Should we all be taking burnout more seriously?

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Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series.

If you once loved what you do for a living, but have since become disillusioned, depressed, and detached, you may be suffering from burnout. It’s a serious condition that can have a detrimental effect on your physical health, relationships, and employment. In this column last week, we discussed the definition, symptoms, prevalence, and dangers of burnout. You can read it in The Library Blog at ebonnerlibrary.org.

You may have heard that self-care is the antidote to burnout. While adopting a self-care regimen can counteract symptoms, research shows that external factors play a large part in the underlying causes of burnout. In treating burnout, we have to acknowledge our work environment as well as our work style. In that respect, self-care is not the antidote. Treating burnout involves dealing with the big picture. Self-care will raise your threshold for coping with the stress in healthy ways that will result in a measure of relief and happiness.

Often the term “self-care” conjures up thoughts of pampering ourselves with bubble baths and retail therapy. It is more accurately described as health care that you prescribe for yourself. Before embarking on a self-care treatment plan, you should carefully consider whether to seek professional medical treatment. Burnout is not mere work-related stress. It can lead to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and suicidal thoughts. This article does not attempt to diagnose and treat anyone in the absence of a medical evaluation.

Burnout may rear its head occasionally or present itself as a prolonged, chronic condition. Your self-care regimen should be consistent. You have probably adopted some behaviors that help you cope, but are not particularly healthy. These may be exacerbating the condition. You may not think you have the energy to add or change anything in your lifestyle, but starting with a small change can help dramatically. Here are the top five self-care activities to adopt and how The Library can be a helpful source for each:

1. Exercise. Extensive research shows that adding regular and enjoyable exercise to your lifestyle has the most impact on burnout. Do it for fun, not as a chore. Use your library card to explore books, videos, and magazines on sports, hobbies, and other activities you are interested in. This can get you excited and energized to take a step toward incorporating exercise into your lifestyle.

2. Social support. Support from an understanding human is critical. Find a friend, mentor, or counseling professional to regularly bounce your thoughts to. The Library has been called the “Living Room of the Community.” You are bound to bump into empathetic colleagues and friends when you visit. Just being around other people rather than isolating yourself can be effective. You might also consider joining a group or starting one where you can collaborate and support others in a community room at either branch library.

3. Eat deliberately. New research is revealing the impact of nutrients on our gut biome, indicating a direct relationship to how our food makes us feel. Educate yourself about basic nutrition principles using physical and digital materials (books, videos, etc.) from branch libraries, the bookmobile, and the Digital Library at ebonnerlibrary.org. Ask library staff to assist you.

4. Go outside. Studies show that even 5 minutes outside each day during daylight hours has incredible health benefits. The Sandpoint and Clark Fork Libraries are located in the heart of our communities, making them easily walkable. Try a StoryWalk™ at the City Parks in Dover and Ponderay. Learn about them in the schedule below and at Facebook.com/BonnerStoryWalks.

5. Quality sleep. This is a tough one for some, but don’t overthink it. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep, particularly between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Doing the other 4 things on this list have been shown to contribute to the ability to fall and stay asleep. You can perform some potentially sleep-inducing research on sleep using the EBSCOhost research database in the Digital Library or search for nonfiction titles on “Sleep” in the library catalog.

If you have been neglecting your health due to a lack of time, energy, or interest due to burnout, start backing your way out today. Learn more on this subject by doing your own research at The Library or the Digital Library at www.ebonnerlibrary.org. Library staff are available to help guide you to materials related to your search. Comment on what has helped you to recover from burnout in the online version of this article at bonnercountydailybee.com.

The following classes and events take place at the Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar St., unless otherwise noted.

East Bonner County Library District schedule

• Fridays — Explore virtual reality (reserve sessions), 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; reserve a 15-minute session in the VR room at ebonnerlibrary.org/Events on the event listing. Information: Contact the Tech Desk, 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Fridays — M.A.C. (Manga/Anime Club) for Teens, 3-5 p.m., Room 102. Celebrate fandom at The Library. Read, write, and watch your favorite manga and anime with other enthusiasts. Information, 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or kimber@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Saturday, Jan. 25 — Family Virtual Reality Day, 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m., in VR room. Reserve a 30-minute session with your family or small group of friends in the VR room at ebonnerlibrary.org/Events on the event listing. Info: Contact the Tech Desk 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Saturday, Jan. 25 — ASL Participatory Performance, Harriet Tubman; 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation Community Room A. This standalone workshop will involve a participatory performance using ASL and based on the song, “Harriet Tubman” by Holly Near. Open to anyone regardless of level. For more information, contact Susan Schaller at susan.schaller@gmail.com.

• Saturdays — Explore virtual reality (reserve sessions), 2-4 p.m.; reserve a 15-minute session in the VR room at ebonnerlibrary.org/Events on the event listing. Information: Contact the Tech Desk 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Monday, Jan. 27 — Open play, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., in Karen’s Room at the East Bonner County Library District’s Sandpiont branch, 1407 Cedar St. This is a drop-in STEM-inspired “What can you build?” challenge. Younger children should have a parent present. Infornation: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Monday, Jan. 27 — Kids Science Day, 3:30 p.m., at the East Bonner County Library District’s Sandpiont branch, in the Innovia Foundation Community Room B and outside. Learn all about winter by exploring the science of snow (if we have snow). If we don’t have snow, we’ll substitute other winter science activities. Wear warm clothes so we can go outside. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Tuesdays — Mother Goose, 10 a.m., in Karen’s Room. Stories and singing for babies and toddlers 0-3 years old and their caregivers with stay and play until 10:40 a.m. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Tuesdays ­— Preschool Story Time, 11 a.m. in Karen’s Room. Stories and crafts for kids and their caregivers. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Tuesdays — Explore virtual reality (drop-in sessions); 3-6 p.m., drop-in 15-minute sessions. First come, first served. All ages welcome. Under 18 must accompany parent consent form. Under 10 must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian. Information: Contact the Tech Desk, 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Tuesday, Jan. 28 — ASL Participatory Performance, Harriet Tubman, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation Community Room A. This standalone workshop will involve a participatory performance using ASL and based on the song, “Harriet Tubman” by Holly Near. Open to anyone regardless of level. For more information, contact Susan Schaller at susan.schaller@gmail.com.

• Wednesdays — Clark Fork Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m. at the Clark Fork branch library. Stories, rhymes, and music for toddlers and their caregivers followed by 20 minutes of play time. Information: 208-266-1321.

• Wednesdays — Storytime, 11:30 a.m. at the Clark Fork branch library. Stories, music, and crafts geared to ages 3-6. All welcome. Information: 208-266-1321.

• Wednesdays — Teen Lounge Passive Pop-Up Programs, 4 p.m. in the Rotary Teen Lounge. Teen-driven art, engineering, robots, and science projects and workshops as space allows. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or kimber@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Thursday, Jan. 30 — Puppet Tales. 10:30 a.m. in Karen’s Room. Come listen to puppet, cutting, and drawing stories. All welcome. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Kids and Families Winter Reading Challenge — Register at ebonnerlibrary.beanstack.org for the second of three winter reading challenges. Our second challenge is a nationwide winter challenge sponsored by Beanstack (our online reading platform) and Penguin Random House. High participation from the communtiy could earn the library a visit from kids’ author Max Brailler or other prizes from the publisher. In addition to helping the library compete nationally, kids will win free books and chances to win robots, while adults will earn chances to win free groceries. This challenge runs from January 1-31. A third challenge will follow in February. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or suzanne@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Teen Winter Reading Challenge — Runs through Feb 29. Fun new format and great prizes. Visit ebonnerlibrary.beanstack.org for more information and to register. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or kimber@ebonnerlibrary.org.

• Rotary Teen Lounge — Open to seventh-12th graders from any school/homeschool; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 2-6 p.m., and Fridays, 2-5 p.m. Information: kimber@ebonnerlibrary.org, or 208-263-6930, ext. 1245.

• StoryWalk — Pages from a children’s book are posted along a trail for a fun, family experience. Enjoy “Baking Day at Grandma’s,” by Anika Denise at Dover City Park and “Cat Knit,” by Jacob Grant at McNearney Park. Read, connect, and get outside at a StoryWalk, a partnership of The Library, Kaniksu Land Trust, city of Dover, and city of Ponderay. For more information, visit Facebook.com/BonnerStoryWalk.

Marcy Timblin is in charge of public relations, marketing & community development for the East Bonner County Library District. She can be reached at 208-208- 208-208-263-6930, ext. 1204.

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