The Pandemic, Maslow and Us

By in

This post was sent to me recently by a friend. I have no idea where he got it, but I found it helpful, and bet you do, too. If you are the author, or know who is, please let us know and we’ll gladly give credit. Enjoy.

I’ve been seeing so many friends seriously beating themselves up because they aren’t “maximizing” their time in quarantine by organizing their closets, repainting, developing a side hustle, becoming a piano virtuoso, exercising themselves into a lucrative career as a swimsuit model, etc.

Everybody! Seriously. Stop. And breathe. If you’re feeling adrift, there’s a reason. I’m about to drop some first semester nursing school on y’all. It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Humans have basic requirements (the bottom of the pyramid) like food, water, air, shelter, sleep, etc. The biological basics. If those are met, then the next rung of the ladder is Safety and Security. If we feel safe and secure, then we can climb up and start on our Love and Belonging needs and on up the ladder we go until finally at the very tippy-top is SELF-ACTUALIZATION which would entail all of the cool aforementioned activities. The catch is, you cannot level up until the needs at the current level are fulfilled. If the needs remain unfulfilled, we remain stuck on our current level until the situation changes.

Friends, in the midst of a pandemic, we are dwelling in the basement of Maslow’s pyramid. How in the heck do you think you’re going to kick butt at the highest levels when we can’t even find toilet paper?!

You physiologically and psychologically aren’t built to live your “best life” right now. Your only job is to live “a life” right now. A luxury that is being denied many which increases the pressure to really make every day count.

But listen.

Every day you are here counts.
Every breath you take counts.
Are you eating, drinking water, and sleeping in all these days? If so, that is a triumph right now.

Cut yourself ALL THE SLACK. Focus on the bottom level. Are you showering? Eating a vegetable once in a while? Getting some sunshine and fresh air? Keeping some semblance of a sleep schedule? Got at least one full roll of TP?

Start there. And be extra gentle and abundantly gracious with yourself. We’ll get through this. And right now, getting through is absolutely enough.

Hang in there. 
And Be kind to yourself.