On Valentine’s Day, we’re reminded to think of others — waffles with your friends for the Galentine’s Day crowd, a candlelit dinner with your significant other.
Some argue that actions on Valentine’s Day should be an everyday thing; you should always be showing the people you love that you care for them.
So why aren’t you showing that same love to yourself on a daily basis?
Stress, anxiety and depression are familiar feelings. For some readers, they may feel exponential if your plans don’t fall between the plans everyone dreams of on Valentine’s Day. But today, we at the Alligator want you to focus on yourself.
It’s especially important to appreciate your own talents and skills as a college student, especially when school and life can feel overwhelming. A recent story from the Chronicle of Higher Education noted that college students across the country are suffering from anxiety. A national survey, the Healthy Minds Study, found one in four undergraduates and graduates students reported feeling symptoms of anxiety. But less than 40 percent of students who are feeling anxious and depressed get help through counseling.
We at the Alligator understand those feelings. It’s no secret that the majority of students who make up our staff are student journalists, and sometimes it can be hard to remember that our education comes first. In the chase to do stories, we must remind ourselves that our self-care comes first.
Social media has its pros and cons in helping the uphill battle to find our self-worth. For instance, if you check the UF class Facebook pages, you can find the occasional photo of a positive message left somewhere on campus. “Love yourself,” the notes read. “You are beautiful.” “Smile. You are worth it.”
With midterms coming up, we’re sure you feel stress, too. But it’s important to step back and take a moment for yourself. It’s easy to let stress levels build up, and it’s easy to skip a meal or trade away an hour of sleep for an hour of studying. But there needs to be a balance, and Valentine’s Day presents a perfect opportunity for that.
We know you might walk into Publix and roll your eyes because of the overflow of flowers and chocolates. Don’t. No matter if you’re nursing a broken heart or if you’ve never been in love. No matter what your relationship status is, we want you to smile until your cheeks hurt today because it’s a special day.
It’s the day you get to treat yourself. Eat that pizza for a cheat meal. Spend the extra money for guac at Chipotle. Finish the pint of Ben and Jerry’s tonight. If food is not your No. 1 passion as it is ours, take time to drive to Bo Diddley Community Plaza or Lake Alice, and relax. Buy those shoes or that video game you’ve been dreaming about for the past few weeks. Listen to your favorite song on repeat. Make sure that five years down the road, you’ll be able to look back to Valentine’s Day 2018, and excitedly reflect on a memory that makes your heart happy.