Hello! Welcome back to our self-care series. It’s sooo good to have you here, reading the fifth part of our series. Click on the links to read the first, second, third and fourth part of the series.

Victor’s life on the internet is full of beautiful girls, song suggestions, funny memes, new clothes, selfies, and loving comments from him to just about anyone he considers a friend.

One word that can describe outlook on life is “refreshing”. Refreshing because Victor is a Nigerian man who is expressive with his feelings. Refreshing because he talks about being on antidepressants, and talking to a therapist. Things that I don’t normally see with Nigerian men anywhere in the world.

Seeing him voice his struggles and appreciate the things that he liked made him so relatable to me because I didn’t know any other Nigerian who went to counselling like me.

Although he’s different and so freaking cool, Victor doesn’t try to separate himself or exalt himself as this better-than-everybody-else person. Instead, he tries to show everyone what’s so cool about what he loves while simultaneously trying to understand what they love. A man of the people

Deciding to interview Victor was a no-brainer because of how raw he is, he isn’t afraid to voice his worries and concerns, he genuinely listens to what you have to say and is very considerate.

As someone who often finds herself sitting and/or crying at her counsellor’s office, it was important to talk to someone who I felt had gone through the same thing. Someone who could give an insight into self-care that we don’t usually see when mainstream self-care activities are being discussed.

So I hope you have fun reading what Victor has to say about self-care.

victor

What is self-care to you?
Self-care to me is exercising emotional intelligence. In her song “Borderline”, Solange says “So let’s take it off tonight, break it off tonight, baby, let’s know when to let go”. That’s it lol. Self-care is understanding and recognizing that you may not be in the “best” mental or emotional state, whether due to things like loneliness, anxiety, stress, or depression, and making the conscious effort to take care of your mental and physical well-being.

What/who got you into self-care?
Myself mainly but my sister helped reinforce the importance of it. My sister deals with anxiety and always taught me about how important it is to find activities I can resort to as self-care practices, especially when I went off to college. I’ve also been suffering from depression for a couple of years and eventually noticed certain things I did to help get through depressive episodes.

What activities do you do as self-care?
I cry…a lot lol. I feel like crying is really cathartic, especially for me. The four other main things I do are being alone, watching films/shows, buying clothes and talking to my sister or therapist. Another one is just making sure I consistently take my antidepressants.

Do you consider whether some of this self-care acts are detrimental to your general well-being?
Sometimes. Spending money on clothes and being alone/not going out are the closest to being “detrimental” lol. I feel like myself and a lot of people with mental health issues sometimes negate their own emotions in a way. In a sense that we sometimes feel we don’t deserve to take breaks or treat ourselves emotionally and physically.

I personally just really like clothes so that’s something I spend a lot of my money on lol. Being alone/not going to classes has been pretty detrimental at times. Fortunately, my school has this Accessibility Services program that makes your professors aware of your disability (I didn’t realize mental health issues were considered disabilities until recently lol) and makes them aware and more lenient when it comes to attendance and due dates.

But yea if you’re in college or high-school, it’s a *really* good idea to look into whether your school has psychological/accessibility services that you can make use of.

How has self-care impacted your mental health?
Self-care has made a *huge* impact on my mental health. Finally figuring out the things that have worked for me is probably a huge factor into why I’m still here today.

What would your advice be for people who are trying to find self-care practices?
My advice would be to try thinking about things that you could do or have maybe previously done subconsciously that made you happy, calm or given you solace. That and finding the balance between an activity being cathartic and detrimental. Those are the biggest things really. The way people deal with mental health issues and go about self-care is different for everyone so it really depends on you finding out what works for you.

 

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