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I'm not going to start this off by boring you once again with the painstaking details of this pandemic that seem to have become the soundtrack to our lives no one asked for. I'm not here to recite everyone's favourite catchphrase, aka the 2020 mantra - "wash your hands". Nor am I going to entertain the "what if"s, to speculate on the politics or even speak into the how-to plans. What I want to talk about is the basics, because I think we could all (myself included!) use a reminder of life's fundamentals to really put things into perspective.

And what better way to do that than with a bit of old fashioned theory-based learning?

Remember that guy who created that hierarchy thing you may have learned about at uni in that boring "Theories of the 20th century" or "Intro to psych" class? Neither. Let's go over it.

In 1942, Abraham Maslow published a paper titled "A Theory of Human Motivation" within which he included his understanding of the universal needs of society, all built into a pretty pyramid. These needs are broken into 5 classifications:

1. Physiological needs (the main universal requirements for human survival: health, food, water, sleep, shelter)

2. Safety needs (personal, emotional and financial security)

3. Social belonging (interpersonal relationships, a feeling of "belonging")

4. Self-esteem (achieving status, stability, recognition and respect from others)

5. Self-actualisation (to achieve one's "full potential")

Aside from the fact that our team is lucky enough to have super strong bulletproof relationships with each other and our loved ones (and I hope it's the same for you, too!), I think it would be fair to say that this pandemic has rocked pretty much all of these classifications except for the lowermost tier. For me, that's a bit of a reality check.

The downside? This whole situation has made clear the reliances we have all built around materialism and excess.

The upside? It's also proof enough that we can survive this on a psychological and physical level.

Let's get back to basics and see what we can do with those needs.


This is a pretty standard one and I'm sure you're sick to death of hearing all the ins and outs of maintaining your physical health and "doing your part" to slow the spread, so I won't repeat them. You know what to do.


Here's one where I can add a little more to the expected "3 meals a day, healthy snacks, 5 serves of veg, don't get UberEats every night etc".

Did you know that the foods you eat can work to reduce your anxiety? These include low magnesium foods (leafy greens and nuts), zinc-rich foods (egg yolks, cashews), food containing omega-3s (fatty fish like salmon), probiotic foods (pickles - very exciting news for me - and kefir) and vitamin B rich foods (avocado).

Heidi's awesome soon-to-be-chef husband, Douk Konstantaras, has also been blessing us with some delicious and nutrient-rich recipes (which you can find here) and even live cook along sessions (stay tuned on our Facebook and Instagram for more of these!).


"Guys, just a reminder to have a sip of water!". Our team has been reminding each other via Google Hangouts to keep our fluids up. It's so easy to forget, but SO vital to brain function and memory retention.


Are you getting enough (good quality!) sleep? Since anxiety levels are at an all-time high for many of us, the answer is likely "no". If you need some tips for getting to sleep, you can check out the apps and YouTube recommendations from our post on mindfulness (find it here).


We are all spending a LOT more time here at the moment. Don your best PJs (we love Papinelle) for that work conference call, and spend a bit of time making your home the most relaxing space it can be.

Make sure you've got heaps of greenery to increase oxygen flow, light your favourite scented candle (one out of your 1000000 strong collection that you don't usually get to use), invest in a warm throw. You could even host a mini-makeover of your space.

In a sea of bad news, I hope this has been enough to pull you up a bit. We can all only do what we can do - there's no judgement here if you need a day spend in PJs binge watching Netflix!

Let's take it day by day, and focus on the things that we can control, not those we can't.


WORDS | Lucy Francis, TLSE




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