Words of Wellness: October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020 - Culture of Caring - Claudia Finkelstein

Culture of Caring presentation by Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM, Director of Wellness, Resilience And Vulnerable Populations.



The 2020 presidential election is a source of significant stress for more Americans than the 2016 presidential race - American Psychological Assiciation, October 7, 2020

What is the goal?

  • Effectively working with students to both acknowledge impact of and NOT focus on partisan politics
  • Validate range of emotions/experience
  • Focus on alignment around values
  • Skills to deal with conflict/stress
  • Resources for people (students/staff/faculty) wanting further support

Start here

  • Challenging times now and ahead
  • Opportunity to practice our stated values
  • We may not know right away (prepare for this)
  • MI is a swing state
  • This is collaborative workspace-not “safe space” which you may also need (and I may or may not provide)
  • Look forward - stake in the future

From MSU: Building inclusive communities

  • "Almost all of us are struggling with a unique set of challenges these days, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic fallout, ongoing efforts for social justice, and other experiences."
  • "I’m a good listener, and I can help connect you to campus and other resources here to help you."
  • "I am committed to helping you successfully complete this course, but it’s even more important to me that you experience our virtual classroom as a space that is open, inclusive, and supportive."

Ground rules for our group

  • Goals
  • Airtime
  • Punditry
  • Hate speech

Layers of values

  • Personal
  • College
  • University
  • Profession

The Virtuous Professional

7 ideas from the Dialogue Project


  • Don’t stay silent
  • Acknowledge difficulty
  • Listen actively
  • Model desired behavior- casual banter
  • Empathic leadership- don’t gloat
  • Resist role of pundit
  • Focus on core values

Coping Strategies for You and Them

  • Active - problem or emotion focused
  • Avoidant - denial, disassociation (bad rap?)

Active Coping Strategies

  • Run/walk/eat/sleep/music- emotion focused
  • Reframe (look for hope)/volunteer/connect with values
  • What has worked for you before –tap into past resilience strategies
  • Social connection

Avoidant Strategies

  • Book/movies/gaming/turn off screen
  • Politic free zone

Resources and Upcoming Events

CAPS Post-Election Listening Space – This CAPS Listening Space is meant to serve MSU students who need a safe space to talk and listen post-election.

  • Wednesday, November 4th 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Facilitated by Dr. Mark Patishnock, Dr. Lee Wang, and Dan Murphy, MA.
  • For questions, please contact Dr. Mark Patishnock: patishn1@msu.edu
  • Registration Link

Listening Space for Coping with Racial Concerns and the Election – This listening space is intended to explore the intersectionality of race in connection to the election.  This is a listening space geared towards students of color who are having racial concerns in connection to the election.  Undergraduate and Graduate MSU Students welcome.

De-Politicizing Your Organization special event with post-event dicussion - MSU Eli Broad College of Business Executive Development Programs explores what the organization can do to promote a politics-free zone and how employees can disagree and still work well together.

The Day After: Moving Forward Post Election

Read more Words of Wellness from the Culture of Caring.