Mental Health and Wellbeing

Feeling the pressure to learn?

Written by Nat Young, Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist and Yoga/Pilates Teacher.

I’ve seen so many advertisements for home study courses on social media recently, and at least an equal number of people feeling stressed by the pressure of seeing such things. “Learn this”, “grow that”, “use this time wisely”, “fill your free time!” While some people may be furloughed and have excess time on their hands, many are still working. Even many of those who are furloughed are struggling to be teachers as well as parents or simply trying to survive in a climate that, let’s face it, is really challenging right now. Where’s that free time that so many of these companies seem to think everyone has?!

“The ‘needs’ at the bottom of the pyramid must be met before those at the top.”

I’m reminded of a psychological motivation theory that I learned about while I was studying for my psychology degree many years ago and also revisited when I qualified as a hypno-psychotherapist back in 2015. That theory is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. There are several versions of the theory but in simple terms, it’s depicted as a pyramid which shows our needs as human beings. The needs at the bottom of the pyramid must be met before we can even think about those at the top.

At the moment, many of us will be in the ‘physiological needs’ and ‘safety needs’ parts of the pyramid. We’re spending our time surviving and trying to find a place where we feel safe because the current situation has ripped the safety net out from underneath us.

Things like courses and opportunities for growth would be right at the top of the pyramid under ‘esteem’ and perhaps even ‘self actualisation’. Many of us won’t be up on those levels of our pyramids at the moment.

So if you’re feeling the pressure, thinking that you should be ‘using this time wisely’ and wondering why you’re struggling, remind yourself of Maslow’s theory and give yourself a break! There will be plenty of time for learning and growth when you’re feeling grounded again.

Need some help?

If you’re in need of some time to ‘be in the moment’ and recharge your batteries, our mindful yoga and pilates classes could help. If you’re in need of a bit more, why not try a hypnotherapy session with me? Sometimes a chat is all it takes to help you feel better about things.