Self-Care Week: A week dedicated to the health of the self

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The Intercultural Community Center (ICC)’s Self-Care Week began Sunday, Nov. 6 and will conclude Nov. 14. Over the course of the week, the ICC will host events such as a panel on “Radical Self Love, Care, and Preservation” and free massages. The ICC is hosting the week of events in conjunction with Planned Parenthood, Active Minds, Project SAFE, as well as other student organizations and a few off-campus guests.

“My hope is that through these events … people will recognize how interconnected we are to one another’s struggles and their causes, as well as realize how others’ struggles affect our own,” Karim Sharif (junior), head organizer and creator of the ICC’s Self-Care Week, said.

Amy Hill, assistant director of the Office of Student Life (OSL), said the idea first came about during last year’s Senior Week Leadership Retreat, a retreat focused on shaping campus culture, particularly around issues of bias.

In planning the individual events, Sharif wanted to create an atmosphere that was inclusive of everyone on campus by hosting events designed to promote self-care of the entire person by focusing on individual identities.

Self-Care Week kicked off Sunday night with a group dialogue led by Susan Young, director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, on religious and spiritual identities and how they intersect with self-care. On Monday the theme was cultural identities, how to create a culture of care, and what it means to heal in the context of religious and spiritual views, including non-spiritual and atheist identities. On Tuesday there was a panel on radical self-care: what it means to exist in marginalized spaces and how to foster a culture of care. Speakers at the event included Young, Professor Julie Prebel and Professor Amy Tahani-Bidmeshki, among others.

For the remaining five days of Self-Care Week, there will be some smaller workshops on the quad, as well as bigger events, such as a “Planned Parenthood Middle School Dance” in the Tiger Cooler. On Wednesday, a Quad Takeover is planned, which will include Planned Parenthood Club, Active Minds, Project SAFE, Peer Mentors and Peer Health Exchange to discuss self-care and sexual health advocacy.

“Self-care is a huge step towards embracing sex positivity,” Maggie Smart McCabe (first year), Planned Parenthood Club e-board member, said. “Being conscious about what makes you happy is crucial to being able to communicate issues with your partner.”

Thursday, the ICC will host a Femme Fest with special guest Faye Orlove from Junior High, an off-campus community art space for marginalized voices, who will be speaking about stress relief beyond the college bubble. Additionally, KOXY will host a special show with the band PWR BTTM, an American queer-pop duo, as a part of efforts to explore the intersection of queer identities and caring for one’s mental and physical health.

Throughout the weekend there will be free yoga, a discussion on queerness and self-care and a Pillowtalk with Planned Parenthood, Project SAFE and Active Minds.

Hill, who worked closely with Sharif throughout the planning process, noted that the timing of this event deliberately occurred near finals week.

“Having a week themed around self-care, particularly at this point in the semester before the final push, will make it almost unavoidable and make people take a deeper look at what their needs are and consider unique ways to address them,” Hill said.

Self-Care Week is expected to become a part of regular campus-wide programming; plans for next semester are already underway.

For more details on Self-Care Week, visit the Facebook page for updates.

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