Hello lovely people! I hope you are all doing super well this Sunday.
So yet again, I had another light bulb moment during my counselling training and obviously, I wanted to share it with you guys today! What I'm talking about is a theory called Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs, which looks at how people become motivated to achieve their needs. The pyramid consists of:
- Physiological needs such food, water, sleep
- Safety Needs such as security
- Love & Belonging such maintaining strong relationships
- Esteem Needs such as feeling as though you are accomplishing things
Self-actualisation which is reacing your full potential.
According to this theory, our basic needs have to be met first before we can begin to reach any other needs.
And it makes so much sense! For example, if your room was a mess, your diet was off, you haven't showered and you had a deadline coming up, I am going to guess that you aren't feeling great.
But what if your room was tidy, you were eating well, you had taken some time that morning to shower and you had a deadline coming up? I imagine you wouldn't be feeling like the first example.
So for this post, I have broken the pryamid down into ways that you can look after yourself, with the idea that meeting each step gets you one step closer to the ultimate goal: Self-actualisation.
1. Physciological needs
In order to reach your higher goals, you need to first make sure that these needs are being fully met. For example, are you getting enough sleep? A lot of the time, people think that they are getting more sleep than they actually are. The quality of your sleep is also very important. In order to fully recharge, you need to be entering into a deep sleep. So what are some of the things that you can try to improve your sleep?
- Don't drink caffeine after midday. Caffeine stays within the body for much longer than we realise. In order to enter into a deeper sleep, don't drink caffeine after 12. This gives your body time to get rid of the caffeine and fully switch off at night.
- Get a good evening routine pinned down. This might involve doing some meditation and/yoga to help you feel super relaxed before bed. Or it might be taking a nice shower and spending some time getting yourself ready for bed. Having a bedtime routine also trains the mind to realise that you are preparing for sleep soon, so this can help you fall asleep easier as well.
- Exercise is so good for helping you sleep. When we don't move about, our energy levels are all over the place, which is why even on those lazy days we feel tired, but we still can't sleep that night!!
Diet is also so important for taking care of yourself. Now, I am not saying that you need to each a super strict diet with only fruit and vegetables. What I am saying is if you can, try and meal prep some foods packed with nutrients so your body is getting enough vitamins and minerals. A lot of the time, when we don't feel as though as we are looking after ourselves, our diets can reflect that. So maybe take the time to see if you can improve your eating in some ways. Whether that's ensuring that you have regular meals or that you aren't just eating fast food all day everyday.
2. Safety Needs
For this one, I am hoping that we all feel safe where we live, so the other ones to consider are:
- Does your space feel organised and welcoming? Tidy space=tidy mind! Plus the act of looking after your space is an act of self care as it reminds you that you deserve a nice environment to live in.
- Do you have financial stability? if not, can you budget and work out a new way to manage your money?
3. Love and Belonging
Especially with Lockdown, it's so easy to spend too much time in your head. So really make the effort to call a loved one at least twice a week. If you aren't sure what to talk about, you could try doing a virtual workout session together or another activity. The act of speaking to others is so vital for self care. A few weeks ago, I was feeling so down and couldn't work out why. I then had a call with a close friend and I could not believe how much better that made me feel. Often we can forget that we are social creatures. Even if you lean more towards being an introvert, having someone to talk to does wonders for our mental health.
Self-esteem comes from looking after your psychological wellbeing and respecting your own boundaries.
- Be careful how you speak to yourself. Negative inner chatter does NOTHING but damage our self esteem and self worth. Practise talking to yourself with the kindness you deserve.
- Make time for mindfulness. I would recommend 10 minutes every morning to start with. Through training the mind to live in the present moment, you will be shocked at how much this boosts your self-esteem.
- Have a hobby that makes you feel like you've accomplished something. This could be exercise, art, learning a new skill, volunteering...you name it!
- If you work, how is that job for you? Are you happy there? If things can be improved what could you do? Having a happy work life is so crucial. So please try and do whatever you can to make sure your needs are being met here.
5. Self- Actualisation
So according to this theory, if you complete the other stages, you will eventually reach this one, which involves realising your true potential. This is a bold statement and not one I'm going to share examples of because what my idea of true potential is will be different from yours. But what I will say is, when I feel on top of the previous steps, I feel so much more happy, optimistic and inspired.
Thank you all so much for reading. I really hope that this little pryamid can provide you with a new perspective for looking after yourself and reaching your goals. A lot of the time, we put too much pressure on ourselves to meet our goals and feel like we are on top of life. But when you strip it back, basic IS better. And it's a smaller steps we take that ultimately lead us to the best destinations.
Until next time,