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The Anti-Self Care Revolution

by Caitlin McColl 9 months ago in selfcare · updated 7 months ago
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inspirational quotes aren't all they're cracked up to be

The Anti-Self Care Revolution
Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

Self care seems to be the buzzword of all buzzwords at the moment. And, to be fair, it’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s something that most, if not all, of us need - and probably a lot right now, after the world-upending last 18 months that has been beyond insane for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the Covid-19 pandemic, which I know most of want to see the backside of and never hear the word Covid again (or at least for a very, very long time). When I hear the words self care my immediate thought is: junk food and comfy clothes - more specifically chocolate cake, yoga pants and a baggy t-shirt. But I’ve come to realize that that’s a fantasy, cartoonish version. That’s not really self-care (though, I guess it can be, once in a blue moon - the cake that I mean. The yoga pants and oversized tee? Go to town. I won’t judge.). If nothing else, it’s probably a recipe for self-loathing after eating a giant piece of rich chocolate cake!

And something else I've realized isn’t really self care: All those inspirational, motivational, uplifting quotes that are floating by the billions around the internet. Those are just temporary band-aids and oftentimes overly saccharine and make me want to roll my eyes and groan. Even the popular quote from Harry Potter’s Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Isn’t really cutting it right now for me. I mean, okay yes, I get it, there’s silver linings in everything if we know precisely where to look...but sometimes we don’t want to look. Sometimes we might be happy sitting in the darkness for a little while, thank you very much! (But yes, I know it’s not good to do that for too long - for the sake of our mental health and everything. So don’t get too comfy without turning on that light after a while).

But seeing things like “This Too Shall Pass” juxtaposed with “it’s okay to not be okay”? No wonder many of us are confused, being pulled in opposite directions! So should we be stoic and soldier on through, as in “the only way out is through”? Or is it okay to wave the white flag and surrender and say nope, I’m okay with sitting here with all my stuff (emotional baggage that is). I guess it’s what people these days call ‘shadow work’ - doing introspective psychological stuff with all those parts of you that have been shoved away into dark corners of your mind and body, that you haven’t wanted to face, in order to integrate all those dark dust bunnies into yourself and become more whole and authentic as the young kids say (do they say that?).

So I’m suggesting an Anti-Self Care Revolution. To not take all those “just breathe” and “keep calm and carry on” and “only in the darkness can you see the stars” too much to heart. Yes, they’re nice reminders, and uplifting, but they’re also kinda toxic. ‘Cause maybe we want to just scream for a moment instead of just breathe, and maybe we want to be...whatever the opposite of calm is for just a second. And you can see stars without darkness (granted, not very well, but you can see them, sometimes, in that time between night and morning, when the sky is brightening). Basically, you don’t always have to go through crap to be able to appreciate the good in life. Going through challenging times can help reveal ourselves and our lives to us in clearer ways and help us move onwards and upwards with the opposite of Post Traumatic Stress, which is Post Traumatic Growth (it’s a thing).

But sometimes we might just want to stuff our faces with chocolate cake wearing comfy clothes, and that’s totally okay too.


Check out another non-fiction piece of mine below!


About the author

Caitlin McColl

I hope you enjoy my writing! Your support means a lot to me!

Find me various places here.


My Series

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My Poetry One & Two

Aeternum Tom Bradbury

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