Let us look at a hypothetical situation. This is a normal life event that every mother with a new born baby goes through. The newborn is completely dependent on the mother for nourishment. Apart from her own requirements of rest, nourishment and hygiene, the mother has to cater to the needs of her baby. This places demands on the mother in terms of disturbed sleep-wake cycles and extra nutritional requirements. That can be stressful to the mother. But we usually consider it as a normal life event or a transformation or adjustment that the woman has to make to care for their baby. However, when there is a body illness such as a fever or cold, or when three is a long term illness such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer or nervous system disorders or hormonal disturbances, the discomfort with the body can influence relationships with other people. The ability to take the hassles of life such as long or irregular working hours, adjustments to be made to the needs of other family members etc can become additional stressors . Irritability, low tolerance levels and changing needs of family members can aggravate discomfort. Long term effects of inability to listen to each other, reduced understanding levels, lead to misinterpretations, misunderstanding and the feeling of independence rather than interdependence and further leading to isolation and loneliness. When there are problems or crisis situations, then extra need for support systems in terms of working together and emotional availability can become challenges.
Regular sleep and adequate nutrition, and family time together in terms of fun time or relaxing times, communication at appropriate times, help to maintain the body and mind balance, in turn helping with the ability to relate to significant others in one’s life. Good exercise, Yoga, taking or seeking help from other family members on days that are more demanding, to meet specific needs, will help strike a balance and help in smooth functioning of the family unit.
In certain situations, processing of sensory inputs may be disturbed and there may be increased sensitivity to different sensations. In such situations, the environment may have to be controlled to help maintain a level of comfort with the body. These situations may add more distress to the already stressed mother and all family members have to work together to keep everyone happy.