With the passing of Valentine's Day, healthy relationships and self-care have been common themes lately. Although these are both important topics year round, Healthy Relationships Week this year takes place Feb. 13 to 17. This week is designed to educate people on the importance of having a safe and happy relationship with friends, family, a romantic partner or even yourself. Campus groups are hosting events to raise awareness, celebrate and encourage students to participate.
The Women’s Resource Center is one of the many places on campus working to rewrite the tradition of Valentine's Day to put the focus on self-love and random acts of kindness. On Valentine’s Day, it hosted an open house called “I love me.” The event highlighted the resources available to all students (no matter your gender or sexuality) and to encourage self-love. It offered food and afternoon crafts that focused on community outreach.
Sarah Rimmel, an office manager for the Women’s Resource Center, highlighted some of the other events happening in February. The center hosts regular free afternoon craft sessions, events on sexual expression, guided meditation and self-expression.
“One thing we promote in our work is self-care, because if you aren't personally well, the work you are doing--from homework, activism, volunteerism, or managing relationships--may not be the most effective,” Rimmel said.
Karen Rojas, also with the Women’s Resource Center, works with outside organizations to strengthen the support within the CU community. She volunteers with organizations like To Write Love on Her Arms, which advocates for and helps students dealing with self-harm, depression, or those who might be having suicidal thoughts.
At Women’s Resource Center, she began to encourage everyone to write down 10 things they love about themselves. This activity encourages self-love, confidence and positivity. The responses are posted on a digital board in the Women’s Resource Center. The center considers this project a huge success because of its simplicity and the positive effect it can have. They encourage anyone who comes into the office to participate.
Even beyond the center, there are plenty of other steps that Rimmel encouraged students to take for self-care. She acknowledges that with the diversity on the CU campus, self-care can look different for everyone.
"When we think about self-care, we know that taking care of yourself means different things to different people," Rimmel said, "and there are different components of health and wellness (social/community, physical, emotional, career, spiritual)."