Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Feb. 9 and written by New Mexico News Port reporter Marco Woods. This is part of our new project to help connect the Daily Lobo audience to more members of our community.

This Valentine’s Day the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of New Mexico will be hosting an event titled “Love Yo ‘Self” to focus on self-love and self-care.

Selina Villa, a student employee at the Center, said that self-care and self-love are important issues.

“Especially for the queer-trans community (it is important) to encourage self-love because there’s a lot of things out there that tells us that we really shouldn’t be this way and what we’re doing isn’t right,” Villa said. “So we just want to give that opportunity to people to be like ‘you matter, you’re loved and who you are is pretty dandy.’”

Negative thoughts generally overpower positive ones, Villa said.

“There’s a lot of stuff that puts people down and so there needs to be more (of a) conversation about how you’re perfect the way you are,” they said.

As the topic of self-love is being talked about more, the LGBTQ Resource Center has a stake in the discussion to make sure that the topic stays relevant, Villa said.

Clinical mental health counselor at UNM’s Student Health and Counseling Shannon Figueroa said that one of the biggest barriers to self-care and self-love is time.

“It is easy to overlook ourselves or put ourselves last on the priority list so any events that serve to remind us of the importance of self love and self care are incredibly important,” Figueroa said in an email interview.

Education Coordinator at the LGBTQ Resource Center Frankie Flores said the motivation for the event was partly due to the desire to focus on helping students become more well-rounded individuals.

“I think what inspired it (the event), is I would look at our students and I see that so often they come in and they’re tired, they’re exhausted, they’re defeated and so I wanted to do something that would really lift them up,” Flores said.

“Love Yo ‘Self” will include activities to make items, such as bath balms and sugar scrubs, for a self-care package. One activity will also have participants write a love letter to themselves, Flores said.

This event will be replacing the center’s annual “Love is Love Dance,” which would normally happen around the same time. The decision to replace the dance was due to past low attendance combined with wanting to try an event which could be more impactful for students.

“Love Yo ‘Self” is an all day event and is open to all students. The LGBTQ Resource Center is located in the northern part of UNM’s campus on the corner of Roma Ave., and Buena Vista Ave.

Those interested in more information regarding the LGBTQ Resource Center and their events can go to their website and Facebook page.

Marco Woods is a writer at the New Mexico News Port. He can be contacted on Twitter @MarcoBWoods.