The Coronavirus has changed our world. Many of the norms and touchstones that we used in our daily lives have vanished. Things we use to feel safe and to give us confidence and allow us to navigate life’s ups and downs have gone. While there is a sense of all being in this together it is also an individual experience. Making sense of what is happening for you can give you a sense of control once more.

What we need

Many of us will have encountered Maslow in our travels. Among his body of work he spoke of the hierarchy of needs. In many ways this is a good metaphor for the process individuals and society take.

When the virus first took hold: The threat of lock down became present. We saw people taking care of their basic needs food, things they needed to stay safe and secure. The hand gel that allowed them to feel they could defend against the virus. Buying stocks of food to eat and to protect their families.

In time as we feel we are meeting these basic needs now and continually in the future. Our focus then begins to shift to the relationships and psychological needs. We explore how we might cope with isolation or periods of confinement in our houses.

Building on success

Maslow needsTo meet this need we have to rely more on our own resources. This is achieved by building structure into our day, through exercise and in active attempts to stay in touch with friends and family.

Some of the ways that we built self-esteem in the past will have disappeared. We may have enjoyed being good at sport. We could have been the centre of attention in school or at the office. Thus finding other ways that give us a sense of accomplishment is important. This is especial important during this enforced period of shutdown.

Many have found that in creative and new ways, through engaging with their children, friends and family. This might be by playing games or trying to be creative. There has been a surge in on-line choirs and fitness activity. All offer the opportunity to give us a sense of accomplishment

The last step seems the hardest, it is about acceptance, that you are achieving the potential. That you can given the resources and the constraints that you have look . Are you are paying attention to your needs and you are offering yourself the compassion that you need and you deserve in these extraordinary times.

Its worth taking a moment to notice where you might be in this process and ask yourself are you paying attention to the needs that you might have to make you feel secure and able to cope.

Getting help

Ultimately if you are struggling (and many are) there is help available through the NHS and on-line counselling services to help you to process how you are feeling and you help you to navigate a difficult an novel situation trying the whole population.