JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
The United Service Organization of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia celebrated International Women’s Day by distributing self-care packages to active-duty women for a virtual spa day at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, March 3, 2021. Volunteers distributed approximately 150 self-care packages to active-duty women at multiple bases including Joint Expeditionary Base–Little Creek, Virginia, and U.S. Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The 36 female participants took an hour to relax, unwind, and interact with other active duty women during a virtual webinar March 7th. The ladies learned how to craft spa treatments from the kits the USO HRCV provided, and discussed the art of mindfulness while practicing guided meditation.
“We recognize during these difficult times that military women need our support now more than ever,” said Erica Venezuela, Communications Coordinator for the USO of HRCV. “These women are serving our country and the USO HRCV is serving them. We wanted to take this time during International Women’s Day to celebrate the active duty women who have made many sacrifices and focus on their wellness and wellbeing.”
This event helped female veterans establish positive relationships with themselves and others by exemplifying the U.S. Secretary of Defense Llyod J. Austin III’s movement to hone readiness and resiliency in our forces. Participants had the opportunity to interact and share experiences with other women who could relate on a personal level.”
“The emphasis and advice on mindfulness for women serving was the most helpful takeaway especially considering the high-stress situations some jobs can put us in.” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Zenaida Castaneda, 1st Operations Support Squadron weather apprentice. “Being able to network with strong women on base helps us know that we can lean on each other for support since they know first-hand what we might be going through.”
During the virtual spa day participants also learned the importance of introspection, internalizing self-worth and how it extends into spiritual, emotional and mental health through a mindfulness presentation shared by Kayla Arestivo, Trails of Purpose president, a veteran’s healing program.
“People, especially military women, need to feel validation,” said Arestivo. “We feel like we need to prove ourselves through work, our spouses and our families and it is incorrect information that we’re feeding our brain. Instead of looking outward for validation, we need to start being our own source of validation by taking a daily inventory of our physical, emotional and social health to acknowledge and understand our situation with compassion.”