I have a BSc in Psychology, which I find in my profession to be surprisingly useful :)
I wanted to share a thought with all of you about thriving at this time.
We're all worried, anxious, scared, distracted, lonely, bored, over-stimulated.
It's a very trying time. So the first thing I did was go back to my best bud Maslow (I actually never met him in full disclosure)
So to those of you who are less familiar - Maslow studied positive psychology and was one of the founding fathers of the study of the "happy/great" human as opposed to the pathological.
He says that the highest form of being is in "Self-Actualization" - an amazing zen mode where we're doing things that advance us towards success and fulfillment.
What can make sure we don't self-actualize? Enter the pyramid diagram.
Self-Actualization is COMPLETELY dependant on all the steps below it. And the best thing to do is start from the bottom.
- Physiological needs - I'm assuming you've all got this covered. You are breathing, eating and drinking. The basic needs that sustain you on a daily basis are being fulfilled in the near future.
- Safety needs - BANG! We've all been hit here REALLY hard! Employment? Health? Rent/Mortgage? This is NOT a good time for this base. I think that we all have to try to be as optimistic as possible - most of us will be OK, as noisy as everything seems right now, can you imagine a future where these things won't work out in a couple of years? Sure there will be hardships, but it won't be something you can't overcome. You are here since you're a proactive, creative person. You'll be OK, don't worry :)
- Love and belonging - Here is a place that I was hit really hard - I can't meet my friends and family! I don't know what I'd do without my wife, so I'm not alone, but I feel very isolated. Therefore, instead of being "productive" and insisting on working on things that I don't feel like, I decided to squeeze this lemon into lemonade. I started doing free consults. I met amazing and inspirational people. I've started feeling a part of this community. I've gotten thank you letters that made me blush. Stage 3 - Unlocked!
- Esteem - So these consults have not only allowed me to feel more love and belonging but have given me more self-esteem. I'm helping people! If nothing else, at least some of my consults have ended with a heart-warming compliment. I'm of value. I'm useful. THAT FEELS AWESOME. I highly recommend it to anyone here. Give something away for free and see how amazing it makes you feel.
- Self-actualization - So not only have I had amazing consultations and felt more love and belonging, and had a boost to my self-esteem, I've actually been free to self-actualize. All these consultations have shown me so many interesting common problems. I've had a surge of excitement and energy to start writing about it and start a blog!
So to make a long story short, if you're feeling down lately, don't beat yourself up. Go down the rungs of the self-actualization ladder, and try to find things you can do to make your base more stable. Once you solve the lower-level problems, you'll see your productivity and mood go through the roof.