Students help students during PSC Cares Week

Five booths and three evening events comprise the week’s events, focusing on self-care and self-love

Larissa Tutert, left, and Rochelle McAdam at a PSC booth at Common Ground, where students wrote themselves letters for a bad day.
Larissa Tutert, left, and Rochelle McAdam at a PSC booth at Common Ground, where students wrote themselves letters for a bad day.

The first event of the Peer Support Centre’s (PSC) Cares Week, a “wall of self-love”, asked people to write down something they love about themselves. Most found this difficult.

Educating students on self-care and self-love is the overarching theme of Cares Week, which began last year.

The PSC — a support service run by a group of trained volunteers offering safe, non-judgmental and confidential personal support to students — has promoted self-care and self-compassion this week through booths and evening events.

“[The PSC] provide[s] personal, practical, academic and crisis support to any member of the Queen’s community regardless of their year or program,” said PSC Director Cara Chen, ArtSci ’15.

People frequent the PSC every day to help alleviate academic stress, Chen said, something the booths and nightly events aim to combat.

“Cares Week is more about ‘what can you do to help yourself’ — all of our other events throughout the week [are intended to] break the stigma of taking time for yourself,” she said.

“Whatever you choose to do to deal with a stressful situation — whatever works for you, all the power to you.”

The “wall of self-love” and yoga night kicked off the week on Monday. The yoga event informed students of the importance of taking care of both their physical and mental well-being.

“It’s tough to love yourself sometimes, because that can be construed as egotistical or something and it’s really strange — it’s part of our culture — so we’re trying to break that a little bit,” Chen said.

“It’s okay to compliment yourself and feel good about who you are as a person — we really encourage that.”

Chen said by participating in the week’s events and commenting on their self-care activity via social media, students are eligible to win prizes. Those who attend the evening events will be entered to win the grand prize, which will be revealed Friday.

Wednesday evening’s workshop was dedicated to the practice of mindfulness. It was held in Dunning Hall and attended by approximately 20 people.

“The point [of mindfulness] is to be okay that you’re not actively doing something in the moment — you’re okay with who and where you are,” said psychology professor Katherine Holshausen, who led the workshop.

“[It] gives you the opportunity to reflect and can enrich your experiences.”

The workshop, which embodied the PSC’s view of self-help, taught the group techniques for de-stressing and executing mindfulness on a daily basis.

“It’s this present moment that’s important — how you’re doing right now — that’s what makes it empowering,” Holshausen said.

The week’s final event will be “Making a schedule that includes self-care”, a booth at the ARC on Friday.


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