The Zone, Vol 42: Avoiding the Gulp Response

by The ParaDocs

January 19, 2021

The Zone Weekly with paraDocs

As the tides of COVID- 19 begin to change, it may be tempting to try and resume life as it was pre-pandemic.

In Volume 42 of this guest series, psychotherapist, Dr. Francis L. Battisti, and nutritionist, Dr. Helen Battisti, encourage us to be mindful of all aspects of our lives as we plan for the future, so that we don’t overwhelm ourselves or disregard COVID- 19 safety, as the virus is still out there. 

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.

We begin the second week of the new year with the hope and anticipation of better pandemic control in the year 2021.  Realizing that some parts of our country are at the highest levels of COVID-19 cases yet, we still need to remain diligent until the number of cases indicate that it may be safe to begin breathing easier.  Because we may not have had access to certain events, things and loved ones for a long period of time, when the time is right, we may find ourselves responding to the new choices by wanting to inhale everything and everyone…the gulp response.  Much like trying to stay away from our favorite foods for too long, once we have them again, there can be a binge…too much, too soon, too fast.  Now may be the time, before we get access to all the new choices, to lay-out, in pencil, how you want this experience to unfold with the new norm.

From the feedback we have received, the major anticipation that people mention is the re-connection with family and friends.  Some of us have been separated for almost a year and have longed for the time to reconnect in person.  Once we are able to reconnect, it is important to remember that we have all grown and may have changed in our own ways during this time.  Like riding a bicycle, but not for many years, the “muscle memory” may be there when we decide to ride again, but if we jump on our bike …too much…too soon…too fast, the outcome may not turn out to be what we expected.

As you make plans to re-engage with the new norm in 2021, you may want to consider going slow and purposeful rather than rushing into everything.  Our hearts may desire immediate connections; however, our mind may know that we need to take it slow.

Key Takeaways
  • COVID-19 is still with us.
  • It may be time to sip rather than gulp.
  • Much like you do not go to the grocery store when you are hungry, don’t make your plans for re-connection when you are needful.
Best Practices
  • Use your pencil when making plans.
  • In planning for further engagement, be mindful of all aspects of your health…physical, financial, spiritual, psychological, and environmental.
  • Stay connected with the practices and people who have sustained you during this Pandemic.
Things to Limit
  • Expecting that everyone is willing to re-engage, as you are.
  • Building your expectations too high.
  • Not picking-up your pencil.

In summary, we are all longing for a new sense of normalcy.  While we believe it’s coming, we need to be mindful to pace ourselves and not to get over exuberant. When we are mindful, we can place all our energy on what needs to be done with the task at hand.

Quote of the Week

“When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.”
Anna Voskamp

About the author 

The ParaDocs

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. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

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