CHECKING YOUR BASIC NEEDS
Those who've attended the Power Surge meetings know that I may suddenly, without warning, invoke the "free association" mode when the participants are engaged in a free-form discussion and no guest is present. I will type out a question on the screen leaving a blank space for the participants to fill in with the first answer which comes to mind. It's always well received. It's fun. It motivates us to think about our lives, to appreciate the good and, at the same time, encourages us to seek support about that with which we feel displeased and sometimes helpless to change. It provides those participating an opportunity to "unload," so to speak, some of their grievances, or "boast" about those things in life which bring them great joy. When, and if, a response surfaces which gives cause for concern, such as, "Life isn't worth living" [this has happened], it opens the door to discourse among the participants, to drawing the confessor out, encouraging her to share her feelings, and general stroking and support by those present at the Power Surge meeting. This is invaluable and what Power Surge is really all about - caring and friendship .. but, most of all, sharing.
Therefore, I'd like to present a similar array of questions for you to ponder in your leisure time - questions that will address your lifestyle, desires and give you some insight into whether or not your needs are being met. I've taken some of these questions from a marvelous book I received last Christmas from a dear friend - "The Woman's Comfort Book: A Self Guide To Restoring Balance To Your Life" by Jennifer Louden.
Set aside time and space for yourself when you answer these questions.
Need: What Is It?
A need is something we require for our well-being, like food, sunlight, contact with other humans; our needs should be non-negotiable, things we cannot do without. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in life, in surviving, in getting ahead, in taking care of others, we lose sight of these basic requirements. Don't let that happen! Healthy self-care begins with checking to see if YOU are meeting YOUR basic needs and then working to fulfill them.
You can copy and paste this into your text editor, and answer the questions in that mode.
You should take this test when you are vaguely dissatisfied, depressed or tense - when you can't remember the last time you got a good night's sleep, relaxed or ate a healthy meal. These mindsets will yield the most accurate answers.
What To Do - Checklist:
This list will help you create a picture of your lifestyle.
- Are you satisfied with where you presently are in life?
- Do you usually get six to eight hours of sleep?
- Do you eat something fresh and unprocessed every day?
- Do you allow time in your week to touch nature, no matter how briefly?
- Do you get enough sunlight, especially in the wintertime?
- Do you drink enough water?
- Do you see your gynecologist (or the equivalent) at least once a year?
- Do you see a dentist every six months?
- Do you know enough about your body and health needs?
- Are you currently in a loving relationship with a sexual partner?
- If you're not currently involved in a relationship, do you yearn for one?
- If living alone, do you enjoy your own company?
- What things would you change about if you could?
- Do you get regular sexual thrills?
- Do you feel you get enough fun exercise?
- Do you have friends you can call when you are down, friends who really listen?
- Do you regularly release your negative emotions?
- Can you honestly ask for help when you need it?
- Do you feel the only way something will get done right is if you do it?
- Do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?
- Do you live in the past, or are you making efforts to enjoy the present and plan for the future?
- Do you do things that give you a sense of fulfillment, joy and purpose?
- Is there abundant beauty in your life? Do you allow yourself to see beauty
and to bring beauty into your home and office?
- Do you make time for solitude?
- Are you getting daily or weekly spiritual nourishment?
- Can you remember the last time you laughed until you cried?
- Do you accept yourself for who you are?
These questions are not intended to make you feel bad or guilty. They should serve as reminders in helping you see how you are currently caring for yourself.
Reference: Jennifer Louden's, "The Woman's Comfort Book: A Self Guide To Restoring Balance To Your Life"
You'll be fascinated and inspired by the series of chats with Family Therapist, Stephanie Marston, Author of the bestselling book,"If Not Now, When? Reclaiming Ourselves At Midlife
Read Will I Ever Be Happy?