The Review Gets Fit with L. Joshua Jackson, Arts & Culture Editor


College second-year and Arts & Culture Editor L. Joshua Jackson.

As vaccines become more readily available and COVID-19’s dark reign comes to an end, we want to assist our lovely readers with the gradual return to normalcy. We’re back this week with another “The Review Gets Fit,” a new recurring column where members of the Review staff give you all the health, wellness, and fitness advice you’ll need to get mentally and physically ready to interact with the world once again. This week, we speak with Arts Editor and College second-year L. Joshua Jackson.

Disclaimer: We are not medical or fitness professionals. Most of us aren’t even Psychology majors. So, definitely take all advice with a grain of salt.

How important would you say health, wellness, and fitness are in your life?

A ten. My physical — as well as mental and spiritual — health is becoming more and more of a priority. The more I see the connections of how me taking care of myself benefits all the other things that I do and helps me to create healing spaces where I’m sort of able to process everything that I am taking in from the environment, whether that be things from the news or content that I’m watching, or things that I’m reading within the realm of Africana Studies, the more of a priority wellness has become. It can be difficult to stay healthy. Healthy is the word, but it’s so much more than that. 

I think staying moving in a way that respects my own sense of self and healing is important. I feel like the systems — particularly the system of capitalism and the way social media works right now — people are being forced to move a lot quicker than I think we should. 

I think we should be able to stop and pause and feel the things that are happening in the world. And I know I haven’t been able to. I think it actually sort of dials down our sense of humanity and how we actually look at each other and feel each other because, when you’re not taking the time to feel the things that are happening to different people, you lack the empathy for those people as you go through life. So my self-healing and self-care and self-love journey is very much tied to the love that I have for other people.

What would you say are the things that you constantly find yourself going to whenever you need to take care of yourself?

Breathing exercises, as well as energy work, have become key. I’ve been doing it for so long without realizing I was and now I’ve come to a point where I need to for my sense of maturity, for my sense of masculinity, and for dealing with the anger and frustrations of the world and at home. Those are the things that help me keep myself in line. I don’t like it when people check me, so I try to keep checking myself. I’m willing to be checked always, but I want to be able to do that myself. 

There’s other things too. I like to make sure I have a skincare routine. So aloe vera juice right now with the hair. Fat Water by Fenty on the skin. There’s this dude that makes products specifically for black men and beards, “Golden.” I love that. And then I do yoga.

How has the way you practice self-care changed during the pandemic?

Self-care, prior to the pandemic, I thought it was an option. Now, self-care I think is not optional for anyone. I’ll speak for myself, but all of my demons were out of the closet and with me chilling in bed and I had to deal with myself. And this past year has been instrumental in my self-actualization. Part of that was realizing there are things that I need to do to take care of myself, to feel good about myself, and to love myself. I’m someone that loves to give people everything and anything of my time and my energy and it siphons energy from me. It takes and takes and takes and I’m realizing that I actually need to expend energy on developing myself to be a better person.

So, I think it just became not optional. It became an obligation and stepping into that obligation wasn’t just stepping into some sort of self-care. It was also stepping into my higher self and loving and praising and caretaking for myself, so, when I’m around other people, I’m not looking for other people to take care of me. 

Joshua’s Advice Corner

Two Things You Should Try:

Hold yourself accountable and hold yourself. Hold yourself to a higher standard but also hold yourself in a place where you recognize where you are, where you’ve been, and the progress that you’ve already made. 

Meet yourself as much as possible. And recognize that everything you say and everything you do is a product of who you are in these moments. It’s challenging, but it is very possible. That’s something that’s been very powerful for me. Particularly studying musical artists like Kendrick Lamar. You see that he’s met himself so much that he’s able to manipulate his own demons and his own energies to convey, not only a story, but to convey a message.

An inspirational quote from Joshua:

“Seek ways that are purely liberatory of who you really are, your higher self, your highest manifestation in order to become who you want to be. And so much of that begins with self-care.”