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Many aspects of the daily life, and the library profession in particular, can create feelings of stress. Stress, in fact, is a normal and inescapable part of life. However, too much continued stress can have a serious negative impact on our health, our work, our relationships, and the joy and satisfaction that we experience in library work.

Here are some interesting facts about stress:

  • 43% of adults experienced adverse health effects from stress
  • 75-90% of visits to a physician's office are for stress-related conditions and complaints
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has declared stress a hazard of the workplace

Now for the good news. Stress management skills can be learned and used successfully by anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop is specifically designed for library personnel and the type of stressors they most commonly face. It will help participants understand how stress works, and how it affects us. It will provide proven tools for building the personal strengths and emotional reserves we all need to deal successfully with the most challenging demands of the work day and modern life. Special attention will be focused on providing participants numerous actual, practical, stress management techniques and skills they will be able to use immediately.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Understanding Stress - Where Are We Vulnerable?
    • Stress is a normal part of life. Yep, especially in the library
    • Professor Selyes' world famous stress theory - how stress works
    • Why do we feel the way we feel - and respond the way we do?
    • Flow: an Eastern perspective
    • The long and short-term costs, risks, and (yes) benefits of stress
  • Building Personal Strengths and Emotional Reserves - In and Out of the Library
    • The six dimensions of health - are they working for you, or against you?
    • Building physical resources and healthy habits
      • Sleep
      • Nutrition
      • Activity and exercise
      • Work and lifestyle
  • Tools for Reducing Stress in the Library
    • Time management & priority setting in the real-world library
      • What's the real job? Acknowledging the 10%-50% reality
      • The fine art of taking a break
      • Balancing life and work
  • The Social Aspects of Stress Management
    • Managing staff relationships - managing patron relationships
    • Professionalism, openness, communication, and assertiveness
    • Creating realistic expectations - ours and theirs
    • Building personal relationships and peer support
  • Mastering the Day-to-Day: Finding Peace in the Eye of the Storm
    • Make an oasis in the desert. How physical/mental/emotional self-management skills work. How they help.
      • Breathing & relaxation techniques
      • Progressive muscular relaxation and "The Relaxation Response"
      • Self-talk & reinterpretation
      • Imagery - and visualizing
    • Developing a productive worldview for the library - settling in on what's important to you. Cutting loose from what isn't...

Workshop Instructor: Edmond Otis