Hello everyone. Tiffany here again. I hope you’re all doing great and I’m glad that you’re here for the 6th part of our self-care series. Don’t forget to check out part one, two, three, four and five of the series.

When we published the first post in our self-care series and had our live Twitter chat, Niyi was one of the few guys that got involved. He gave good answers, thoughtful answers, answers that made us think.

When Niyi approached me and said he wanted to be included in our series, I was surprised. Mainly because he didn’t seem like the kind of person to be interested in this, but also because we had been asking for volunteer since and no one had offered.

I was surprised but I was pleased. Niyi is a multifaceted person, one second he’s making a joke about cheating, next thing he’s talking about institutional racism. He has an expansive collection of memes for any and all situations, and he even makes memes himself.

Niyi’s wit isn’t the only thing he has going for him, he’s also super talented. He makes amazing music and designs logos, album covers, tshirts, etc. Something that I’ve always admired about Niyi is the fact that he knows his worth. He isn’t afraid to say that he needs to improve on something, but he also isn’t scared to say that something he’s produced is better than anyone else’s.

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As someone who struggles with self-confidence, Niyi’s confidence levels were inspiring. So when he approached me with interest in our series, I automatically said yes. Read what Niyi has to say below and have fun.

niyi

What is self-care to you?
For me personally, it’s a mental and physical thing. It means prioritizing yourself and your well-being above all else. It sounds selfish, but that’s because it is. Understanding your own emotions, attending to them in a healthy way, and making sure that you’re in a physical space where you’re content are all vital parts of it.

What/who got you into self-care?
Women (no surprise). The majority of my relationships and interactions are with women, and I’ve been blessed enough to frequently engage with women who expected a certain level of emotional maturity and intelligence from me.

This goes back as early as my childhood with my mom to my current relationship. It wasn’t an immediate thing, and I didn’t start actively pursuing it till this year. But being around them and seeing how they valued themselves and their spaces were what kind of kickstarted my brain.

I started thinking that maybe I didn’t have to just shoulder everything that came my way. It was OK to feel publicly and it was OK to have a vested interest in how I look.

What activities do you do as self-care?
I make music, design graphics, write, listen to music, workout, watch anime, save money, take care of my hair and skin, and I masturbate. A lot. Like, a LOT. I feel like I’m at my most destructive when I’m sexually frustrated and keeping that to a minimum helps my overall decision-making process.

Music and graphic design are somewhat newer additions to my self-care roster but arguably the most important to me. Things that I can’t say, sweat, or nut out will always have a place on an instrumental. It’s especially true in the last project I put out, which is basically me expressing various forms of my depression through music.

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Skin and hair care I only picked up in the last year or so, but these were definitely the final pieces to the puzzle. When I look good, I feel good. The attention I give myself and the effort I put in towards maintaining them put me in a positive space, space where I can be the reliable idiot my people need me to be. It’s some other stuff I do as well, but it’s mainly keeping myself away from places that depressed me in the past.

Do you consider whether some of this self-care acts are detrimental to your general well-being?
Definitely the masturbation, but I try to keep that to twice a day at most, but outside that, no. I generally don’t like to get involved in things that don’t benefit me in the long-run.

How has self-care impacted your mental health?
Prior to my first semester in college, I used to do just about every one of my self-care activities regularly, and my mental health was through the roof. Over the course of my first semester, it quickly devolved to only music, then graphics, then masturbation.

And it showed in everything I did. My grades tanked, I gained a concerning amount of weight (well over what I was personally comfortable with), and I was shutting myself off more and more. I barely speak to my family on my best days and my mom almost had to call me nonstop to get me to pick up her calls.

When the school year finished, I slowly started picking those things up again and my mental health started climbing again. And with it, my opportunities, my art, everything I put my hands on began to spring to life.

I wish I could give details but one of the downsides to my depressed periods is that I barely remember anything. Suffice to say that there is a reason for why I have these routines in place.

What would your advice be for people who are trying to find self-care practices?
Find what works for you and explore it to the fullest. You are the most important person in your life and the quicker you accept this and treat yourself as such, the better. There’s this stigma about putting yourself first, especially with women, that just isn’t right.

 

You can contact Niyi on Twitter for awesome designs @ItsThatSamAgain

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