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Why doesn't taking care of myself come naturally to me?

89 Answers
Last Updated: 09/24/2020 at 11:57am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Shruti Naik, MS in Counselling and Psychotherapy


I'm passionate about providing a non-judgmental & supportive platform to my clients to help them understand & accept themselves & overcome any emotional issues troubling them.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Getting Unstuck
August 7th, 2016 4:21am
There are a myriad of reasons why we may not take care of ourselves well. Maybe we've always relied on others to take care of us, or we never really picked up the good habits as a kid and we struggle to pick them up now. Maybe the experiences we go through saps us of energy we needed for ourselves. At any rate, few things come naturally to us, we don't even think now when we walk but when we first tried out our legs they wouldn't go where we wanted them and kept wobbling and collapsing. Know that whatever efforts you make to take care of yourself will count in the short run and the long run ^^
Anonymous - Expert in Getting Unstuck
October 8th, 2016 9:37am
I'm not sure because I"m not you, but I can offer some things to think about. Building healthy habits takes a long time and mostly starts in our young childhood. If, when we're chlidren, we take the attitude of "well I have my whole life to learn this so I won't do it now" we are much less likely to learn it later or apply it to our lives appropriately. Having said that, once we recognize that we are lacking routine in certain habits, we have the opportunity to try again to set routines for ourselvse - and routines are best when it comes to taking care of ourselves, because it programs these actions into our brains. If we don't love ourselves due to self-confidence issues, depression, or another challenge, we may not see "the point" in taking care of ourselves. If this is the case, building healthy habits is even more difficult, but that's okay! If you work on your self-confidence and self-love, while also trying to keep to at least part of a routine, you may begin to see a difference. If you miss a day or a task, don't beat yourself up over it - just acknowledge that you missed it and try again the next day; but always reward yourself for the tasks or days that you totally take care of yourself with
Anonymous - Expert in Getting Unstuck
October 27th, 2016 8:10am
Sometimes you can feel like you don't deserve to be taken care of, but you just have to remember that you deserve it as much as everyone else. Never be afraid to put yourself first, and as you do you'll find that the people around you adjust their behaviours as well. Learn to really love yourself and things will always improve. You are amazing and have everything to live for.
August 5th, 2016 4:41pm
Sometimes a person can get stuck in a form of depression, where self-care seems like a overwhelming task. I do not know if this applies to your situation or not.
July 15th, 2017 3:53am
Sometimes I struggle with self-care as well. For me, one reason is self-esteem or self-respect: I don't always regard myself positively, so it can seem like I don't deserve good self-care. At those times, I try to practice self-acceptance. For me, that means seeing myself non-judgmentally and compassionately, the way I would regard a close friend. It's a paradox: when I can love myself as I am, I am more able to make positive changes, like doing more to care for myself. Often, one question I ask myself is: what would I do for or say to a loved one in need of support, then I try to treat myself that same way.
June 28th, 2018 10:49pm
Probably because your brain is saying that you deserve the abuse. Maybe your brain is constantly supplying thoughts oh how you're ugly and worthless and deserve to skip a meal because if someone in Africa is skipping a meal then so do you and how you are stu- Needless to say, it's all in your head. It's going to be tough, but you need to combat these thoughts and starting eating at least once a day. Start buying that shirt that you really wanted. Because, believe it or not, you are an amazing human being who deserves so much more than I can give you.
September 10th, 2016 12:20pm
You're not alone, it doesn't come naturally to many people! At some point, putting other people first teaches you that you come second, and in your own life, your mental and physical wellness should always come first. Picking up healthy habits for your mental and physical state is a learning process, and everyone takes it at their own pace.
September 18th, 2016 6:25am
We all are raised thinking negative about ourself, criticizing ourself thinking that our achievements and victories are not that big, seeing what others have better than us, even when it comes to love, we love others more than we love ourself! Maybe that is the reason taking care of us doesn't naturally comes to us!
August 11th, 2016 7:37pm
Why do you feel this way? Can you share your thoughts on how you feel about this? Please feel free to share how you feel.
March 17th, 2019 2:41pm
We are socialized to think of "relationships" as something we have with others but not so much with ourselves. Developing a relationship with yourself may help you see more clearly how you would like to prioritize yourself within your life. There is emerging research in the fields of positive and organizational psychology that distinguishes among selfish, selfless, and "otherish" orientations. The selfish orientation is when you prioritize yourself over others. The selfless orientation is when you prioritize others over yourself. And the otherish oriention is when you think yourself as another person in your life. Research suggests that successful people in business tend to be "otherish." Try it out and see if it applies in your personal life as well.
August 20th, 2016 11:35am
Self-care consists of many routine actions and not all of them are interesting or exiting. You need to develop healthy habbits and then self-care will come almost automaticly and won't require much effort. Forming habbits is difficult but it is worth it.
September 9th, 2016 12:36pm
I was raised in a culture that praises the ignoring of ones needs. Even going to the doctor was made out to be a bad thing. If you couldn't "muscle through" you were made out to be weak. I internalized that message and learned to ignore my needs. It took a lot of therapy to undo that damage, but now I am proud of the fact that I take great care of myself.
April 14th, 2017 1:17am
If you struggle with feelings of worthlessness or depression, it can become difficult to focus on yourself, or you may lack the energy it takes to take care of your basic needs. It takes energy, and dedication!
October 22nd, 2016 11:54pm
Taking care of myself doesn't come naturally to me as I never learned that I deserved to take care of myself or indeed, how to do it. I learned how to look after others when I was young. Now that I am an adult, I want to reaffirm my ability and desire to look after myself properly, as and when it is appropriate.
July 30th, 2016 12:35pm
Maybe its the way that you were brought up, people in your family might have always told and promised you that they will always take care of you so there was no reason for you to take care of yourself. But its always good to learn how to take care of yourself because it will come handy someday.
July 31st, 2016 5:41am
Sometimes some people are better at taking care of others rather than caring for themselves. Sometimes we forget how important self-care is or know it's important but rather do other things. What makes self-care difficult for you?
August 14th, 2016 10:53pm
I think we can all feel like we don't deserve to take care of ourselves...even though we definitely deserve all the self-love we can give!
August 24th, 2016 12:47pm
Sometimes we feel that we don't deserve to take care of ourselves. This is so untrue. We need to learn to love ourselves, and treat ourselves how we treat other people. Then taking care of yourself will come.
January 5th, 2017 5:40am
Failing to take care of myself generally stemmed from a history of others pressuring me to put their wants and needs ahead of my own. Self-care is a skill, and like any skill, it requires regular practice to maintain. Instead, I practiced always putting others ahead of myself, even to my own detriment. So, I had to take a real mindful effort to prioritize myself and take care of my needs to begin making it a regular practice.
November 23rd, 2017 11:53pm
To be honest, I don't think it comes naturally to anyone! We're taught how to tie our shoes and brush our teeth, but never about the importance of self-care - even though they are both so important! Try to think of taking care of yourself as a practice. We aren't born knowing how to ride a bike, but instead we learn ever so slowly, until it can become habitual. I believe that taking care of ourselves is exactly the same.
August 15th, 2016 10:13pm
Living a balanced life is hard work. It involves making choices that choose your health and well being over others and your immediate desires. You will probably encounter resistance, but in the end, taking care of yourself is worth it.
September 2nd, 2016 7:24pm
There can be many reasons. Usually it is caused by depression, even if you feel okay - something can bother you a lot.
September 8th, 2016 8:33pm
We tend to diminish our problems, to think they are not important, while we care more for the rest.
September 9th, 2016 2:01pm
It is just a way of life Some people just need a little help and guidance to show that it is natural
September 23rd, 2016 5:52am
I always put myself last. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I am trying to make changes to put myself first. It isn't easy. But i have to make a conscious choice to come first.
October 5th, 2016 3:51am
Take care of oneself is something most people have to work at. The difference between someone that is doing more often than others, is they have made a chose and they make that chose every day to better themselves because that's what they want.
October 7th, 2016 5:44am
I am so focused on helping others that it is hard to focus on myself and my own needs, always try to put others first :)
November 13th, 2016 6:18am
For me, I'm such an absentminded person that I often forget to take care of my basic needs, like showering and eating. It helps to make a checklist or set up alarms to remind yourself
March 2nd, 2017 10:17pm
Perhaps you have spent a large part of your life taking care of others or trying to make others happy. It's important to try to try to break that habit. If you truly want to help others, you have to first care for yourself.
April 23rd, 2017 2:45am
I wouldn't say it comes naturally to me. It was definitely learned in my case. I was someone that always took care of others before myself. I realized I was generally, not that happy... then I changed to make self care a priority. It is amazing the difference it has made!