Why it’s important to care for yourself

You won’t remember it, but once upon a time you were a baby. Yep, a little bundle of smallness, incapable of doing much for yourself beyond crying, chuckling, drinking as well as two other things ending in -ing.

We take it as read that a small baby is totally dependent on its primary care-giver for just about everything from sustenance to reassurance, and all that comes between.


As time goes by, however, you grew up, and it was no longer someone else’s job to take care of your body: its wellbeing was down to you. Before long it was you who decided what you’d eat and drink. It was up to you when you went to bed and got up. You were the final arbiter of whether or not you’d get any physical exercise.

Having someone else in charge isn’t great for your sense of independence, but it does relieve you of the responsibility for looking after yourself. It’s likely, though, that by now you’re the captain of your own ship when it comes to self-maintenance. It’s you, and you alone, who’s making those important decisions which are likely to have an important influence on your physical health, and in turn upon your emotional wellbeing.

But how seriously do you take this responsibility? Do you care as much for yourself as you might if you were looking after someone else, say? If the answer is yes, great: keep up the good work. If it’s a no, though (and that’s more likely) maybe it’s time to move this task up the importance ladder?

Be kind to yourself and look after that body of yours.

I do hope someone took really good care of you when you were tiny. Now, however, it’s your turn, although at least you shouldn’t have to cope with too much of that icky ‘-ing’ stuff.

4 thoughts on “Why it’s important to care for yourself

  1. What a fine piece, Jon! Some time ago, indeed, back in the summer, I was thinking just that about babies but you have expressed it all so eloquently. And in a way that makes sense too. As I observed my days old great niece, I was struck by the amount of sheer love she was getting, and, at five months now, is still getting, from all who come into contact with her. Naturally, her response is to smile a beautiful smile, coo and impress even further, and laugh out loud at the slightest thing. Somewhere along the line though, for all of us, that fades, we stop being feted and cosseted in quite the same way, and never really recover the unconditional love to the same degree…. I thought then and again today: if only we could treat people with more love and less scorn, treat them seeing their worth as humans.

    1. I agree with Sally wouldn’t it be nice if we were all kinder to one another – not being so critical and trying to understand where the other person might be coming from. And I have always thought too, that if you cannot look after yourself, then you can’t look after anyone else properly!

  2. Although I didn’t receive the nurturing I perhaps should have as a baby and young child – I have learned that what you didn’t get as a child you have to give to yourself as an adult. It is so much easier to care for others and put yourself on the back burner.
    I finally realized that if I wanted to care for other people I had to include myself . I plan on being around for a good amount of years (60 now) so self care allows me to maintain the energy to care for others. It’s a lesson learned late in life but as it’s said- better late than not at all!
    I am really enjoying these posts – thank-you!

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