Claude urges us to be vocal, resilient, and check in on each other as often as we can to gain footing in these uncertain times. She also talks about how the pandemic has upended our lives in many ways. Many face job uncertainties and the stress of keeping a work-life balance at home. Issues such as politics and racism have also added to our concerns.
Read this if...
- You’re having a tough time
- You want to help a friend going through difficulties
- You’re curious how adversities can be a learning experience
Claude Silver is the Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia, a social-first digital agency mainly focusing on creativity, media, and influencer marketing. Claude primarily provides coaching on development, growth, and mental health issues.
the distilld lessons
The pandemic has brought many abrupt changes in our lives. Some of us struggle to work from home while others worry about job security. Aside from the health crisis, we also face social unrest and political anxiety. During such a disorienting period, we scramble to regain balance to our disrupted lives.
In her article, Mental Health – Sitting With What Is, Claude Silver suggests that we can learn from the younger generation when it comes to dealing with social issues. She also emphasizes the importance of resilience and reaching out to others in these difficult times.
Here are the distilld lessons inspired by the “Mental Health – Sitting With What Is” article from The Silver Lining:
1. Be loud
Claude says that if there’s one thing we can learn from Gen Z and Millennials, it will be the importance of articulating our dissent to social injustices.
These generations make their voices heard on current social issues. They make their arguments on social media, participate in rallies, and try to get a lot of people to join the cause. We see great participation from them in discussions about climate change, racism, and politics.
USA Today reported that young people are increasingly speaking more loudly and clearly about climate change and its worsening impact. They are organizing events to demand policy reform from legislators.
A recent Pew Research survey also found that more young people are joining protests for racial equality. Furthermore, the movement is also now receiving support from young white Americans. According to the New York Times, researchers found an overwhelming number of young, white, and highly educated Americans joining the protests. This is unprecedented as older generations and people of color were previously the ones leading rallies for racial equality.
Younger generations value dialogue and inclusivity. A study conducted by Mckinsey & Company discovered that Gen Z in particular is label-averse. They understand and respect that we have inherent differences, and these differences don’t have the power to divide us unless we allow them to.
In times of crisis, we see the older generation exhibit grand and heroic acts. This time, it’s different. The younger generation is holding the reins. They no longer want to stay on the sidelines and watch. We can follow their lead and advocate for social justice alongside them.
2. Be resilient
Resilience is the ability to recover or adjust easily to misfortunes or change. Claude says we need it now more than ever as we navigate our days that have varying degrees of difficulty.
The pandemic and social unrest caused by rallies and political discontent have been testing our abilities to adapt to abrupt and major disruptions in our lives. But if there’s one thing humans are wired for, it’s overcoming adversity with as much ease and grace as possible.
A 2004 study published in the American Psychological Association journal found that resilience is a typical response among people who have experienced adversities. It’s a basic component of a person’s coping skills, one that doesn’t require exceptional strength. When one is resilient, one develops emotional growth, becomes more optimistic, and grows more appreciative of life.
The adversities that we’re facing right now are sudden and have made our daily lives unstable. We’re facing an uncertain future and this naturally concerns us. When we are resilient, we can maintain a positive outlook and focus on the things that are within our control. Taking it one day at a time can take us a long way.
Resilience is at a premium now. We need it to sustain us in our day-to-day living. We can build our character, and we can come out of any adversity with a clearer sense of self and a renewed appreciation for life.
3. Reach out
While resilience is a typical response to adversity, not all of us are good at it. Claude acknowledges this and urges us to check in on our loved ones as often as we can.
With the pandemic and consequent social distancing, as well as strict stay-at-home orders, we don’t meet and talk face-to-face with our friends and family members as often as we used to. This communication shift has made us realize how important in-person interactions are.
In a study published in the journal Emotion, researchers found that touch is as effective in conveying emotions as facial and vocal channels are. Now that gatherings are limited, and we can’t touch others physically, we’ve lost the emotional support we get through tactile connections.
As we’re one short of tools to communicate, we have to compensate by keeping in touch with people in different ways. There are endless virtual ways for us to keep in touch. Social media and other online platforms have been instrumental in our pursuit to maintain our connection with others.
As uncertainties can take a toll on anyone, we should be on the lookout for our loved ones that may be having a harder time than us. To let them know that they’re not alone in this struggle, we can make it a point to ask them how they’re doing and ask them if there's anything we can do to help. Our frequent communication, even in a virtual setup, can be the anchor other people can hold onto in this time of isolation.
For a shorter conversation, the distilld lessons summary are here.