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

The Zone - Volume 75

The practice of self-care is ongoing and needs to be attended to every day. The art of self-care involves the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of our lives. Many times we may experience a sense of being overwhelmed and not able to practice what might be good for us. With this in mind, we thought we would turn our attention to individuals who have complex and stressful jobs and what they do to minimize and cope with their job and life expectations and maintain their personal self-care.

The Presidents of the United States, along with holding a very prestigious position, by all reports also have a very stressful job. From President George Washington to President Joseph Biden, regardless of political affiliation, they have dealt with continual challenges to maintaining our democracy.

Taking a closer look at the literature of how some of these individuals have taken care of themselves, offers us some interesting practices. Abraham Lincoln, #16, would attend the theatre to relax and unwind. His intense interest in literary drama began in his youth. Although he did not see a theatre performance until he became President, he became an avid supporter once he started.

George Washington, #1, enjoyed horseback riding for practical purposes and to relax. He was considered by most of his peers to be the best horseman of his era.

Rutherford B. Hayes, #19, had a lifelong passion for genealogy. “I have an attack of genealogical mania. It came on about ten days ago, superinduced by reading a family tree which a friend sent me. It is in a violent form, but I trust it will soon abate.” -Rutherford B. Hayes, in a letter to a relative.

Herbert Hoover, #31, was a passionate fisherman who sometimes would catch over 100 fish. He also became so involved in fishing and so adept at it that he wrote a book entitled, Fishing For Fun — And to Wash Your Soul.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, #32, served for over 13 years as President and suffered from poor health. His practice included taking two-week fishing vacations, reading mystery novels daily and hosting nightly cocktail hours. Along with the special recipes that he would develop for new drinks, any discussion about war and politics was barred by the President.

Because of criticism, some of the Presidents had to hide how they practiced self-care. While William Howard Taft, #27, was not the first President to practice golf he was the first to share this information with the public. Others were too reluctant to let the public know that they needed time away from the daily stress of their positions.

Some of the self-care practices of our modern era Presidents includes Kennedy…reading, touch football, cribbage; Nixon…bowling; Ford…golf, swimming, snowmobiling; Carter…fishing; Reagan…horseback riding, working on the ranch; Bush Sr….speed golf, fishing; Clinton…jogging, reading, playing cards; Bush Jr….running, mountain biking; Obama…reading, basketball, movie night, Trump…golf; Biden…weights and cardio workouts.

Realizing that you don’t have to be the President of the United States to feel overwhelmed and just numb to your environment, it is always important to practice self-care daily.


Key Takeaways

  • No matter who we are, life can be overwhelming.

  • Self-care is important for peak performance.

  • There are multiple ways to practice self-care

Best Practices

  • Find your own release valve and practice it daily.

  • Allot the time necessary to care for yourself daily.

  • Improve your level of adaptability.

Things to Limit

  • Taking pride in being too bussssy!

  • Telling yourself that you will start taking better care of yourself tomorrow.

  • Thinking that your mind-body-soul are indestructible


Quote of the Week

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”

~ Christopher Germer


As we can see from our brief overview of how U.S Presidents practice self-care, all of us need to develop practices that assist us daily to meet the demands of life. Practicing self-care strategies allows us to utilize our strengths and maintain ourselves at peak performance.

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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