Feeling drained and exhausted? You are not alone. Even though you’re not commuting or doing as many before and after school activities, the things that energized you – including seeing the teachers and students – are missing. But while you can partially attribute the feeling to cabin fever, the major energy drain is due to fear and there’s no getting away from it.
Acknowledging the fear and knowing it’s going to be a part of our lives even after the virus is contained (and hopefully cured) is a good first step. But what else can we do to minimize the energy drain so we are at the best we can be now and going forward? In Maximizing Your Energy During COVID-19 Nicholas W. Eyrich, David Fessell and Gretchen Spreitzer offer three ways to accomplish it. (NOTE: There’s a survey at the end of this article which requires personal information at the end.) They recommend:
Identifying and using your signature strengths – Consider both your people and professional skills. How good are you at lifting the spirits of others? Often helping someone else feel better gives you an energy boost.
How much of a techie are you? Working one-on-one with a teacher (online, of course) to demonstrate a resource will help you focus on doing something positive. When they use it their teaching, they will invariably let you know. Another feel good experience that helps restore energy.
Those of you who are artistic or crafty can create something to share online. The act of creation, particularly when you tune into it is an energy boost. Bringing beauty to others adds to your pleasure and that too adds to your energy.
And since energy carries over, think about your strengths and joys outside of your job. Do you like cooking, baking, knitting, gardening or singing? Spend some time purposely doing those things. It’s okay to enjoy yourself.
Keeping your purpose ever-present – This is probably my theme song. Your Mission – or purpose – is what keeps you on track. It’s all about your Why.
Why did you become a librarian? What powers you when you are in your library? What can you bring from that into your new environment?
What values are important to you? Note where they are still present. Acknowledge yourself for when and how you further Mission and demonstrate your Why.
Lean into high-quality connections – As always, keep checking in to your PLNs. You don’t only have to use them for advice on how to do something. You can also open up and let them know you are feeling. By sharing your fears and anxieties, not only do you release them (fear hates when you shine a light on it) but you may learn methods others have used for dealing with the same concern or your disclosure could help someone else feel stronger and in good company.
Recognize when you are feeling drained. Identify its cause. Most of the time fear will be at the root. Choose one of the three suggestions to help you restore your energy or let me know others that are working for you. Most of all, be kind to yourself no matter where your energy is. Accept that there will be days when you don’t accomplish much, and don’t expect to give maximum effort all the time.