In dit artikel (in het Engels deze keer) vertel ik wat ik doe om mijn stess aan te pakken. Je zult dit niet van mij verwachten.

Corona-crisis brings us both challenges and opportunities. I had planned to visit projects in Mozambique, South Africa, and Scotland this year, but everything changed. Corona impacted hugely traveling abroad and many meetings moved to the virtual space. Altogether the load of my virtual work has increased dramatically and most of the time I find myself glued to my computer.


Although Corona has caused a lot of distress, connectivity between people has also increased. With the new technologies, it is possible to create trustworthy environments to dock onto and open up on the screen. In my work as a workshop facilitator and coach, I am now continuously integrating new didactics and tech tools for virtual collaboration. Clients appreciate it that our virtual meetings can provide as well for the warmth, openness, and cordiality that we all need so much in these difficult times of the corona pandemic.

Unintended impact 

Initially, working virtually for me felt just fine. As an embedded practice for my own learnings, I make sense of what is going on and experience it of great use when I ‘bent out of shape’ when moving out of my comfort zone. But gaining some kilograms of weight because of sitting too much behind the screen was not exactly how I wished to be bent out of shape.


We all know that sitting too much is not good for our wellbeing. My son’s girlfriend suggested fitness hula-hoop. So, I bought a 1,2 kg weight hoop and started exercising. It is really helpful how in just 30 seconds of moving my hips while trying to keep up the hoop, I am completely distracted from the mental task I was doing. Exercising the hula-hoop several times per day helps me shift my attention from my brain to my body. And in the longer run, it brings me into better shape. But most important is that I discovered a fun way of disrupting my behavior-pattern of sitting glued behind my computer.

A relaxed physiological state 

We need daily exercise to bring us towards a relaxed physiological state and make us strong and resilient. Another of my routines is a daily morning walk. You can read about the benefits of walking and exercise in this article “walking for more resilience and less stress“. And I use other ways of keeping myself mentally fit, such as taking a shower, or I laser focus with the Pomodoro technique on the mental task at hand and then get a break.

No “one size fits all” solution

Recently every client conversation I have has included the topic of ‘adapting to the pandemic’. Many are having difficulty focusing, and leaders often don’t know how to support their team (and themselves) well.

For each individual, the goalposts to reach that optimum of mental fitness and bring the brain-body system back to a relaxed physiological state, are different and they are always moving. This is so because life is dynamic.

In different moments, environments, and challenging conditions, the factors that most enable our resilience and ready us for high performance also change. That is why corona indeed is such a challenge for all of us. There is no “one size fits all” solution.

Systems approach from a neuro-perspective

Because the brain of each individual is unique and wired differently, each individual is now figuring out how to adapt to the new circumstances and how they can best reduce stress and how they can optimize to get into a relaxed physiological state.

With insights from a systems approach (for better relationships and communication) and applied neuroscience, I support my clients in figuring out – in conversations and the support of assessments – how they can optimize for reducing stress, prevent burnout, and build resilience, to unlock their high performance, at the individual level and in their teams.

Connect with me here, for a conversation about how I can best support you.

Stay safe, Stay tuned.

Sonja Vlaar,