As 3rd January was the Festival of Sleep, my most recent social media theme was 'sleep' and this started me thinking. Over Christmas I felt I had more sleep than I’ve had in a long time. Whilst I had more sleep hours, they were spread over too many late nights, a few lie-ins and lots of naps on the sofa in front of films; it was wonderful! Do I feel better for it? Actually, I was ready for another break as soon as the holiday was over.
I’m not saying I should have done things differently, but it made it clear to me why I work so much better aiming for the same bed-time and morning alarm. This led me to thinking about how to get the basics right...
At an extreme level it’s worth reminding ourselves of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.* Reaching potential, being creative and personal growth are at the top of his pyramid. Food, water and sleep are right there at the foundation. I say ‘extreme’, as most of us are lucky enough to have a home and enough to eat and drink. However, it is common to see people skipping meals, working through the night and not putting their health as a number one priority.
When we’re making plans and intentions for what to achieve next, it is worth starting with, ‘What do I need first?’ Then think through:
- What basics am I missing?
- Whose needs am I placing above my own?
- What must be in place for me to operate at an optimum level?
- Where am I short-changing myself?
Try making an agreement with yourself to plan in sleep, rest times, family/social time. They don't need to be big changes but when you put these building blocks in first, everything else you want to achieve will be based on firm ground.
* I'm donating to Crisis to help those who don't have the basics. If you'd like to help, visit https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/donate
* If you’d like to know more about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs visit https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html