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Eight ways to ignore our very basic human needs

Yes ok, that is a little sarcastic, a bit tongue in cheek I guess but hear me out.

For my whole life my driving force has been the desire to change the world, save the animals, help the people, make a difference - this is some random part of my personality that I both love and hate in equal measure as it doesn’t let me rest but it does send me on some fascinating searches and adventures.

I did a degree in Geography and Geology as I love the planet and thought I’d learn more, so that I could help, but it wasn’t quite enough. Then I did a Masters in Environmental Legislation and Management, with the thinking that maybe I could help decide legislation or made policies in order to save the world. However, this plan got scuppered as, after I finished my MSc I got married and very soon after had kids.

This, as you've read, was a difficult time for me as I didn’t know who I was any longer and the thought of saving anything or helping anyone went out of the window - my only aim was to survive!

At some point through the years I came across Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and it seemed to keep cropping up, I’ve even added it into one of my journals for my own records - see snazzy diagram below.

So, looking at this diagram the very basic needs are those at the bottom level: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis (the ability or tendency of a living organism…to keep the conditions inside it the same despite any changes in the conditions around it) and excretion. How many of these would you say you’ve got in control? In other words, how many of these factors are working for you as opposed to against you?

Over many years I have been working with my basic needs so I can be functioning the best I can, which is very much needed as a mum of two small people. These needs are often those that are considered in the field of wellness and are something I’m very passionate about.

This then brings me to my tips, which are - as you’ve guessed - the opposite of, or working against, optimal performance.

Eight tips for ignoring our human needs:

  1. Don’t try to understand how you personally work as a human being;

  2. Don’t drink enough fluids;

  3. Don’t move or stretch to keep your body functioning optimally;

  4. Don’t use the full capacity of your lungs;

  5. Be overly reactive to things going on around you;

  6. Don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables;

  7. Do eat at all times of day and night;

  8. Don’t get enough regular sleep.

This list is designed as a conversation starter, to get you thinking.

Over the next weeks and months I will be sharing many things that I’ve discovered over the years that will hopefully help you to understand yourself better, to know what you need and want out of life, to drink more fluids to gain more clarity every day, to stretch to find ease, to use your breath to both soothe and energise you, to be mindful and let the small things go, to eat right for you body and know what doesn’t agree with you and to listen to your need for sleep.

My hope is that these tips help you to find calm in your own bodies, minds and souls and if I can help in any way just ask - all questions welcome.

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