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The Zone, Vol 1: Stress Management and Self-Care

Posted by Erin Pietrak | Wednesday, April 29, 2020

How do we thrive in the face of ever-changing challenges of Covid-19?

In the first of this new weekly guest series, Psychotherapist, Dr. Francis L. Battisti, and Nutritionist, Dr. Helen Battisti guide us in navigating and calming the unprecedented stress we find ourselves facing.

For over 10 years, they have worked closely with us on aging concerns and have presented many webinars and in-person workshops. Their newsletter, The Zone, is a weekly mental health and nutrition tip sheet during times of change.


The Coronavirus has disrupted every one of our lives. No matter how much planning you may have done in your personal or professional lives, we don't believe anyone could have imagined the changes that we are all experiencing. While we are all experiencing the same pandemic, we all experience it in different ways and thus, the pandemic experience is unique for each of us. Whether we are working from home, at the office or on the sidelines, we each need to care for ourselves, perhaps more than ever before.

No matter how long the pandemic lasts, the impact will have brought about longstanding changes that will continue to stress many. Continued stressors on the body can bring about major deterioration and illness, physical, mental and spiritual, without one’s awareness. Throughout history, humans have been tested by severe challenges and much has been learned from these experiences about growing and overcoming life-changing obstacles. This knowledge can assist us during this time of crisis and also in the future for keeping our body-mind-spirit healthy for the rest of our lives.

Key Takeaways

  • While we are all in this together, our modes of keeping mentally-physically-spiritually healthy will be different.
  • The long-term stress impact from this ongoing "revolution" will have serious consequences for each of us.
  • We can see from history how individuals learned from past major disruptions and utilize this knowledge today.

Best Practices

  • Develop unique ways to stay connected and supportive of each other. We notice already that there have been a number of creative activities. Keep the creative juices flowing.
  • Accept your feelings as real and valid.
  • If your feelings are overwhelming you, share them with someone else. It can be a friend, family member, or co-worker, basically someone who is trustworthy.
  • Express your feelings through journaling... it can be with Art, Dance, Writing, Music, or in video.

Things to Limit

  • Spending too much time listening and reading about the Coronavirus and the news.
  • Not getting 7 hours of sleep at night.
  • Eating too much junk food.

Quote of the Week

"On particularly rough days, when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good." - unknown source


About Our Guest Bloggers

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P. and Chief Academic Officer and, Dr. Helen E. Battisti, PhD. Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist.

We have developed The ZONE, because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.


If you would like to subscribe to The Zone, please email info@avilainstitute.org and we will get you on the mailing list.