Updated: Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010, 2:58 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010, 2:58 PM EDT
Below is a transcript of the recent 'No More Spring Break: How to Avoid Spring Fever at Work' online chat conducted March 17th on WAVY.COM.
Brooks KXAN: Hi, and welcome to our chat today on Spring Fever! We'll start in about 12 minutes.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Good morning!
Brooks KXAN: Good morning!
Brooks KXAN: LEt's get started! Today we're talking about SPRING FEVER!! Plenty of us have kids - or know those who do - who are on Spring Break this week.
But I'm not! 'Tis the season, in that case, for Spring Fever. Today we'll talk about what it is, where it comes from, and how to handle it - without going crazy, being miserable, or getting fired.
Brooks KXAN: I'd like to introduce Melissa Schenker, our panelist/moderator/expert from Work/Life Austin - a coach and founder there - thanks, as always, for being with us, melissa!
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: My pleasure, thanks, Karen!
Brooks KXAN: Throughout our chat, I'll be posting Tweets about this subject - just to see what the buzz is = I can't be the only one looking wistfully out the window and feeling restless.
Do you have Spring Fever?
Yes, all the time!
( 11% )
( 11% )
Only when it's nice out
( 78% )
WAVY.com Web Desk/Jane: And I would like to introduce Jan Ferguson, a Recruiter with Goodman & Company, LLP in Newport News, Va.
Jan, please introduce yourself to the group.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Did you know that spring fever is an actual physical thing? - the body's response to the changing seasons. It creates different internal responses, usually restlessness, excitement or laziness. Or, for some of us, maybe all three at once...
janvferguson: Hi, Im Jan Ferguson. as Jane mentioned, I am with Goodman & company in Newport News, VA. I have over 13 years of recruitment and staffing experience. I am very excited to be joining you all today.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Hi, Jan. Glad to have you along.
Brooks KXAN: Similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder, when peopel get depressed during the winter?
janvferguson: Thanks Melissa. I think i might be one of those people who experience all 3 physical reactions :0
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] My husband's job has "summer hours". They work an extra hour M-Th so they can get half a day on Fridays. I am soooo jealous.
Brooks KXAN: What field is he in?
JackieKXAN: All Wikipedia has to offer on "Spring Fever.": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Fever_%28syndrome%29
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I guess the opposite of S.A.D. - that is when the body suffers from lack of light. This season, the body is revving up because of increased light.
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] Architecture
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Guest - that is a smart firm! Recognizing and working with people's real needs is very smart, and not so frequently done by companies.
Brooks KXAN: That's a great idea. I deal with Spring Fever by finding assignments outside the office to work on. How does one figure out if it's just seasonal?
[Comment From DCDC: ] My company does summer hours too.
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] I think a lot of people save their vacation for the warm weather months for this reason.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: For most of us, probably the biggest hazard would be to ignore the pull altogether and just stay buckled down, nose to the grindstone.
janvferguson: after tax season, our office - which is mainly an accounting firm, offers flex hours during the summer as well.
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] how do u get over the spring fever if u have to work a swing shift from week to week .. hard for me even to get excited about any seasonal change
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I think to know if it's just seasonal or is something bigger, one would do a few things in response to the season and see if it helps or if the malaise (or whatever is bothering you) continues.
Brooks KXAN: Sounds like 911frog and Melissa are addressing a similar issue - Melissa - you're saying we shouldn't just "get over" spring fever - but try to address it somehow.
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] i do days and evens week to week hard to enjoy alot of the great weather
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Absolutely.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Ignoring it is likely to depress you.
janvferguson: I agree. I think ignoring "spring fever" only makes it worse.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Ignoring it will also likely make you resentful. That's toxic.
janvferguson: I think the hardest part is getting past the time change. once my body adjusts, i love having spring fever!
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] dont ignore it or it will comsume you ...
[Comment From MallyMally: ] it's really depressing not having spring break @ work :(
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: To address it think of ideas for at work, and for outside of work.
JackieKXAN: janvferguson: I feel ya! The want to get out is a good feeling because once you're out and about, it feels productive.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: There are plenty of things you can do. I'll tackle outside of work first, because really, truly that's what most of us want.... Get ready for one of my lists!
janvferguson: I am way more productive at work during the spring b/c i think my body loves the sunshine,
[Comment From MallyMally: ] I find myself wanting it to be Friday @ 5:00 EVERY single day :(
Brooks KXAN: YAY I LOVE YOUR LISTS!
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] that is true get out and enjoy the day . i have to use imagination at work when i am on evening shift looking out of the window watching the cars pass by my window ... sometimes i get lost in it and forget to answer the hones heh
janvferguson: being in recruiting for so long, i come across a lot of companies. i think companies should embrace the spring and help their employees get the "Fever" out. i am a true believer of work/life balance.
Brooks KXAN: says the 911 operator LOL
Brooks KXAN: DO you come across lots of companies who recognize that?
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] oppss phone
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] lol
janvferguson: unfortunately, no. i think particularly on the east coast we lag behind on the forward thinking of employee wellness & work/life balance.
Brooks KXAN: Absolutely - re ignoring it, making it worse, depressing you, resenting - makes you feel like you're missing something. "I spend all my time here at work while the rest of the world is enjoying life in this gorgeous weather" or whatever. When it's not really any different than any other time of the year (for most of us)
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] i do cme back to it all and get my job done thanks
Brooks KXAN: I'm just kidding, 911 frog LOL
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Basically, it's known that people are generally more satisfied by new experiences than by new things. So, go out and have a new experience.
Do something out of the ordinary for yourself.
Go for a walk - maybe on a trail or in a neighborhood that is new to you.
Try a new place - coffee shop, restaurant, store.
Try a new sport.
Try a new hobby.
Go people watch in a new place (downtown will be pretty great this week).
Get away from people and in to nature.
Invite someone new out to lunch or coffee.
Have a picnic.
Go to a park you've never tried.
Listen to new music.
Try cooking new food, using new ingredients.
Go to the Farmer's Market.
What else - anyone want to add to my list??
janvferguson: Join a group sport that gets you out - ie. kickball or volleyball groups
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Basically, I think there are three categories of things to think about - physical, emotional, and organizational. Get your body moving in a new place or new way. Connect with new people or in a new place. Reorganize your space.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Even though spring fever really effects your desire to work, you ought to do things outside of work that you FULLY enjoy and allow yourself to experience. So that you have some sustenance when you do go to work.
Brooks KXAN: I like the idea of cooking something new. This week, woudl be good to get out to a festival.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Then, you can think about what to do to reinvigorate your work.
Consider a new challenge. Propose something.
Reorganize your workspace.
Modify your schedule if you can - start earlier so can have time outside. Or at least take an afternoon or morning off.
Reorganize your work time - reconsider how you block out your work day.
Bring some spring in to your office - some fresh flowers, or even fake flowers.
Brooks KXAN: And those kinds of things help, so when you go back to work, you don't feel so restless?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks - yes, I think so. What do ya'll think?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Speaking of Festivals and trying new food - I think the Food & Wine Festival (for the Austin folks on the chat) is coming up soon. Yep, in April. Here's the link http://www.texaswineandfood.org/
Brooks KXAN: <----- just had internet issues, sorry about the silence...
JackieKXAN: I think flowers in the office is a GREAT idea! In fact, our general manager thinks it's important to spruce up the office with fresh plants, too. :)
janvferguson: that is one of my favorite things about spring/summer - the festivals
JackieKXAN: Nifty --> Add plants without sacrificing office space. http://www.partition-planters.com/
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Jackie - I find it amazing how much difference fresh flowers can make!
JackieKXAN: I know, Melissa! Seems like it breaths some fresh life by them just SITTING on your desk. And the colors can be beautiful! :)
Brooks KXAN: Jan - y0ou said you noticed that on the east coast they're less open to promoting work/life balance and office environments that help address spring fever - why do you suppose that is?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I've seen lots of people get a kick out of simple toys in the office. Don't have to be expensive or big but sure can be conversation starters. Less calories than candy...
Does your office help you address Spring Fever?
( 50% )
( 50% )
I work for myself
( 0% )
JackieKXAN: I have a mini battery-operated lava lamp on my desk. It's the neatest little toy ever. :)
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: One friend had quite an amazing toy lizard collection. In New York City, the Director of Sanitation had a whole collection of toy trucks on his shelf.
janvferguson: I think part of it is we are more "known" for being a "nose to the grindstone" area.
janvferguson: particularly the region i am located in. we are probably more of a blue collar area.
janvferguson: Melissa - I have good friend who works in sanitation too. she has a collection of poop. fake, of course ...lol
Brooks KXAN: Mally LOL Friday every single day - me too! Weeks tend to drag aroudn this time of year.
Brooks KXAN: DC if you're still with us, what line of work are you in?
Brooks KXAN: Jan - OMG hilarious.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Jan - does she keep her collection at work?!
Brooks KXAN: I don't really have toys on my desk. I have pictures. When I was a cops reporter, I had that yellow crime-scene tape around the back of my desk, but after a week or so, my editors made me take it down. Said it startled visitors.
janvferguson: her last name is also Kohler. ...haha
[Comment From DCDC: ] publishing
[Comment From ChefSunnyBrezzChefSunnyBrezz: ] How closely tied are the natural life cycles of the planet and the work ethic, overall productivity of the Nation?
janvferguson: yes she does. she was a client of mine. they look really real too.
[Comment From DCDC: ] I have a collection of happy meal toys on my shelf
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Chef - not sure I quite understand what you are asking....
JackieKXAN: janvferguson, the poop is WAY funny! Guess it's a motivator when you're having a heck of a day. HA
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I've got a small wooden top on my desk - I spin it when I'm waiting...
Brooks KXAN: Are you asking how the natural cycles - seasons maybe? - affect productivity in general? That might be where he's coming from - sounds like.
[Comment From DCDC: ] My supervisor's daughters like to play with them when he pops in with them. The oldest one even wrote me a thank you note for letting her play, which of course is on the shelf with the toys.
[Comment From ChefSunnyBrezzChefSunnyBrezz: ] Does the output reflect spring groth?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: DC - that's great.
Everyone in Austin knows about ToyJoy, right? Collector's heaven.
JackieKXAN: Oh, my goodness!! ToyJoy is so much fun!
JackieKXAN: Keeping Austin fun --> http://www.toyjoy.com/
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Chef - ah, I see. Not sure.
Brooks KXAN: I'm doing some diggin gright now, chief - seeing if i can find something for you. What have you heard on that?
Brooks KXAN: From Sustainable Life Media: "A few urban trees, a park or a small patch of forest can improve health, increase worker productivity and reduce crime."
Kind of an esoteric topic, but i'm looking.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Another thing I do in the spring is hunt down all the great outdoor patios. Anyone in Austin have some favorites?
Brooks KXAN: Opal Divine's is nice.
Is it even Spring in Newport News yet? :) LOL Or ar eyou gusy still chilly up there?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Garrido's has a great patio overlooking Shoal Creek.
JackieKXAN: Union Park's is comfortable, and it's right in Downtown Austin... Kona Grill's is great, too!
janvferguson: Its @ 55-60 degrees today. the convertibles are out!
Brooks KXAN: Here's a cool article on the Science of Spring Fever ...
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Jan - daffodils blooming yet?
Brooks KXAN: That's not bad - 55-60 - as a Southerner, I would still be chilly. I wear a jacket until it's in the 70s.
Brooks KXAN: "Particularly important is the adjustment in melatonin, a hormone that affects our mood and how we sleep. As a result of light changes, the body naturally produces less melatonin during spring, causing a lift in mood, a reduced desire to sleep, an increase in sexual appetite and a need to eat less.
[Comment From ChefSunnyBrezzChefSunnyBrezz: ] Just curious since humans have no mating session.
Brooks KXAN: The scientists say that there's an increase in sexual appetite when Spring hits.
janvferguson: Im still wearing a coat.
Brooks KXAN: But I guess when it's cold outside, there's the urge to stay in and Keep Each Other Warm, too :) Lots of babies born in August and September :)
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks - keep reading. A UT researcher says sexual activity is actually highest in the fall.
Brooks KXAN: Jan - the very definition of spring fever! Still need a jacket, but the convertible top is down anyway, because, dangit, that sun is out!
Brooks KXAN: Making chief's point that there really is no mating season.
I'm going a graph at a time here.
janvferguson: Brooks, you are right!
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: When I lived in Boston, we did convertibles with the heater on as soon as there was a sunny spring day!
janvferguson: Melissa, my baby was just born in October. :)
Brooks KXAN: For people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), spring fever can be particularly pronounced. “They act as giddy as a puppet on a string this time of year,” says Rosenthal. “But they are simply extreme examples of the changes that occur in all of us in spring.”
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Congrats, Jan!
janvferguson: thank you!
Brooks KXAN: OK, I'm confused by this article - says sexual appetite increases when thel ight changes and becomes more abundant i nthe spring - but then, the most sexual activity in the fall?
Brooks KXAN: Anyway. There we go. Getting off the topic at hand and talking about sex LOL Again ... spring fever ...
janvferguson: although you would think w/ the weather being warm and the less clothes you have on, the sexual activity would increase in spring/summer.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks -- LOL
Brooks KXAN: "It’s also the time when suicides and hospital admissions for depression peak. Psychologists have speculated that depressed individuals survive the winter clinging to the hope that spring will rejuvenate their lives. When it arrives, however, their expectations are dashed as life continues as before and the depression persists. For some people, as the poet T. S. Eliot said, April is indeed the cruellest month."
janvferguson: in terms of job hunting, it does slow down in the spring & summer. particularly staffing.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I think that article requires a pretty close reading, which I can't do while we chat!
Brooks KXAN: I agree :) I'm just picking and choosing the interesting parts :) It's what i do best
Brooks KXAN: I like the ideas you gave for rejuvenating yourself at work - changing around the schedule in particular.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: April in Boston seemed forever - there was still snow on the ground, and although it could be sunny it seemed we'd never get free of dragging around those heavy coats and wearing boots.
[Comment From DCDC: ] Brooks I see it like this: In the spring the appetite increases but because it is nice out we find other things to do than feed that appetite. In the fall we may not be as "hungry" but since we can't really go out and do anything else, we figure why not "eat". LOL
Brooks KXAN: HAH! That theory's as good as any!
Brooks KXAN: How does everyone else out there deal with Spring Fever? Do you guys have some ideas? Other than doin gwhat i do, and complaining that in my line of work, there's no such thing as Spring Break?:) (Except when I had to go cover it)
janvferguson: i will be sure to go out to lunch and find a place where they have outdoor seating. that helps me a bit.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks - that must've been tough! To cover spring break as a reporter! Recipe for trouble??!!
[Comment From DCDC: ] I know we tend to spend much more time outside doing ANYTHING. Even cleaning the yard or just sitting outside around the BBQ pit. Although we do spend a lot of time around that pit all year long.
Brooks KXAN: Well, actually, I was 31 years old and we had to go to South Padre. I was never so glad to leave a place! I was 10 years older than everyone else there. Someon eactually called my friend - who came with me - "grandma." She was 40.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: oh, wow.
Brooks KXAN: Although, the perk was that the paper bought us a hotel room on the beach. Could have been worse. But having to interview drunken college kids while they craned their necks to see th wet T-shirt contest going on behind me >.. LOL NOT EASY.
Not the worst thing in the world. It had it's moments. But MAN was I glad to get out :)
Brooks KXAN: I did get into an interesting conversation with some of crew from Girls Gone Wild, but that's a story for antoher day. ...
Brooks KXAN: Here's what I day dream about these days ...
[Comment From DCDC: ] I think the hardest thing for me in spring is when the time changes and I have to get out of bed while it is still dark. So hard to do until it starts getting light earlier.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Dc - yes, I've been finding that hard this week, too. I like that the day is light later, but that early morning is hard!
Brooks KXAN: I'd throw out one more idea for battling Spring Fever at work ... TAKE LUNCH. Eat outside and take the full hour. No eating at the desk.
Brooks KXAN: I get into the habit of taking it to go and bringin it back, or using it to run errands, but when i take time to sit down to lunch, for my full lunch hour, on a pretty day with a friend, it's ENORMOUSLY helpful.
janvferguson: that is what i do. and find a place w/ outdoor seating! a must!
Brooks KXAN: And music =- that helps. this week, in Austin at least, it's easy - there are daylong shows going on all week. But at the very least - yes, outdoors for sure. AND A MARGARITA! Pretend you're in Cancun!
ok, just kidding sort of .. :)
[Comment From DCDC: ] When I first started working here, I used to go out into the courtyard and eat lunch and then just put my head down and soak up the sun. I need to get back to that.
Brooks KXAN: DC - that's a really good idea. We take Sun Breaks here, too, and just go sit in the parkinglot for a few minutes. Its' amazing what it'll do for you.
Brooks KXAN: Ok, we're about to run out of time - thanks everyone for joining us - Jan, it was great having you with us - hope you'll get to join us again soon! Melissa- a pleasure as always!!!!
janvferguson: thank you for having me!
Brooks KXAN: Everyone, have a wonderful rest of the week and join us next week, same time, same place, right here, for a chat on retirement.
AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES, GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!
Brooks KXAN: over and out!
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