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This is How We Hybrid: 3 Tools to Expand Your “Village”

The last 18 months. Right?

We’ve been fighting COVID, fighting a recession, fighting to save our businesses, fighting with our kids to do their %#$! schoolwork.

And all this time, as the CEO of LYLA (an HR benefit app focused on virtual personal assistance) I’ve been seeing the women we serve struggle to keep their heads above water.

Requests for mental health support increased tremendously. Child care assistance—tutors, sitters, education “pod” leaders—quickly became a must for many moms. Grocery deliveries and other errands have become a way for women to “buy back” time for their families and themselves.

And if I’m being super honest, it’s not just that I was seeing this happen with other women. It was happening to me, too.

It might sound hyperbolical, but I’m 100% serious when I say that I couldn’t have made it through the pandemic like I did if I didn’t have LYLA.

Now we’re all in different stages of returning to the office. And we need to figure out how to help our teams, our communities . . . and ourselves . . . make that transition.

The great thing is that the tools are out there. Some of the same resources we’ve used during the pandemic are going to be invaluable as we transition into our new era.

Here are three of my favorites.

Meditation

I know that for some women, time for meditation sounds like a pipe dream! But even five minutes a day can make a difference. Apps like Calm or Headspace (I use Insight Timer) help prioritize that time by sending reminders. And if you’re new to meditation, they walk you through guided exercises to help you practice!

Side note: if you’re looking for ways to support your team, all three apps have packages you can subscribe to as an employee benefit! Insight Timer’s is just $99/month. (For your whole team!)

CSA Boxes & Meal Kit Services

I love Hello, Fresh to help me get dinner on the table for my 12-year-old son and me. It can feel like such a luxury, having someone basically handle the shopping and the prep for me.

There are a ton of options covering a wide spectrum of prep levels. I love having everything pre-measured and ready to assemble, but some families might go for a CSA service that delivers a box of locally-grown produce or meat cuts to use in whatever creative way you want.

Your Village

This isn’t a tool so much as a resource, and I know it’s been talked about for literally centuries. And that’s because it’s so important.

Leaning on your family (chosen or biological) can help lighten your practical load by sharing errands, trading childcare, borrowing household items you can’t find in the store . . . (I’m not the only one having trouble finding ace bandages or phone cords, right?)

Communing with friends provides solace that you’re not the only one struggling with this or that.

Relying on added-on village members, like LYLA’s virtual personal assistants, can give your time and energy back to you to devote to the things that actually matter.

You don’t need to spend time researching plumbers. Our solutions specialists do that for you. And you don’t need to get into the weeds planning your kids’ after-school routines, organizing a covid-safe birthday party, or even finding a dry cleaner last-minute because a client wants to see you (gasp!) in person. We’ll handle it for you.

And speaking of villages, we’re always looking to grow ours. If you have a service that might be able to help folks navigate this ever-changing situation, get in touch. We’re always looking for new partnerships to support our clients and their teams.

Transitioning together

Our experiences are all different. We all have diverse struggles. But I believe that if we share the tools that are working for us, we can transition together into something even better than what we had before.

For me, I’ll continue to spread the word about the things that are working for me . . . and hope that they find their way and make a difference for someone like you, too.

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