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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 70

The psychological and physical toll from the last year and a half and perhaps longer, is increasingly being identified by organizations and individuals throughout the world. From board rooms, to schools, to individuals attempting to clarify their preferred work environment, to sports, to small independent restaurants, to the multitude of families trying to find the right balance of work and living, we are all attempting to put our lives into a perspective that reflects who we are and want to become. Since there are several components of the psychological and physical aspects of our lives that have been impacted, we will be sharing, over the next several weeks, our perspectives on the various aspects of psychological and physical stress and some of the work that we have been involved in.

Independent of the type of stress that people are experiencing we know that struggles can include feelings of isolation to anxiety to increased substance abuse disorders, grief and even suicide. Regardless of the socio-economic status, age or background composition of individuals, we have found a dramatic increase in depression and anxiety and other disorders. It is also important to keep in mind the long-term impact of our society’s mental health. Sometimes the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) does not occur for a time. Mental Health America (MHA) the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those suffering from mental illness, reports, “The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed” and the number of people screening with moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety has continued to increase throughout 2020 and remain higher than rates prior to COVID-19.”

A field that has been one of the hardest hit with psychological and physical stress has been the healthcare workers (HCW). According to the report, The impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Worker Wellness: A scoping Review, “The review of the literature revealed consistent reports of stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms in HCWs as a result of COVID-19.” The type of stress that is often experienced by healthcare workers is known as compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress. This condition is characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. Often described as the negative cost of caring.

Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue include:

  • · Chronic physical & emotional exhaustion

  • · Depersonalization

  • · Feelings of inequity toward the therapeutic or caregiver relationship

  • · Irritability

  • · Feelings of self-contempt

  • · Difficulty Sleeping

  • · Weight loss

  • · Headaches

Our work with state-wide healthcare organizations, individual healthcare groups, communities, and individuals over the past two years includes assisting in identifying and understanding compassion fatigue and how to better cope with the multitude of stressors that these organizations and individuals experience every day. For further information about our Resilience programs and trainings, please visit our website at

In the next volumes of The ZONE we will explore how self-care strategies and organizational changes can assist in developing a healthy resilient lifestyle within our workforce.


Key Takeaways

  • The results of COVID-19 stressors are still with us.

  • ·Cases of anxiety and depression keep increasing.

  • Taking charge of your health is key to dealing with compassion fatigue.

Best Practices

  • · Understand the physical and psychological reactions to stress.

  • · Engage in healthy relationships outside of work.

  • · Establish emotional boundaries.

Things to Limit

  • · Being everything for everyone.

  • · Bringing your work home.

  • Eating your emotions.


Quote of the Week

“ The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.”

~Dr. Naomi Rachel Remen


It is becoming clearer to us that the “end” of the pandemic is a pipedream, an unattainable or fanciful hope. Everyday we need to evaluate how we want to live that day so that we can continue to accomplish the tasks that lie before us. Through reflection and choices we can better cope with new and more complex obstacles and live the life we desire.

Be well,

The paraDocs

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

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, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

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 nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Permission is given to share with others.

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