I've been on more than my fair share of training courses over the past few decades and on more than one occasion I've bumped into a certain Mr Maslow (or should that be Professor?)
If you've ever studied psychology, health care, education, management or human resources to name but a few, then you'll probably have come across Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the theory that in order for individuals to achieve their full potential, certain needs must be met. These needs are often represented as a pyramid with the most basic at the bottom. To hugely generalise and simplify the theory, higher needs can't be satisfied if the level below them isn't fulfilled. Each layer needs the one below for support.
You can read about Maslow's work in greater detail here
So, what can we learn from Professor M? It's my belief he demonstrates that a large number of self-care practices are vital to our well-being. Self-care sometimes gets a bad press, some people equate it with selfishness or think it's simply swanning off to get your nails done. Maslow however, shows us that we must attend to a range of requirements, starting with those that will basically keep us alive and culminating in those that will allow us to be our true selves.
In the true spirit of Maslow, I'm going to concentrate on the foundation layer of physiological needs for the moment. There's little point in going further up the pyramid until this base is good and solid. Physiological needs are those which are essential to our survival and they include;
It might seem obvious that we need to address these requirements before all else. If any of these are totally absent, an individual's situation is likely to be dangerous or life-threatening and require professional intervention. Luckily most of us will have a reasonably stable foundation to our lives but there could still be room for improvement - we may not be fulfilling them as well as we could. You sleep but do you get enough? You eat but do you rely on takeaways and junk food?
Think about how you fulfill these needs and take some positive steps to build a rock solid foundation. For example;
Congratulations! You've just taken the first steps to becoming the best you you can be.