A Human’s Amended Hierarchy of Needs

Photo by Ana Martin on Unsplash

Another week down and if I’m being honest, this was a rough one. It’s midterm season and even though I’m ahead of my classes and all I had was a project review, sometimes I think we forget that all of us students or workers or marines etc. are humans first.

We have to attend to our human selves before we can even begin to think about anything else.

Yet, we tend not to. We say that we can sleep when we’re dead or make up for it tomorrow or do something another day, but it tends to add up you know?

It can be a lot.

On top of the classes and work and campus involvement, my body has been telling me to slow down and I can’t really say that I’ve been listening. So the migraines and exhaustion and overall red flags decided to crank it up a notch.

Now I can’t ignore it.

So today, I don’t have classes. I’ve instead caught up with an old friend, seen a really cute dog, and slept a bit extra. As much as it was a rest and recharge kind of day, I still feel like there’s work I need to do and I should stay ahead of my classes or attend to this thing as well…

There’s almost always more to do.

Our culture tends to be a go go go kind of vibe that isn’t always great for us as human beings. Sure, we are productive and maybe get the things we need to do done. And sure, we would like to think our work lives are thriving.

But do we?

Are they?

I’m honestly not so sure that they are.

In the same way that every single one of us is made up of intersections in our identities from what we believe in to what makes us up, our lives are too.

The quality of our lives are made up of our social circles, our personal lives, professional atmospheres, the way we think, how we’re treated by others, how we work, and so much more. That’s why spilling coffee on your way to work impacts you just as much as maybe someone not holding the door open for you when your hands are full.

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I know, those examples are small and aren’t that impactful, but they add up in the same way our work lives do with deadlines and projects and assignments, etc.

When I say take care of yourself or have a good weekend, I mean every aspect of your weekend. I hope you eat well and enjoy the food, I hope you sleep well and get some rest, I hope you work well and get what you want done, and I also hope you relax well and really do take some time for yourself.

Upset even one of those things and it offsets the balance of everything else.

It’s like that triangle of things where we’re only allowed to succeed in two in college. There’s the social life at the top, good work, on the right, and personal needs on the left. A running joke among college kids is that we’re never allowed to find a balance in all three because one will always affect the other.

We’re not wrong—not quite anyway.

When it comes to the concept of “balance” we decide what takes priority over other things. It’s not about being perfect in everything, whatever that means, but about creating an equity in the way you treat the different aspects of your life.

Let’s take three things that each of us need to pay attention to on a regular basis: sleep, nutrition, and social lives. Some of us can run off 4 hours of sleep a night and be fine—you shouldn’t, as that can really impact your health down the road, but do your thing—some of us need at least 8. In the same way, some of us eat maybe two meals a day with snacks in between and others eat five meals a day. Or in our social lives, some people need their people every single day while others can check in every few days and be fine with that.

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Our definitions of what is enough is very different because every single one of us is a very different person from the next.

The problem lies in the fact that we do not treat ourselves as such. I just want to know why.

Ultimately, the priorities of our society often align with productivity and work at the top of the list due to the values of American culture. I can’t say I know how that happened or how to change it beyond just ourselves, but in my perspective, this is the status quo.

It doesn’t have to be for all of us.

For me, that prioritization really isn’t working my body is now constantly reminding me of this. If I’m more or less constantly exhausted, missing something of satisfaction in my social life, and ahead of my academic life and still not quite happy with it, I need to change something. It’s as simple as that.

As human beings, we need to listen to the changes we ask for of ourselves. I haven’t been doing that and it shows. Sure, maybe finding what that looks like for me will be a longer journey and more work than I want it to be but it’s worth it isn’t it? Life’s too short to live as less than we deserve if we have control over something that can make that better.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

So on this Friday, I have a single question for you. You don’t have to answer to me—though you’re welcome to in the comments if you want to share a little about yourself—but I want you to at least think about it for yourself. Understand the answer and acknowledge what you can do for yourself here. It’s simple, really:

Are you treating yourself like someone you love?


With that, happy Friday. 

A Resolution for Something Better

annie-spratt-178364.jpgWelcome to 2018, a new year and a fresh chance to accidentally write the wrong year on all your dates for a while. But maybe this year we can get the hang of it a little faster.

New year, new us right?

Except not really. Every year, I seem to share this sentiment more than the last when I consider the idea of starting over. As much as a new year doesn’t truly mean that we have a completely clean slate, even I can’t deny the fact that it means change.

This year is fresh chance to try again. A new start with resolutions of exercising more, getting better grades, spending more time with the right people… The list goes on. But aside from the hope we all seem to hold of something better, these are all good things, I think there’s something that truly needs to be focused on this year.

We need to focus on ourselves.

nathan-lemon-482951As the countdown came for the new year, I watched the time tick closer to the end of my teenage years. Not just that, but in watching my brother’s graduation and the people I always saw as little freshman in high school coming into their senior years… Time is something we have no control over; I knew that, but that doesn’t stop it from flying by.

So instead of focusing on the big pieces of our lives that can change who we are, I wanted to focus in on the little ones for ourselves.

Like trying to be a little kinder this year.

Volunteering more or holding doors, smiling at strangers.

Think about the people who matter to you in this life, remind them of that.

And remember the singular, fragile lives we all hold— try to spend every day doing something worth living for.

Because this is a new year, not quite a blank slate but still a reason to give yourself a second chance (maye a third or a fourth).

I believe it should be a year of self-love, not just taking baths every night and treating yourself while you can, but truly appreciating who you are. With so much technology in our faces and social media showing what people want us to see, especially in my generation, we can lose sight of our own brilliance.aaron-burden-143101

We forget our own worth.

I think sometimes people get so caught up in their jobs or worries or responsibilities or friends that they forget this: every one of you should be a priority in your own life.

At times, that means slowing down. Whether you’re in college, you’ve got a demanding job, or you’re simply in a position where you can work too hard, maybe you should do the opposite. As I’ve said before, burnout is real and it truly affects every aspect of your life.

If you need to slow down do it— this means taking less units, calling in sick, springing a random day-trip… Whatever you need to do to get yourself where you want to be, do it. This isn’t a year to hold back.

This is a year of taking every step that we can towards a healthier and happier population.

With a world that holds 4.7 billion people, I can’t deny the rise of mental health issues and unhappy people around me. That doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to change it. The thing is, that change starts with you. And me. With every one of us making eduard-militaru-133851.jpgan effort in our own lives to being better.

This is day 5 of 365, with a little time left to make yourself genuinely smile at least once today. If there’s something you want, something you need to do, there is no time like the present to get started. Because this is a new year, same old us, but still a chance to change who we are becoming. For today and the next 360 days, here’s to our journey towards a better version of ourselves.