By Vonda T. Hampton
AMADC kicked off its new Women in Marketing (WinM) group on November 12 with a robust and interactive discussion titled Resiliency During Times of Crisis, featuring presenter Mary Jane (MJ) Reed of The Leader’s Edge.
The topic simply could not be more relevant or timely, particularly where women are concerned. Peruse any news publication or website and you’ll see articles stating that working women are absolutely in crisis right now, juggling the responsibilities of health, family, home, work, the education of their children, safety--and for many, unemployment or a deliberate pause in their careers to do these things. Ask around and many working women will admit they feel a total sense of stress and overwhelm when thinking of the months ahead. At least one outlet is calling this phenomenon the ‘shecession’ due to the indelible impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce.
The inaugural WinM program asked each participant to describe what resiliency meant to her, then explained what resiliency is and examined how the lack of it, combined with stress, can negatively affect performance, the body and the brain. Ms. Reed then pivoted to interactively discuss how each participant could rebalance, restore energy and strengthen individual resiliency “muscles” in a variety of ways. In the midst of a stressful moment? Try these quick tips: take three deep breaths through your nose, then let them out slowly through your mouth; stand up and stretch; take a short walk; or find something funny to laugh at to recharge (funny pet videos on YouTube, anyone)?
A great resource discussed at length by Ms. Reed during the program was the book, Prosilience: Building Your Resilience for a Turbulent World, by Linda Hoopes, Ph.D. According to Dr. Hoopes, Proactive + Resilience = Prosilience, and the book guides readers on how to intentionally build capacity to deal with life’s challenges before encountering them. The seven key resiliency “muscles,” are:
For long-term restoration, it is important to focus on strengthening your resiliency “muscles” and on the four sources of personal energy – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual:
- Physical energy includes getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, exercising and eating healthy foods
- Mental energy includes thinking clearly and quickly, reducing multitasking, focusing attention, minimizing distractions and establishing habits that promote wellbeing, such as reducing screen time—particularly before bedtime
- Emotional energy includes taking time for gratitude, looking for small joys and focusing on those things that mean the most to you—a spouse, children, pets, your broader group of family and friends, and connecting with them often in meaningful ways, even when apart
- Spiritual energy includes finding meaning and purpose through activities such as faith practices, reading, meditation, spending time in nature, contemplation, volunteering in service to help others, celebrating those who are helping others during these hard times and taking time to care for yourself, as well
Participants were generous in sharing what has helped them build their own resilience during these hard times as they have struggled with the loss of loved ones, unemployment, overwork, having kids at home and other crises, and many reported feeling a sense of renewal and strength at the end of the program. The support of women within the group for each other was palpable, and exactly what organizers hoped would occur at the inaugural WinM program.
We look forward to building on this momentum at our next program, “2020 Reflections” Virtual Happy Hour on December 16. It will be a lightly structured discussion with highlights from the year. To maintain levity, we will be holding a People’s Choice Awards for:
- Most original Zoom background that celebrates the season
- Most original Zoom outfit that celebrates the season
We hope all women marketers will join us for this much-needed, end-of-year virtual happy hour.
About the Author:
Vonda T. Hampton is an AMADC member and Women in Marketing task force member. To her, resiliency is knowing that even if life is not perfect today, it's still in your power to make the future for yourself that you've always wanted.