Valentine’s Day: A Holiday For Everyone


Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

Although I’ll be the first person to express my love for miniature pieces of chocolate with strange fillings, I believe Valentine’s Day should be acknowledged as more than a commercialized tradition. Over these past few years, the media has warped our minds into thinking love is not only defined by gifts of heart-shaped jewelry but the price tag that comes along with them. 

For this reason, every February 14 is consumed with the pressure to buy any pink or red item on the shelves in order to keep up with “tradition.” This consumerist mindset strips away the purpose of Valentine’s Day: to give love and appreciation to the people in our lives and to ourselves.

Self-love and compassion are key for proper mental health, especially for those of us who are overwhelmed and overworked, or constantly striving to grasp the shape-shifting, imaginary idea of perfection. At Parker, we’re driven by desires to reach unrealistic expectations: a habit with a 100% return of burnout. 

The research is indisputable- there is no upside to perfectionism. Parker students and our relentless pursuit of perfection can lead to extremely high levels of stress and anxiety. As a result, we end up achieving a lot less than what we aspire to because of the mental toll perfectionism induces.

Because we need breaks. If we don’t take them, our bodies will take them for us and, trust me, they won’t be at convenient times. Valentine’s Day is a reminder to take breaks, even with our busy schedules, because celebrating self-care is celebrating Valentine’s Day. 

Self-care takes on many forms. From taking a break in the middle of your physics homework to reading another chapter of your favorite book, it’s vital to do something you enjoy every so often. Even though it may seem counterproductive to spend time away from schoolwork, engaging in frequent self-care actually increases productivity in the long run. 

At Parker, there are many ways to find self-love in our community, an example being our counselors.  From helping students reach their academic goals to making sure they are mentally and socially supported, school counselors are a pillar of support in our education system. Their roles are essential in the development of all students.

Counselors are the great advocates who stand up for the rights and interests of members of our community and ensure that no student’s voice is left unheard. They’re great role models and mentors, and a source of inspiration and guidance by helping us identify goals and work towards achieving them. 


So on Valentine’s Day, make sure to spend time with people you love, and take a moment for some self-care. I recommend starting off with a box of chocolate.