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Stamford Symphony is delighted to welcome its newest Board member, Dr. Marilyn Puder-York.  Dr. Puder-York is an executive coach with a 30 year successful track record in helping talented executives and professionals achieve their optimal performance. She has written a short article on Personal Resiliency that we are plead to share on the Channel.

Formerly Vice President and head of Citigroup’s (formerly Citicorp) global in-house Employee Assistance Program for 10 years, Dr. Puder-York has a practical bottom-line business focus when coaching and consulting executive clients. She has a personable style and is straightforward and acute in her observations and counsel. She has a demonstrated track record of efficiently attaining positive results with high potential, high performance executives and professionals.

During the course of her career she has been frequently interviewed and cited in print, broadcast and online by the business and general media. She has been extensively quoted in The Wall Street JournalFortuneBusiness WeekThe New York Times and others. She has appeared on CNN, CBS, NBC and Fox television networks. Dr. Puder-York’s publication topics include ethical issues in executive coaching, managing difficult customers and clients, and the psychology of success for women. Her book, “The Office Survival Guide: Surefire Techniques for Dealing with Challenging People and Situations” is published by McGraw-Hill.

She is a member of The American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State.

I have been a psychologist and executive coach for decades. In my practice I have helped clients navigate catastrophic events including 9/11, the financial crisis, and now the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Resiliency is basically the ability to rebound from adversity – and keeping our balance and making the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in.  

Here are the important coping tactics that are the cornerstones of resiliency.

We need to recognize at outset that anxiety is normal during these times.  The key is to convert fearfulness (negative anxiety) into a form of positive anxiety.  Positive anxiety

doesn’t mean denial of reality.  It means that although we are aware of the facts and threats, we choose to adapt and find positive means to manage the external situation. 

Commit to online classes/group discussions, tackling chores in the home, scheduling calls or videos with friends, colleagues, family.  Any kind of regular routine will assist us in feeling some degree of being in control.

Along with having a routine, one should try and focus on what actions you should engage in today.  To avoid the possibility of catastrophizing the future by trying to predict the future, focus on the present each day.

Practicing the basics of self-care will help sustain your optimal mental and physical well- being.  Exercise (eg: without the gym walk around the community a few times a week), mindfulness, good nutrition, sleep seeking out experiences that inspire and reaching out to others.

Important to be aware of those people and situations that escalate your anxiety and increase your fears. Be mindful if you notice yourself becoming even more anxious after watching news, scrolling social media, or engaging with certain people.  Look for ways to limit your exposure.  And seek out for those experiences and people that entertain, excite, educate and inspire.

This attitude is grounded in reality, but still accepts that personal growth and purpose can arise from external turbulence.

It is a conscious choice to inspire and motivate oneself in the face of anxiety and the unknown. We can choose to give our energy to rise up or drain our energy and sink lower. Focus on the thoughts and actions you can take to give you a positive purpose during these times.  Feeling and expressing gratitude to those around you as well as the essential professionals and workers who are helping during this crisis. 

Supporting causes with contributions and assisting our friends, family and neighbors who need us.

And lastly reach out to friends, neighbors and rekindle lost friendships.  Express interest in and empathy toward others.  All of this will contribute to you feeling “I have contributed to the positivity of others”.  And trust me this will contribute to your self-esteem, sense of purpose and your mental resiliency.  

Marilyn Puder-York, Ph.D.  April 21, 2020