Methods for Meeting Basic Needs: Shelter, Food, and Medical Care
Even if you wish to work on 'higher level' needs (such as feelings of loneliness, or dissatisfaction with how your life has turned out), you must first take care to make sure your basic needs are taken care of before doing so. People are, to a great degree, creatures of habit. They often resist change, whether or not it is good for them. Purposeful personal change efforts of the type necessary to alter your higher level needs will demand your close attention, a lot of your energy, and some level of discomfort. You won't be able to sustain this level of energy and attention for long if your fundamental needs are not well met.
Keep in mind that there are levels of getting your basic needs met. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, you will find yourself having more energy and attention for higher level change efforts, if you spend time focusing on meeting your lower level needs. We review methods for optimizing your lower level needs (diet, sleep, exercise and socialization) in the following sections. There are so many suggestions here that you may end up reviewing this material and feeling overwhelmed. If this is the case, don't feel compelled to take them all seriously. They are suggestions, only. If your basic needs are reasonably met, and you want to work on other problems for now, you should do so and not worry too much about this stuff. If, however, you have some time and attention, and want to make sure you are doing as well as you can, then consider the following methods for improving how you meet your basic needs.