Lower Your Standards to Basic Needs

Forget your high standards for a moment about how you need to workout, lose weight, and homeschool from a perfectly clean house. Are your basic needs being met?

If you’re someone who’s typically operates at full speed to crush goals and be all the things to all the people, that’s likely not sustainable during this crazy time of quarantine. Lower your standards, I’m bringing us back to basics!

Maslow’s Hierarchy Re-imagined

Imagine yourself back in high school sitting in psychology class where you learned about Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs. You know, that pyramid where the foundation was your basic needs and the top was self-actualization.

The majority of us are typically operating in the top 1/2 of the pyramid—hovering between self-esteem and self-actualization. But during these unprecedented times, we’re in survival mode. It is imperative we confirm we’re consistently and confidently meeting our basic needs.

Reimagined Maslow's Hierarchy pyramid with breakdown of surviving versus thriving
My re-imagined interpretation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

During times of chaos, your mental health needs a break.

Whether it’s because of a global pandemic, or due to a personal matter that is causing you undue stress. Your mental health is a keystone to your overall wellness.

When you feel stress, your body protects you by triggering your nervous system to put you in fight-flight-or-freeze. This is great in moments of great peril (like a deer who senses danger from a nearby hunter.) But when it extends for long periods of time—like a year-long pandemic—we compromise all 6 facets of our wellness.

One of the best tools for coping during highly stressful times, is to lower your standards and refocus on basic needs. It’s more than a gratitude list though. It creates feelings of safety and brings awareness to what we need at a macro-level. This can feel very comforting when stress typically causes us to hyper-focus on events at a micro-level.

Are you meeting your basic needs?

Your basic needs only include:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Rest
  • Warmth

Use this as a checklist to determine if your needs are consistently and confidently being met.

Lowering Your Standards Video

Meridith Oram is an anti-diet nutritionist at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image by ditching diet culture and finding freedom in their God-given intuition. Focusing on behavioral change and Intuitive Eating, Meridith helps her clients unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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