SELF-CARE.

"It ain't a force in this world like the focused drive

You gotta focus on yourself like an only child

You make your dream realer and you make your team better

You wake your game up and you make your scheme better."

- Nipsey Hussle, 'Down As A Great'

 

photographed by Devin Allen (@bydvnlln)

There aren't many self-care tips for men. 

 

At 24 years old, I'm realizing that the formerly idolized definition of being a man is as outdated as a tall white tee from 2005. The mass accumulation of women and wealth doesn't aid the pain of losing a good friend. The mainstream idea of manhood that called for an unexplained toughness has caused more casualties than a war in Iraq. Suppressing emotions and avoiding vunerability prevents us from living to our fullest potential as humans. Forbidding ourselves to feel is what holds us back from building healthy relationships, fulfilling memories and achieving long-term gratification. Male self-care practices should be more than material acquisition. My own experiences have driven me to identify what self-care looks like for me in practical steps. 

photographed by Devin Allen (@bydvnlln)

On Tuesday, August 12th, I got the news that one of my friends that I've known since middle school had died in a work-related incident. The two of us have had band classes together since we met and we've matriculated in the Arts together for close to a decade. In 12th grade, we served as the inaugural drum majors for our high school's marching band. His departure left a void in my equilibrium that I still feel as I type this. We were so similar in character that we both challenged each other to become better. We both saw ourselves in each other so much that I've been in shock since I heard the news of his passing. I haven't shed tears, I haven't been angry. I just feel sad. I have no desire to suppress any emotions regarding the matter. My only intention is to proactively communicate how I feel and manage my emotions in the most appropriate way possible. Kendrick Hudson will be missed by a large community of people that knew him, loved him and felt the warmth of his humor and strong character. His name and spirit will continue to live on.

photographed by Norman Maneri (@normanmaneri)

My official response on how to deal with this type of loss hasn't come quickly. It's taken some time to asses how I truly feel and how to move forward. The only conclusion that I've come to is to realize how short life is and to make sure that my time is directed to a purpose. I believe that our lives are meant for others to learn from and be inspired by. In his own life, Kendrick spent his time laughing, being with loved ones, and working to secure the dreams that he once envisioned like traveling to see other countries. The way I cope with his passing is to really take time to enjoy my life and the people in it. Plan well, but don't overthink. Acknowledge my reality, but also work to make your dreams real.  A good life is a leveled one. Self-care is the act of maintaining balance. Living outside of alignment only leads to burnout, fatigue and misdirection.

photographed by Devin Allen (@bydvnlln)

I wish I could tell you exactly what self-care practices to implement into your daily routine. Unfortunately, the only thing I know for sure is that self-care looks different for each individual. For some, it may be to do yoga to focus the mind and body. For some, it's meal prepping for the upcoming week to stick to an eating plan. For me, its driving around the town while listening to a new playlist that I made. It's getting a haircut, taking care of my skin and wearing one of my velvet durags. It's scheduling a day every now and then to give my mind and my body time to rest and reset. It's going to the gym and improving my form, time and stamina. All I can tell you is that self-care is identifying your needs and finding a way to service yourself.

photographed by Jon Spears (@jonalanspears)

Today, my need is to give myself order so I can appropriately focus on what's in front of me. I can't accomplish what I was created to do in this life if I'm not operating in total alignment. As a form of self-care, I'm drafting a schedule for my morning routine. If it proves to be an aid. I'll come back here to talk about it. Until then, stay cozy & find your own way to take care of yourself. 

 

Be good, 

Bryan. 

 

 

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