Climb the Pyramid and live, laugh and love

Welcome back!

I’m sorry for not being around last week.  I have been over run with illness in my house and it seems to be hopefully at an end now thank you please!! And what do I fear the most? illness! So how have a coped? not bad at all.  I’ve surprised myself by getting on with it and being a mummy and thinking about my little ones needs and how uncomfortable she must be with all of them chicken pox.  They where everywhere.  Anyway, I am back and ready to go!

How is everyone’s mental health? Have you been looking after every area of your life? Because that’s what it takes.  You can’t just go to work, be the super parent and eat a few green beans and your done.  Life is built with many different ingredients.  You can’t bake a cake without a number of things and you cant build a life without a few crucial bits and bobs.  Life has to be worked at and nurtured in order to be a good one.  If you don’t look after yourself and keep working at it then you wont reach the places you want to go.  Lets go back to basics:

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Have you ever seen this bad boy?  This is Maslows Heirarchy of needs. Abraham Maslow.  He was a psychologist studied my many people including my fine self!! He was into the minds of people and what makes them tick.  And he wanted to understand what motivates people.  He thought that people are motivated to meet certain needs, and when that is then fulfilled we move on to the next one and so on.  His hierarchy includes five motivational needs and you can see them in the pyramid above.

This is really handy for anybody to use.  You don’t need to be qualified or work within mental health but if you can understand it then it is a good tool to use on yourself if you feel like your life is missing something out, maybe you are worried about a loved one? or possibly a good friend is showing signs of depression.  Print it off and wack it on your fridge.  Everyday without realising it as humans we are meeting needs, food for hunger, sleep for tiredness and a roof over our heads for shelter.  But of course we take them all for granted! So look at yourself and look at these five areas;

  1. Physiological needs.  These include air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex and sleep.  Are these needs being met in your life? Very basic, this is at the base of the pyramid but it is where you begin.  Are you getting fresh air, eating well, drinking water with a roof over your head and the option to pop the heating on if you get cold? Sex, are you happy and are you safe and protecting yourself? and the final one sleep.  How is your sleeping pattern and could it be better?
  2. Safety- Do you feel protection in your life, relationships, home and work? Do you feel stability and are you free from fear.  If you don’t feel safe then this will begin to chip away at you as a person.  Ask yourself why you dont feel safe and look at which area you feel this.  How can you improve this?
  3. Love and Belongings-These consist of friendships, intimacy, affection, love from work, family, friends and romantic relationships.  It is important to feel like you belong.  You don’t need to be in a relationship to belong but you must be in one of the above.  A lot of people who retire, leave jobs to be a full-time parent, house husbands and wifes etc can struggle in this area as their sense of belonging may have shifted.  Can you replace that and how? I believe its important to have a purpose to get up and showered in the morning by a certain time, whether that be for work or walking to the shop for a paper.  You must make yourself a part of society, it wont come knocking on your door.
  4. Esteem and needs -This is all about achievement.  Nothing to do with money, it’s about have you felt achievement? do you feel it on a daily basis or even a weekly basis? if not then this needs to be looked at.  An achievement for someone who struggles with life can be picking up the phone and paying a bill, tidying the house but you must feel a sense of achievement. Have you go self-respect, independence and do you feel in control of your life?
  5. Self actualization-  We are now at the top of the pyramid.  This point is all about reaching your own potential having self fulfillment, seeking professional growth and peak experiences.

remember that this is a base, it is a guide.  If you don’t ever reach self-actualization that’s ok but if you can just see your own potential as a human being then that is great.  Most people hop between 2,3&4 and then may fall back again and thats ok to.  We are not perfect.  We make mistakes, our confidence can be shaken and our houses can fall down.  But as long as you know, you will always have the ability to build it back up again.  You will always have that ability in you, you just have to look for it.  We are good eggs!!

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This time 10 years ago I honestly thought my life was over.  I was 21 living in a one bedroom flat, no money a pregnancy I didn’t want but had to get on with and no clue how I was going to survive.  We both had each other though thank god and as much as I’m not a soppy person, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasnt for Paul.  I am the odd manic one that takes everything to heart and he is Mr “Let it go over your head and don’t give a shit”!! He promised me everything would be ok and it was.   As hard as I found it becoming a mum and never thinking I could ever do it or ever feel love I now feel “it”. Whatever “it” is I feel it! That little baby boy is nearly ten.  And he is the best thing that has ever happened to me, he made me live, love and laugh. And that is more important than anything.

Kate

xxxx

Go with the Flow…..

So,

Last week was the yuckiest week, it was half term and it started off with one sick child then the next day a sick hubby, the day after that a sick son and then finally me! All week we hid away with buckets and the washing machine was on overtime.  Not nice at all, but especially when you struggle with anxiety around feeling and being sick.  Normally when I’m ill and I can be in the bathroom and its in the middle of the night, the last few times its happened I have been in that much of a state I have had total irrational thoughts like “Im going to throw myself out the window” I really mean it as well at the time. I want to die in that very moment but then be alive in 24 hours time when Im well.  Being ill and feeling ill terrifies me.  I know where it comes from and why I feel like that but that doesn’t make it any better, now I just know why I am obsessional over it.  People think you need to know where the problem has come from but I don’t, the problem is there so its about facing it and just doing it.

Health anxiety comes in all shapes and forms.  But one of the most common symptoms of health anxiety is “body scanning”. The person will scan their body for symptoms, it can be anything from a stiff neck or a toothache to an unpleasant tummy and a terrible headache.  It can be anything in the body that you aren’t happy with and presents a threat.  This scanning business I believe is wanting to find something to worry about but then not wanting to find something.  If I find something, I’ll think “I knew I was right” and I will obsess over looking after myself, then the “What ifs” come into play. Body-Scanning can be done whenever and wherever you want.  So you can imagine for some people it can be utter torture, life consuming and can ruin relationships.

So what do you do when your fears happen? Well, nothing.  You just have to do it, go with it and be rational.  The difference with health anxiety and any other anxiety, is health is out of our control.   Yes you can look after yourself by eating well and keeping fit but at the end of the day if you are going to get ill then you are going to get ill. And you have to face it. But if you have a fear with spiders, dogs, certain images and anything else, you can avoid them as much as you can, within reason.  But health is out of our control.  But I was shocked last week, I didn’t panic once whilst we where all throwing up which is a first for me.  I couldn’t, I just didn’t have time.  I was washing bedding, looking after little ones and just staring into space.  It was after the sickness had stopped, my mind started to work again with the “what ifs”.  What if it comes back, what if the germs are still in the house and what if I have damaged my insides.  It all sounds so stupid I know! but its real for me and others.

Ever heard of Exposure therapy? Its a form of cognitive therapy and its about exposing yourself to what is giving you anxiety but in very small steps.  For example, if your fear is spiders, we would start really small and just put the word spider up on the wall, touch the word and talk about how you feel, then move on to a picture, hold the picture and so on.  There is a lot more to it obviously and it takes a while but by exposing yourself to the fear and realising that you survived, you are ok, nobody was hurt and it starts to slightly reduce the fear and tell your brain it isn’t such a threat.  By continuing to do this your anxiety will reduce every time.

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So well done me for not dying!!! and well done you for surviving another week!

Don’t die this week!

Love me xxxx