V-Day is not limited to loving others: This year, maybe we should try and love ourselves.

On Feb. 13, ETSU’s Outreach and Advocacy Sexuality Information for Students (OASIS) program held a self-affirming event in observance of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week called Love Your Body Day.

The event took place Tuesday afternoon, and ETSU wasn’t the only organization involved: businesses and health representatives from the Johnson City community also made sure to participate.

All of the services were free, from yoga and healthy food, to massages and body paint. Candy and other gifts were given to students to remember to love themselves this coming Valentine’s Day. In fact, the pampering was not limited to physical means.

Love Your Body Day has been held at ETSU for the past few years. The overall emphasis of the event has been to discuss the ways we look at ourselves, and to raise awareness about how we view our own bodies and how we treat ourselves nutritionally.

According to NEDA, or the National Eating Disorder Association, “National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.”

With this information in mind, those of us in the shared college environment should be aware that in addition to being common, eating disorders are treated very seriously, and they can last for a long periods of time. Eating disorders can develop at any age, and they may even reemerge after years of recovery. They are not limited to gender or sex, and they may arise through social, environmental, or even genetic/biological factors.

These illnesses are one of many that the ETSU’s Counseling Center’s OASIS wants to bring awareness about on campus.

According to the About OASIS webpage, “OASIS is dedicated to sexual assault, relationship violence, and gender violence prevention through education and outreach about healthy sexuality and relationships. Our programs are designed to serve the needs of the ETSU population with information, education, training, advocacy, counseling and referral services.”

If you have any questions about eating disorders, call the NEDA Helpline, (800) 931-2237. The line is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. You can also stop by the Counseling Center at ETSU Monday – Thursday, 10 to 11:30 a.m. & 2 to 3:30 p.m for a walk-in appointment.

Love yourself this Valentine’s Day, and treat yourself to the best you deserve.