March 27, 2020 |
Whew. It feels like an understatement to say that these are strange and stressful times. We’re so proud to support the work our clients are doing, every day and especially during crises like this pandemic. Many are providing critical aid to those who are vulnerable, and we recognize that each one of us benefits from the work that nonprofits do to function as a safety net for so many.
Internally, we’ve been putting our heads together to share ways of taking care of our staff during this time. As a company, we’ve got some community care strategies in place – our whole office is teleworking to allow everyone to minimize contact, and folks with caretaking responsibilities are free to work flexible hours in order to meet their family’s needs. And of course, we are maintaining our commitments to keeping employees healthy by providing paid time off and covering our staff’s health insurance premiums. This week, CEO Stu Trevelyan announced that he will stop receiving his paycheck indefinitely, to ensure that maximum financial stability can be provided to EveryAction employees during this time.
Separately, we’re also sharing our personal self-care practices with one another. Lots of us are engaging in mutual aid networks where we live (once a do-gooder, always a do-gooder), but we know everybody takes care of themselves in different ways. Maybe some of them will be helpful for you too, so we’re summarizing a few of the things we’re doing, from meditating to online learning to virtual workout classes.
Even though people don’t work 24 hours a day, the news cycle definitely does – and it can be stressful to constantly see news alerts and twitter threads with dire predictions in between work tasks and meetings. We realized it was important to set up some regular company-wide activities in the mornings and afternoons to reset our stress levels during the day.
“Timeout and Tea”
This is a daily, virtual, open-forum fifteen-to-thirty-minute meeting with a portion dedicated to a guided meditation for relieving stress and easing anxieties. We use the rest of the meeting for dialogue and discussion.
Body Strength and Cardio Class
A 45-minute body strength and cardio interval class that includes a warm-up, core work, and a cool-down stretch – no equipment needed, except a mat or carpet for comfortability. This class is brought to us virtually by our friends at Next Phase fitness studio, a local business that we’re happy to support during this time.
A 45-minute zoom yoga class led by a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Once again, no equipment needed, except a mat or carpet as desired.
Sometimes combining a high-concentration activity with a little levity is the best solution for taking your mind off other anxieties for a while. Group games and activities are keeping us all connected, even while we can’t share physical space!
Staff already make good use of Slack for work and common areas of interest. Now we’re seeing channels where #parents provide tips on good home-schooling resources, share stories of uncouth at-home “co-workers,” and provide support. There’s a #self-care channel focused on sharing meditations, exercise options, recipes, and soothing practices.
And, of course, each other
EveryAction folk like each other. Many of us miss the small conversations in the kitchen or the Friday Social time at 4pm. Teams have taken to setting up lunches, happy hours, or coffee breaks on Zoom so we all stay caught up with each other.
Want to replicate some of this for yourself or your nonprofit’s virtual workplace? Here are some free virtual activities to keep your team going:
10-minute morning stretches – for when working on your laptop from your favorite chair starts giving you a crick in your neck.
Recorded 305 Fitness dance cardio class – a local favorite!
15 days of a free trial with Barre 3 – bars might be closed, but at-home bar(re) isn’t.
Thousands of workout classes on the 90-day free trial of the Peloton App – and not just for the bike or treadmill.
450 (yep, you read that right) courses you can take online for free – especially coding courses.
Brit + Co classes – creativity takes a lot of brain space, which might be a good distraction.
Some final tips from our staff to yours:
"I've been focusing on the things I can control, and letting the rest go. If I'm in panic mode I won't be able to help myself or anyone else during this time."
–Carolyn Burnham, Senior Product Designer.
“I am really focusing on movement. Every day I'm trying to do yoga in the morning, a walk at lunch, and an exercise video in the evening. Taking care of my body and having an outlet for pent up energy has been really useful! I also have some creative outlets like drawing and sewing, so I don't spend too much time scrolling through Netflix.”
–Amanda Shore, Product Manager.
“I’ve really loved spending time in the kitchen while practicing social distancing. While I’ve always been a foodie, cooking and baking more than I usually do has given me a good excuse to get on my feet, given I’m not able to walk or exercise as much as I would under normal circumstances. Additionally, I’ve been doing more face masks in the evening and even making my own. It’s another good way to pass the time, and my skin looks and feels great. There are a lot of amazing and affordable products out there. It’s also been fun to take advantage of a lot of online sales that support smaller or local businesses!”
–Ryan Seltz, Account Executive.