How can there be other sides to self-care?

In recent years, the word “self-care” has become a movement of perfectionism. The wellness and well-being mantra can be so easily co-opted by subjection to self-suffering; when one fails to measure up to the positivity preached across online media channels, it can lead to reductionism rather than the intended healing of the self.

What then is the other side to self-care?

You can’t take the ugliness out of the healing process; you can only blur it out away from the sight of others. Self-care involves handling the many ill-traits and negative self-talk that have built up over time to become almost hard to notice. It involves the little lapses in behaviour, the going back to negative habits, the return to bad decisions that have become a cure to pressing problems. And at the end of all of these ugliness sits a kind and gentle inner self, willing to take note of the many failures and continue the healing process without self-judgement. This is the most radical aspect to self-care that exists; I call this other side, self-compassion.

How can I find this other side?

It begins with Awareness and ends with Kindness. Think about it, how can you know when you’ve slipped into trash-talking yourself because of a decision you made that turned out bad? How can you know when you’ve condemned yourself as a failure?

  • How often have I had to reread a paragraph on this article because I got distracted?
  • How gentle was I to myself when I realised that I’d fallen off-track?
  • How kind was I to pull myself back and continue reading regardless of how many times I lost track?



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jay Jay

Jay Jay


Hi there, I express myself in whatever medium appeals most to me at the time. Be it writing, video making or talking. Feel free to share your thoughts with me.