ALA Annual 2023

Self-Care for #alaac23 and Every Day

Self-care. It’s something that we’ve heard a lot about, especially since the pandemic. But is it something that we’re practicing regularly? In the last three years, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring self-care. So, I was excited to see a session dedicated specifically to it. Bobbi Newman of the Network of the Library of Medicine taught this session, titled Self-Care During Stressful Times.

It’s important to remember that self-care treats the symptoms, not the root cause. Many of the leading causes of burnout may be outside your control. Still, it’s worth the effort to explore what’s not working for you. A good self-care practice can reduce anxiety and depression, improve your mood and energy, and even improve your relationships.

Here are some strategies you might try:

  • Take your breaks. Use your vacation regularly, use sick time, and make a point of taking your lunch break away from your desk. Designate quiet times when you aren’t interrupted.
  • Know your limitations. Keep your own capacity in mind and learn to say no in ways that feel comfortable to you.
  • Leave work at work. Go home on time as much as you can – the work will always be there and there will always be more. Don’t take that work home with you.
  • Make your workspace work for you. This might mean adding comforting items to your space, adding small decorations, or setting your space up to maximize ergonomic comfort.
  • Practice mindfulness. This can be through breathing, eating, meditation, walking, or any other practice that keeps your grounded in the moment, without judgement.

A great point to keep in mind about self-care: It doesn’t have to cost you anything, although if you’d like to purchase things to support your self-care routine, you can. You can find plenty of strategies that might resonate with you. Experiment until you find some that fit.

What’s your favorite self-care strategy?

Today’s guest contributor is Jaime Eastman (she/her/hers). Jaime is a senior Public Services Librarian and Family Place Coordinator at the Harrington Library, one of the Plano (Texas) Public Library locations. She’s currently serving as a member of the ALSC Board of Directors. This will be her second Annual Conference. She is looking forward to many things, including finalizing the strategic plan with the rest of the Board, seeing great educational sessions sponsored by ALSC, and connecting with members both in person and through the blog. Jaime is currently working on at least two ambitious cross stitch projects, dreaming of future travel plans, and reading far too many books at once. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be an author. Writing for the blog and publishing with Children and Libraries feel like a good start, and she regrets nothing about her adult decision to be a librarian doing storytimes who didn’t have to grow up too much.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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