Considering the large number of students who play sports on this campus, one cannot find it surprising that so many of those athletes, as well as other students attending this college, wish to pursue careers in taking care of those athletic bodies and minds.
Beyond just the physicality of sport and wellness, however, are the mental and emotional aspects, which are experienced by everybody, not just those involved with athletics or the health field. It’s these parts of overall health that Springfield College Health Educator Christine Johnson hopes the project ‘Letters to My Body’ will explore.
“People learn and grow in different ways,” Johnson said, “and this is just one thing we’re doing this month. Everybody’s different and everyone has a different perspective and we want to give everyone a chance to reflect on what their personal relationship is with their body.”
The event, which will take place today in the Union between 11:30 to 1:30, will be a chance for students to write anonymous letters to their own bodies.
It’s both a time for self-reflection and an opportunity for students to do something they may not normally think about doing.
Johnson said that some of the letters may be funny, and some may be more serious, describing different challenges students have faced due to injuries or medical illnesses.
Anything that students choose to write, though, is more than welcome.
“[The letters] kind of just start that conversation that you only get one body to live in, and not only do you have to take care of it, but respect it and love it and love all the things it can do for you as well,” Johnson said.
“It’s a chance to get thinking about what you do love about your body. Some people write angry letters to their body, and that’s okay too. It’s a good chance to get that out there, and it’s good for students to know they’re not the only ones.”
The project was started by Springfield College students a few years ago, Johnson said.
Examples of past letters have hung for the past two weeks in the Wellness and Center and residence halls, giving students a chance to read other people’s experiences, as well as reflect on their own feelings.
The event will be sponsored by campus group PAWS (Peer Administered Wellness), which is made up Springfield College students who are also peer educators.
‘Letters to My Body’ is just one of the events that will take place this month. February, according to Johnson, is Love Your Body Month.
Earlier events this month included a film screening, and future events include a mind-body yoga session on February 28, as well as a few more surprise events that will coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which takes place February 22-28.
Events like these, Johnson hopes, will be more positive-based programming about maintaining a healthy body that will also engage students.
“We think the components of the triangle at Springfield College—spirit, mind and body,” Johnson said, “and we’re really thinking about how those interact.”
“It’s not just the body side of the triangle, but the interaction between the three. How you think about your own body and how you treat your own body has a lot to do with that balance and what we strive for here.”