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Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Explorations & Survey Debrief

Thank you to everyone that participated in the Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Survey! If you missed our virtual debrief on November 17, check out the recording of the event below, where OhioNet’s Director of Consulting Michelle Bradley provides an overview of the survey results, along with additional insights pulled from survey data. Be sure to read more about our upcoming discussion series below, where you’re invited to explore each of the PERMAH pillars that support wellbeing.

Join us for our virtual explorations of each PERMAH pillar, starting with Positive Emotions on 12/1!

Based on the results of our PERMAH statewide workplace wellbeing survey, we will hold weekly virtual discussions on each of the PERMAH pillars of wellbeing. The discussions will be structured using an appreciative inquiry framework and will involve paired and small group breakouts, and we will capture and record discussion themes in MURAL. The purpose of the discussions are to discover actionable strategies that could be employed at the statewide level to improve workplace wellbeing. Because these exploration events are highly interactive in nature and include small group discussions, the Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Explorations series will not be recorded. At the conclusion of the series, OhioNet will share what we learn in a report and virtual debrief. Stay tuned for additional details!

Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Exploration Session: Positive Emotions

Researchers have found that the experience of heartfelt positive emotions—like joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love—can make you more optimistic, more resilient, more open, more accepting, and more driven by purpose (Green et al., 2009). As William James said over 100 years ago, “We don’t laugh because we’re happy; we’re happy because we laugh.”

Dr. Susan David (2016) explains that emotions, from blinding rage to wide-eyed love, are your body’s immediate physical responses to important signals from the outside world. When your senses pick up information—signs of danger, hints of romantic interest, cues that you’re being accepted or excluded by others—your body physically adjusts to these incoming messages. These physical “embodied” responses keep your inner state and your outward behavior attuned to the situation at hand and can help you not only survive but also thrive.

Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Exploration Session: Engagement

Studies have found that higher levels of Engagement leads to improved confidence, creativity, performance creativity and wellbeing. Using your strengths and achieving a flow state (also know as “being in the zone”) can boost your sense of Engagement.

At some point, each of us has experienced what using a strength—those things you’re good at and actually enjoy doing—feels like. They’re the moments that you find yourself looking forward to, which completely absorb you, and leave you feeling more confident, energized, and satisfied.

Likewise, a flow state is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed, and
feeling energized focus, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and the resulting transformation in one’s sense of time.

Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Exploration Session: Relationships

Evolution has genetically wired us for Relationships that fuel our need for connection and belonging. Our relationships with others are our best guarantee of lowering stress and raising wellbeing. Studies show that each positive interaction we have during the course of the day actually helps return our cardiovascular system back to resting levels, and over the long haul, they protect us from the negative effects, such as burnout.

When it comes to our community, our sense of belonging is linked to a range of positive outcomes, including: higher self-esteem, greater life satisfaction, faster recovery from disease and less mental health challenges. Each connection also lowers cortisol levels, which also helps us bounce back faster from stress, and makes us better prepared to handle similar challenges in the future.

Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Exploration Session: Meaning

Humans are not only wired to be social, but to seek or make meaning of our lives. Dr. Michael Steger (2012) finds people who report having a sense of meaning are more satisfied, less depressed and anxious, and more committed to their careers, organizations, and community.

Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Exploration Session: Accomplishment

Nature wired us each to be perfectly imperfect, so that as the world around us changes we can adapt and evolve as needed. While bumping up against your limitations can feel frustrating, and falling short of your ideals can be disappointing, it’s important to understand that these uncomfortable and often stressful feelings are simply nature’s invitation to learning and growth. The good news is that nature also wired you with curiosity, creativity, and the ability to connect with others to navigate these challenges

Redefining success, striving for a growth mindset, and reaching for self-compassion are all critical to boosting one’s sense of Accomplishment.

Ohio Library Workers Wellbeing Exploration Session: Health

Your physical Health determines the levels of energy you have to care for your wellbeing. Eating well, moving regularly, taking time to recover, and sleeping deeply each day are all critical to ensuring we have the energy to thrive consistently.

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