by Antonella De Giuli
A definition of stress says that it is a condition the body finds itself in that it must adapt to when there are needs imposed on it by the world around it.
I believe that, as never before, we are all called to adapt to the needs imposed by the environment in which we find ourselves, because due to the spread of the coronavirus, the governments of the countries involved have had to take restrictive measures to try to contain the spreading of the pandemic.
So we find ourselves living in a world that is not our usual world, and if we add to this the background concerns related to our health, the suffering if we have lost a loved one, the concern for work and for our future, we can understand how we are going through a period of unparalleled stress.
These conditions often lead to the development of negative, depressive or frustrated thoughts and emotions. Sometimes these emotions do not find an “adaptive” way to leave, especially when they are very strong or when they are many, but end up exploding out suddenly, perhaps in the form of aggressive attitudes, sometimes only verbal, sometimes even physical.
After all, constraint, many living in a confined space, not being able to do everything we want, certainly feed these situations. So, what can we do?
There is no pre-packaged recipe, but we can think of some small strategies, of some attitudes that helps us to live these moments with a little more serenity.
A first suggestion that I would like to give you, especially to those who do not have to go out to work but remain at home, is to keep a diary, a daily agenda. Every morning, as soon as you get up, write the activities you intend to carry out during the day on your agenda. They can be work activities if you are working from home, or domestic activities, or activities you want to carry out with your children, for example listen a little more to one of your kids, play with younger children and so on. Those who go out to work can write down the aspects that they think will be important during the day.
In the evening, pick up your agenda again, re-read the activities you had decided to carry out and write down the thoughts and emotions you felt at the end of the day. This is a way to put your feelings in “black on white”, to give them a way out that is not an inappropriate that can create tension towards the people you have next to you.
A second suggestion is to take a “thought pause”, a “breath pause”: the suggestion is to “stop for a moment”, to put thoughts on stand-by and concentrate only on your breathing, as it is. Sit, with your eyes closed, one hand resting on the abdomen, feel the abdomen expand and contract and listen to your breathing . . . “inhale . . . exhale . . . ” and so on, dedicating a few minutes to this practice.
It is not a practice that solves problems, but it helps to create a small moment of distance between us and what is happening, both within us, if we are experiencing emotions that are a little “tumultuous”, and outside us, if we are experiencing an unpleasant situation.
Of course, it is a practice that we can teach the whole family to be able to carry out safely at home.
And lastly, a small suggestion I would like to give you that to take into consideration, to re-evaluate and to start using the word “THANK YOU” again.
”Thanks” is a sign of recognition and respect dedicated to someone who has done something for us.
It is not a slogan and not only to be used with the wonderful people who every day risk their lives to take care of ours, but it is a word that everyone who does something for others deserves, without expecting anything in return.
Thank you must be said every time we do something with love for others or even for ourselves.
Take care of yourself and thank you.