We’re all in this together, now and forever

I come from an education, coaching, and fitness background, all with one thing in common—helping people discover their strengths and passions. When I started working at Hyland as the wellness program manager, never in a million years did I imagine that I would be coming on board in the middle of a crisis; during a time when employees need—now more than ever—to take care of their wellbeing on so many levels.

In my role, as I provide guidance and support to fellow employees, it became evident from day one that yes—employees truly are family here. That sense of family is the foundation for Hyland’s core values. These values extend from employees to our partners, customers, and the communities around the world where we have offices.

Because we’re all in this together. I know many people are saying that these days, but they’re important words that we need to remember as we navigate a strange time.

A strange time that will end. We must remember that.

And then, I hope, we’ll all remember that we’re still in this together. All of us.

3 resources

Until then, I’d like to share some great resources that you can use if you need a little help. Because, let’s face it, we all do.

Check out these links for:

1. 5 ways to manage stress during the coronavirus outbreak

2. Homebound hacks including a grocery list, easy meals, healthy snacks, stocking your pantry, and more

3. Completely free workout videos for all fitness levels

Give yourself permission to do these 4 things

In addition to education and resources around Covid-19 and stay-at-home orders, we need to give ourselves permission to accept the wide range of emotions that we’re all feeling at any given time on any given day. If you know what day it is. 🙂

Simply put—it’s okay

1. To laugh

Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Yes, these are serious times with serious consequences for the world. At the same time, how can you not laugh when your cat jumps on your desk in a middle of a conversation, or your co-worker’s son interrupts a conference call to discuss what’s for breakfast?

When there is so much uncertainty in the world, we cannot “waste” a day by not laughing. Besides, there’s a ton of research that shows laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

“Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress,” according to HelpGuide.

2. To cry (or scream, or hit a punching bag)

These are great ways to release emotions that you need to purge. There is a grieving process associated with accepting our ‘new normal.’ How many of us have looked back at photographs and posts from last summer, the holidays, or the New Year and it feels like it was a completely different time, so carefree?

That’s because it was. We don’t know when those times will return, how things will be different, and what the future looks like. We all grieve differently.

What’s important is that we accept the need to grieve. Once we let ourselves release those emotions, we’re able to start moving forward.

3. To feel overwhelmed

We are the first ones to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. In addition to our regular workloads, we’re all wearing even more hats than usual on a more regular basis—chef, teacher, music instructor, delivery person, janitor, etc.

And, at the same time, I encourage you to make sure you’re still getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and practicing your self-care. Similar to accepting the grieving process, we must accept that we cannot do all of these things to a Pinterest-style quality. The trick is to try not judge yourself.

If you do feel yourself starting to get overwhelmed, take a break, get some of that exercise, or take your dog for a walk. That said, I’m taking my dogs out for so many walks, they’re starting to protest. Make sure you give your pets a break too.

4. To give yourself 10 minutes alone every day

If you can spare more than 10 minutes, perfect. If you have to do increments of three, four, or five minutes, that’s fine. Give yourself permission to take those few minutes alone.

Take a walk. Step outside just to breathe. Or stretch—close your eyes and circle your neck and then your shoulders.

Or stay inside and meditate. Simply close your eyes and with a deep inhale say, “RE,” and on a slow exhale say, “LAX.” RE-LAX and repeat. It takes less than a minute to repeat this simple mantra a few times.

2 more things

Okay, one more list.

If you find that your emotions are running from high to low, ask yourself these two questions:

1. What am I feeling? 

Happy, sad, scared, angry, tired, hungry, etc.

2. What do I need? 

More sleep, 5 minutes of quiet time, a distraction, a hug, a good laugh, etc.

It may feel counterintuitive to put your needs and feelings first or to even pause and reflect on what you’re feeling and what you need, but trust me—it’ll change your day, your outlook, and your performance while you wear all of those new hats.

And don’t forget to keep in touch with friends, family, and coworkers. Video capabilities today are amazing, and seeing people is a lot more fun than just talking to them.

For example, at the end of the day on Tuesday, one of our teams did a virtual scavenger hunt. From what I hear, it was a great way for everyone to see each other, have fun, and release stress after the day was done.

So, remember to stay safe. But don’t forget that even though we might be apart right now, we’re all in this together.

Ann Marie Hutchins is the wellness program manager at Hyland. She earned a BA in French and Education and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Hiram College. Ann Marie is also a Certified Health and Wellness Coach through Wellcoaches School of Coaching as well as a certified dance aerobics instructor. She has worked in the health and fitness industry for more than a decade and has presented on various health related topics for corporations around the globe. She loves all things French—especially the wine and cheese—and has traveled and lived all throughout France. She enjoys reading novels based in France during World War II, loves cooking and walking her two dogs Gracie and Dash, spending time with my husband—at home—and enjoying the beauty of the shores of Lake Erie.
Ann Marie Hutchins

Ann Marie Hutchins

Ann Marie Hutchins is the wellness program manager at Hyland. She earned a BA in French and Education and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Hiram College. Ann Marie is... read more about: Ann Marie Hutchins