This summer saw the return of Love Now Media’s lunchtime web series, Lunch & Love: Love Ambassador Edition. Attendees were invited to “Drink our water and mind our wellness” alongside host Syreeta Martin as she led a conversation with Love Now Media’s Love Ambassador Marquise Richards.
Richards, who is a content creator and former educator based in Philadelphia, spoke about the often harmful notions behind “grind culture” along with his own experience in prioritizing self-care in the midst of a busy lifestyle.
“My days would turn into fifteen to sixteen hour long days and I found myself becoming very irritable”
Richards found that his career as a local high school teacher had started to get in the way of practicing his once-daily self-care activities such as meditation and journaling.
“I realized I like to have time to myself, I just hadn’t had the time because I felt the need to earn my relaxation”
His solution to this problem? Moving away from an always-on mentality and shifting gears toward what he calls “soft life.”
“I think the soft life just means you have to set intentional time to make space for you and not have to depend on anybody else to do this”
The phrase “soft life” is a current trend that refers to moving away from hustle culture and leaning into self-care. The term encourages those in the workforce to prioritize personal wellness and enjoyment over obstacles such as work-induced stress.
“Work is expected from me and showing up for other people is expected from me. [Living] the soft life is more like ‘How am I expected to show up for myself”
To Richards, balancing work and personal matters had become a necessary requirement in maneuvering both his professional and daily lifestyle, one that would eventually result in big changes throughout his life.
“I left my job as a teacher because I wasn’t achieving that balance anymore. It was too much of time and human capacity that I just did not have right now”
What does Richards spend his time doing now? For one, Richards’ departure from his job allowed him to spend more time producing his podcast, “This American Negro” while simultaneously running his production company, Marquise Davon Productions.
Since leaving his job, Richards has also been able to return to an activity he values most: prioritizing his own well-being through daily self-care rituals.
“Right now what the soft life looks like for me is getting up in the morning and giving myself 30 minutes to indulge in self. I always tell everyone I do my 10, 10, 10’s: 10 minutes of reading, 10 minutes of journaling, and 10 minutes of coffee.”
As for the future, Richards remains hopeful to fulfill what he calls his “wildest dreams”
“I know I want to own a bookstore by the time I’m 35. I know I want to publish a book by the time I’m 30. I still have all of these dreams and I want to make sure my life feels fulfilled”
Watch the full Lunch & Love with Marquise Richards below.
Nathan Mutale is a Producing Editor for Philadelphia-based multimedia magazine, Love Now Media. As an editor, Mutale has both produced and been featured in Love Now Media programming such as the Love Imagined television series and the Every Voice Every Vote campaign. Mutale is currently a student at Temple University where he serves as a reporter and producer for the university's premiere news program, Temple Update.