Rec Center’s Love Well Week teaches all types of love


Katie Reid

Students engaging in “Be My Yoga Valentine” on Feb. 15.

Joe Zerilli, Campus Editor

Oakland University Recreation and Well-Being center presented its annual Love Well Week from Feb. 13-17, hosting events across campus to promote self-love and loving one another.

The week-long event kicked off with a staple of Rec Well’s wellness programs: pet therapy. On Feb. 13, students were able to stop by the Oakland Center (OC) to spend some time with therapy dogs and start the week with some furry friends.

Pet therapy will continue to run for the rest of the semester, with the next session being on March 7 in the OC from noon to 1:30 p.m. Future pet therapy programs and all other student wellness programs can be found on the Rec Well portal.

A new event took place on Valentine’s Day, called Positive Petals, where the Rec Well’s Wellness teams provided a heartfelt message attached to a flower to students across campus. The idea came from Rec Well’s employee wellness coordinator Caitlyn Hennings, with the idea to bring a smile to people’s faces with a flower.

“The goal of this program was to connect face-to-face with the OU Community — faculty, staff and students — and simply offer a flower with an uplifting message attached to it to as many people as possible,” Cortney Heileman, assistant director of fitness and well-being, said. “We wanted to spread smiles, joy, kindness and truly just let people know that they matter.”

They partnered with Trader Joe’s — who donated 60 bouquets of flowers — and a team of Rec Well wellness student employees, interns and professionals disassembled the flowers and attached positive messages to them. Heileman said those who passed them out likely may have experienced “helper’s high.”

“This is based on the theory that when people give or do something kind for others, our brains produce endorphins that provide the feelings of happiness,” Heileman said. “So they themselves experienced strong, positive emotions following the selfless act of showing kindness to others. Basically, they felt just as happy as the people receiving the flowers, so it really was a win-win for everyone.”

The program was a success, with an estimated 450 to 500 flowers having been passed out.

Feb. 15 featured the popular Be My Yoga Valentine, where groups of two did a yoga class together. This event was open to romantic or friendly partners. Participants were also greeted with Cupid mocktails and sweets.

The yoga itself was partner-based, where the duo would work off each other to do the positions. The participants would be both back-to-back and face-to-face, led by instructor Amanda Hacker, as they focused on following each other’s heartbeats, breathing patterns and the like.

Christian, an exercise science graduate student, and his plus one, Jenny, agreed it was a nice mix between yoga practice and having time to do something together. It was both of their first time, and both said they would do it again.

“The instructor, Amanda, had a really good pace and flow with everything, and you feel really mindful during it,” Christian said. “It’s a good challenge, but a lot of them are like you’re challenged together — it was cool to work on it together and bond that way.”

On Feb. 16, a table in the Rec Center taught students their love language and how to intertwine them into all of their relationships. The ‘What’s My Love Language?’ table not only told students their top love language, but also what their lowest love language was.

The last event of the week was an online event called Healthy Relationship Trivia Night hosted on the Rec Well’s Instagram page. The online aspect allowed students who may not have been on campus to still participate in the activities, but still provided a good recap of different ideas brought up throughout the week.

Participants were welcomed to follow along with prompts on the page’s stories, answering 12 questions about signs of healthy relationships. By answering all questions correctly, participants had a chance to win a prize, with the top three being highlighted at the end of the event.