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

The Zone - Volume 71

A force that has been unleashed during the past 18-24 months has been the impact of moving much of our workforce to a virtual setting. Initially, it was thought that as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic was over we would all move back to our previous workplaces and life would be “normal” again. Well, as derived from the line often used by vaudeville comedians to begin a story, “A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Theatre …”, suggests things have not worked out that way. Today, it is estimated that over 30% of today’s workforce will be working virtually and, for the most part, many jobs will see a hybrid type of placement. Namely, 2-3 days at the “office” and 2-3 days virtually. Whatever the outcome, these types of changes recall a whole new set of stressors for individuals, families, and workplace environments.

The question that some organizations and individuals have voiced to us is, “Should we be virtual or is it now all on hands on deck at the office?” The real questions should include, what are the best lessons we have we learned during the pandemic for where our work colleagues need to work, what are the various needs and wants of our employees, what services can be offered by the organization to assist with concerns that employees have, what are the changing needs of our customers/consumers/students?

Equipped with this knowledge and insight, decisions can be made that meet various needs and perhaps lesson stressors. At the very least it allows for decisions to be made in a timely and more orderly fashion. The not knowing what your company is going to offer is very stressful for the employees and, in turn, the organization. The unknowing can add to an increase feeling of anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. Disorders of anxiety and depression can worsen, and we can see an increase in the use of drugs and alcohol.

In our workshop entitled, Developing a Resilient Lifestyle, we explore the dynamics of the participants that might be adding to their stress and assist them to develop healthy coping strategies, based on their assessment of stressors. A misperception that we have witnessed over the years is that individuals may choose a stress intervention that is not helpful with their situation. A number of years ago, Francis had a high level late 40’s executive of a large organization referred to him after the individual had experienced his second heart attack. Following his first heart attack he enrolled in a stress management program and became the top of his class for doing everything he was directed to do. He developed a physical fitness regime, he changed eating habits, etc., however he did all of this with the same intensity that had made him sick. Other than externals, nothing had changed. Our work with him needed to get at the source of his competitive nature that negatively impacted him and see how he could let go and still accomplish what he needed to do. To engage and explore new insights and gradually develop the changes that needed to take place took time; however, it did have a positive impact on his health.

Depending on the needs of the client, whether an individual or organization, the strategies selected to be worked through need time to be fully understood from the participants perspective. Deciding to engage to change also is a life altering decision because it places direct impact and opportunity within the reach of each of us. If you or your organization are interested in participating in Developing a Resilient Lifestyle, please feel free to reach out to us or go to our website at


Key Takeaways

  • We may not be able to change what happens, however we can change our reaction to it.

  • The more organizations and employees engage in meaningful discussion, the higher the possibility for jointly beneficial outcomes.

  • Changes are occurring as we adapt to the changes that have already taken place.

Best Practices

  • Listen and participate in meaningful discussions.

  • Know that positive outcomes can occur.

  • Gather information, engage in meaningful discussions and make decisions

Things to Limit

  • Putting decisions off.

  • Believing that you have no control over your health.

  • Thinking that life can only get worse.


Quote of the Week

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient”

~ Dr. Steve Maraboli


Working with individuals and organizations on developing a resilient mindset has allowed us to engage with many individuals who have decided to take responsibility for their future and create the world that they have dreamed of. Both of us have appreciated that these organizations and individuals have allowed us into their worlds to work through very important issues to find inspiring solutions to the stressors that impact all of us.

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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