m.
Since the start of planning this past September, the event’s co-sponsors collaborated in bringing their groups together through an array of self-love themed activities. The Distinguished Women of Color Collective (DWOCC) and the Marshall Center contributed a selfie appreciation table, and the Alliance contributed a compliment wall. Emerson House gave love notes to your body parts, and The Vagina Monologues contributed goody bags. Others activities include self-care scheduling and planning a “me-date.”
This is not the first time such events have been hosted at Wheaton. Last year, DWOCC dedicated a whole week to self-love. However, this is the first time that FAW has planned a similarly founded event. Caitlin Hawkins ’14, president of FAW, emphasized the significance of self-love and confidence. “It’s important to remember that the longest relationship we have is with ourselves, and allowing ourselves time for self-care and appreciation is crucial for personal happiness and growth” she said.
The barrage of endless worry about classes and relationships this time of year can cause issues with mental health and personal happiness. FAW hopes that the confidence-building and self-loving activities offered will help students take better care of themselves throughout this stressful time of year, and in their own personal lives in general.
Satisfaction with life stems from personal happiness and a healthy outlook, which is why being confident and self-loving can be some of the most positive influences on a wholesome and fulfilling lifestyle. Remembering that you are just as important as any stressful grades or relationships in your life is the key to staying positive and living well.