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Stress Management in Troubled Times


P.PORTO promotes, on December 11th and 15th, a workshop that aims to improve the quality of life and the prevention of stress in your community

The constraints to professional activity and family and social relationships, motivated by the current pandemic context, the constant uncertainty and insecurity installed have contributed to the increase of anxiety and potentially depressive conditions that it is important to know and combat.

The psychologist Zita Sousa, a professor at the Escola Superior de Saúde (ESS) of P.PORTO states, "the persistence and prolongation of the pandemic potentially leads to the manifestation of discomfort or dysfunctionality in the face of the new reality". Effectively, "the pandemic imposes moments of confinement, restriction of social contacts and mobility, loss of freedom, as well as financial and emotional losses".

These constraints - explains Zita Sousa - "can lead to the experience of irritability, impatience, discouragement, feelings of helplessness, burnout and difficulties in managing personal and professional life". Stress can persist "in a negative vicious cycle, producing neurophysiological changes (high levels of cortisol, sleep problems), which are associated with particularities at the cognitive level (catastrophizing, pessimism) and at the emotional level (fear, anger, sadness) that in turn, they lead the person to react behaviorally to stress with useless, ineffective and even harmful strategies ".


In this sense, framed by the concern of the Presidency of the Polytechnic of Porto to promote quality of life and the prevention of stress in its community, it prepared the workshop Stress Management in Troubled Times, open to the participation of teachers and non-teaching staff. , which will take place on December 11th and 15th.

The workshop includes two sessions (two and a half each), the first has the objective of making the participants aware of their pattern of reactivity to stress and leading them to identify their dysfunctional strategies both in dealing with uncertainty and fear of unpredictability of the future, either in adapting to new circumstances; the second seeks to educate participants about the response, rather than the reaction to stress, allowing them to know and experience functional strategies of self-knowledge, self-care and cognitive, emotional and behavioral self-regulation.

"The journey of stress management is done by practicing, so this training is a sample of what is possible. I think it is useful both for those who are taking the first step, and for those who already take the walk", concludes Zita Sousa.