How to normalise the abnormal
I once heard someone say “you cannot change what you do not know or see”.
During this worldwide pandemic, this unusual time, this unprecedented situation we don’t know what is going to happen, so therefore we cannot change this.
So I want you to for a second imagine a child or group of children, you take them out of school you tell them to stay home and do ‘nothing’ try and occupy yourself, but don’t go out because its dangerous.
They are likely to be, scared, frightened, and now have to make some sort of sense out of this.
That’s probably where we all are.
But there are things we can consider, and there are things we know.
Many years ago a prominent psychologist Abraham Maslow, developed a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.
What that means is Maslow looked at how we had our needs met at various stages, enabling us to move on to the next stage of needs we required, to become out true self, content, happy and fulfilled.
The 2 basic Human needs are identified by Maslow:
- At the bottom of the hierarchy are the “Basic needs or Physiological needs” of a human being: food, water, sleep to name a few.
- The next level is “Safety Needs: Security, Order, and Stability”. These two steps are important to the physical survival of the person. Once individuals have basic nutrition, shelter and safety, they attempt to accomplish more.
In other words if we can maintain both of the above we can feel motivated to do more, be more, achieve more.
However if we don’t have these needs met, we are likely to be like the children above, scared and fearful.
This can turn to anger and negative behaviour, alcohol, drugs gambling. We may become withdrawn or start attacking verbally or in some instances physically ourselves or partners.
The reason we could start to use negative behaviours and thoughts is because we are unable or are struggling to go to the next stage of Maslow’s theory.
- The third level of need is “Love and Belonging”, which are psychological needs; when individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are ready to share themselves with others, such as with family and friends.
It is not natural for a lot of us to not hug, or kiss, we are generally social by nature. Having to go shopping and stand in a line, unable to connect to others, having post left on steps outside. Looking at our friends, neighbours, even family members as if they could harm us none of these things are normal or natural, and actually make us feel lonely and sad.
At the beginning of this article I stated “you cannot change what you do not know or ….”.
What if Maslow’s hierarchy of needs CAN be met?
What if we acknowledge, actually I can still love my friends and family, only it’s going to be in a different way?
So now we know, we can do it different.
So if we are living with family, we can:
If our children or partners are acting/feeling/being angry or snappy or generally moody, do something for them, run them a bath, tell them to go lay down, read a book, and listen to some music, meditate. Make it something you have thought about and know they will relax with.
If we feel angry or snappy or generally moody, be kind to ourselves, don’t be too hard on yourself but take responsibility and look after you, go for a bath, go for a walk, if you can’t, go in your garden, if you can’t, go listen to some relaxing meditation, do something you know you will enjoy, give your self-permission, but try and put a time on it, in other words you could say, today I’m going to do things for me, or for the next 2 hours I’m going to do things for me.
For family and friends we don’t live with, we can:
Text or skype, learn how to do fun things together on the internet so for instance, if you always went to meet friends on a Friday, then try and do the same thing on the internet. There are lots of social platforms to use.
This is our new normal now, this could go on for some time, and we can decide how we manage some of this.
“Once you know it, you can change it”
If you need help making changes don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, I’m offering a Drop-in online for free, please note this is not therapy, this is to offer tools or guidance.
for a slot in my FREE drop in go to contact and send me your details. I will always aim respond within 2 hours .