Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A little self-care goes a long way

Recently, in talking with with my friends, I have noticed an unfortunate and bothersome trend; a lack of self-reliance and self-care. More times than I can count on one hand I have heard friends state the following:

  • "Why don't guys like me?"
  • "Look, I'm cooking dinner and being domestic, why don't I have a boyfriend?"
  • "He called me beautiful, no guy has ever said that before." 
  • "I can't leave, it will ruin his life."
  • "Apparently, I can't be selfish."
  • "I just want a boyfriend."
The most unfortunate part, these statements are coming from otherwise strong and beautiful women. However, from thinking about this over the past couple weeks, I realize it is not a default within them, it is yet again a default with our society. Still even in 2014, women believe they must be committed, that their beauty is only real when reaffirmed by a male, that they cannot take control or change their life path because their partner did something nice for them, and that being domestic is really what seals the deal. It has become disheartening to hear these statements time and time again, especially when I see the women who are making these comments are stronger and more resilient than any social norm or construct put against them. I've tried time and time again to explain why they don't need a man to complete them or that they can take control of their lives, yet my empowering messages seem to have been lost in the ether. It becomes frustrating trying so hard to have others join your brigade of female empowerment, but the frustration will never stop me.

From my own life experiences and from a little internet research, I have compiled a list of things I believe are important to focus on for a happy, healthy and strong body and soul. 
  • Cherish your friends: Surround yourself with friends, true friends. The ones who will tell you the truth because they don't only love you, they respect you.
  • Know your strengths: We constantly focus on our weaknesses when our time could be spent focusing on our strengths. If you don't know what they are, ask a friend, parent or loved one to help you come up with a list. Not only will it be a momentary boost, it will also remind you of how very much you are capable of, which is a lot.
  • Avoid negative people: You really don't need that weighing you down.
  • Allow yourself to feel: Feelings are natural, we have our highs and we have our lows. The better you become at addressing your feelings and where they stem from, the better you will become at surviving those trying times.
  • Breathe: I can't stress this enough, nor can my yoga teacher. The power of deep breathing really can work wonders for all types of situations, and I say that as a person who can easily get caught into a tiff of anxiety.
  • Create joyful routines: Weekly blogging, cooking at least one meal a day, daily motivational quotes, really anything that makes those 24 hours even more worth it.
  • Take actions that scare you: [My personal favorite] It's amazing how much you can grow within yourself once you take yourself out of your comfort zone [within reason, of course].
  • But, most importantly: Just be you. You are perfect. You are enough. You are invaluable.
It has taken myself time to come to terms with making life changes, but in doing so, I have found just how strong I am on my own and just how much a little self-care goes a very long way.

Disclaimer: Although this is a rather heterocentric post, it can apply to all people of all backgrounds. The social norms and expectations placed upon us do not have to be honored. We are unique and beautiful individuals capable of living our lives on our own terms. 

You are and always will be enough.

1 comment:

  1. My wife is going to school right now to become a counselor for women, and she is way excited to get started with it all. I had some free time at work, and was just looking up articles and other things that she would enjoy reading, and this has some awesome stuff that I know she would enjoy looking at. So far this site and have been the most helpful that I've found today. Thanks so much for sharing this, I can't wait to show her.