On Valentine’s Day, tranquil music and chocolate fondue attracted students into Anderson Center with the repeated message- love your body. The “Love Your Body” event was hosted by Peer Wellness Educators (Peer Ed) to encourage self-love and healthy living for college students especially during this month.
“[Peer Ed does] a lot of health-based events and so for Valentine’s Day… we wanted to focus on different… self-care things,” ‘volunpeer’ and first-year Parker Reindahl said. “We focus on sexual health, mental health, physical health and all kinds of different aspects of health.”
The event was filled with different tables set up with various activities to promote self-care and healthy living, including safe sex tools, coloring and bracelet making for stress relief, face masks for relaxation, healthy hydration practices and self-massage techniques to help with tired muscles.
“I am here at this table to advocate for Peer Ed as an organization… We are kind of known for our safer sex kits that we make,” Reindahl said. “I feel like so many people just [think we are] handing out condoms, but we like to go beyond that. We have these pocket guides [for safe sex].”
Beyond the sexual health table, there was coloring and bracelet making, activities to help reduce stress.
Students were encouraged to fill out a survey to help with future event planning for Peer Ed and then invited to take one of four different face mask options back to their rooms to finish off their evening of relaxation.
This was both for logistical reasons, for students would need to lay down to put on the masks, and also to help promote continued self-love and relaxation following the event.
“It is all about loving your body and being happy with yourself, and face [masks are] really helpful [to] relax and take time… to take care of yourself,” volunpeer and Junior Mary Anthony said. “All of [these masks] have different things that are good for your skin.”
Free face masks were not the only giveaways. The water table had free reusable water bottles to encourage healthy drinking habits. With this, there was a handout with advice for students to drink enough water each day, practice responsible alcohol habits and had information on the long term health benefits of drinking enough water.
“My table is focused on water and how it helps your body. I am the peer lead for alcohol and other drugs,” peer lead and sophomore Brooklynn Worms said, “so we wanted to incorporate something along the lines of water and alcohol.”
Following the water table, were multiple volunpeers teaching students how to give themselves hand massages to help with sore fingers and wrists from note taking and neck massages due to stress and tension.
Lastly, there was a chocolate fondue with strawberries, pretzels and marshmallows to dip. This was the many of the volunpeers’ favorite part.
“I think the chocolate fondue is great… A lot of people [think with] body positivity, you can’t do certain things but I think it is just doing things in small amounts. [T]reating yourself is just as important as anything else that you do,” Reindahl said. “Some people have body positivity issues so we wanted to create a space to just explore that and… have some fun.”
Peer Ed encourages anyone to join their meetings to help promote healthy living on campus. Meetings take place on Tuesdays during convo hour in Manor basement room six, with lunch provided for attendees.
Students can look forward to upcoming events such as “Get Yourself Tested” in March, “Birds, Bees and STDs” in April, “Stress Fest” at the end of the semester and the new “Dog on Duty” who will be visiting Bush Memorial Library every other Wednesday of the month.