Below is a transcript of the recent 'No More Spring Break: Howto Avoid Spring Fever at Work' online chat conducted March 17th onWAVY.COM.
Brooks KXAN: Hi, and welcome to our chat today on SpringFever! 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 aboutSPRING FEVER!! Plenty of us have kids - or know those who do - whoare 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 tohandle it - without going crazy, being miserable, or getting fired.
Brooks KXAN: I'd like to introduce Melissa Schenker, ourpanelist/moderator/expert from Work/Life Austin - a coach andfounder 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 Tweetsabout this subject - just to see what the buzz is = I can't be theonly 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 JanFerguson, a Recruiter with Goodman & Company, LLP in NewportNews, Va.
Jan, please introduce yourself to the group.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Did you know that spring feveris an actual physical thing? - the body's response to the changingseasons. It creates different internal responses, usuallyrestlessness, excitement or laziness. Or, for some of us, maybe allthree at once...
janvferguson: Hi, Im Jan Ferguson. as Jane mentioned, I amwith Goodman & company in Newport News, VA. I have over 13years of recruitment and staffing experience. I am very excited tobe joining you all today.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Hi, Jan. Glad to have you along.
Brooks KXAN: Similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder, whenpeopel get depressed during the winter?
janvferguson: Thanks Melissa. I think i might be one of thosepeople who experience all 3 physical reactions :0
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] My husband's job has "summerhours". They work an extra hour M-Th so they can get half a day onFridays. 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, thebody 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, andnot so frequently done by companies.
Brooks KXAN: That's a great idea. I deal with Spring Fever byfinding assignments outside the office to work on. How does onefigure out if it's just seasonal?
[Comment From DCDC: ] My company does summer hours too.
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] I think a lot of people savetheir vacation for the warm weather months for this reason.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: For most of us, probably thebiggest hazard would be to ignore the pull altogether and just staybuckled down, nose to the grindstone.
janvferguson: after tax season, our office - which is mainlyan accounting firm, offers flex hours during the summer as well.
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] how do u get over the springfever if u have to work a swing shift from week to week .. hard forme even to get excited about any seasonal change
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I think to know if it's justseasonal or is something bigger, one would do a few things inresponse to the season and see if it helps or if the malaise (orwhatever is bothering you) continues.
Brooks KXAN: Sounds like 911frog and Melissa are addressing asimilar issue - Melissa - you're saying we shouldn't just "getover" spring fever - but try to address it somehow.
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] i do days and evens week toweek hard to enjoy alot of the great weather
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Absolutely.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Ignoring it is likely to depressyou.
janvferguson: I agree. I think ignoring "spring fever" onlymakes it worse.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Ignoring it will also likelymake you resentful. That's toxic.
janvferguson: I think the hardest part is getting past thetime change. once my body adjusts, i love having spring fever!
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] dont ignore it or it willcomsume you ...
[Comment From MallyMally: ] it's really depressing not havingspring break @ work :(
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: To address it think of ideas forat work, and for outside of work.
JackieKXAN: janvferguson: I feel ya! The want to get out is agood feeling because once you're out and about, it feelsproductive.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: There are plenty of things youcan do. I'll tackle outside of work first, because really, trulythat's what most of us want.... Get ready for one of my lists!
janvferguson: I am way more productive at work during thespring b/c i think my body loves the sunshine,
[Comment From MallyMally: ] I find myself wanting it to beFriday @ 5:00 EVERY single day :(
Brooks KXAN: YAY I LOVE YOUR LISTS!
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] that is true get out andenjoy the day . i have to use imagination at work when i am onevening shift looking out of the window watching the cars pass bymy window ... sometimes i get lost in it and forget to answer thehones heh
janvferguson: being in recruiting for so long, i come acrossa lot of companies. i think companies should embrace the spring andhelp their employees get the "Fever" out. i am a true believer ofwork/life balance.
Brooks KXAN: says the 911 operator LOL
Brooks KXAN: DO you come across lots of companies whorecognize that?
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] oppss phone
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] lol
janvferguson: unfortunately, no. i think particularly on theeast coast we lag behind on the forward thinking of employeewellness & work/life balance.
Brooks KXAN: Absolutely - re ignoring it, making it worse,depressing you, resenting - makes you feel like you're missingsomething. "I spend all my time here at work while the rest of theworld is enjoying life in this gorgeous weather" or whatever. Whenit's not really any different than any other time of the year (formost of us)
[Comment From 911frog911frog: ] i do cme back to it all andget my job done thanks
Brooks KXAN: I'm just kidding, 911 frog LOL
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Basically, it's known thatpeople are generally more satisfied by new experiences than by newthings. 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 isnew 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 greatthis 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 arethree 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 reallyeffects your desire to work, you ought to do things outside of workthat you FULLY enjoy and allow yourself to experience. So that youhave some sustenance when you do go to work.
Brooks KXAN: I like the idea of cooking something new. Thisweek, woudl be good to get out to a festival.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Then, you can think about whatto do to reinvigorate your work.
Consider a new challenge. Propose something.
Reorganize your workspace.
Modify your schedule if you can - start earlier so can havetime outside. Or at least take an afternoon or morning off.
Reorganize your work time - reconsider how you block out yourwork day.
Bring some spring in to your office - some fresh flowers, oreven fake flowers.
Brooks KXAN: And those kinds of things help, so when you goback to work, you don't feel so restless?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks - yes, I think so. Whatdo ya'll think?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Speaking of Festivals and tryingnew food - I think the Food & Wine Festival (for the Austinfolks on the chat) is coming up soon. Yep, in April. Here's thelink http://www.texaswineandfood.org/
Brooks KXAN: <----- just had internet issues, sorry aboutthe silence...
JackieKXAN: I think flowers in the office is a GREAT idea! Infact, our general manager thinks it's important to spruce up theoffice with fresh plants, too. :)
janvferguson: that is one of my favorite things aboutspring/summer - the festivals
JackieKXAN: Nifty --> Add plants without sacrificingoffice space. http://www.partition-planters.com/
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Jackie - I find it amazing howmuch difference fresh flowers can make!
JackieKXAN: I know, Melissa! Seems like it breaths some freshlife by them just SITTING on your desk. And the colors can bebeautiful! :)
Brooks KXAN: Jan - y0ou said you noticed that on the eastcoast they're less open to promoting work/life balance and officeenvironments that help address spring fever - why do you supposethat is?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I've seen lots of people get akick out of simple toys in the office. Don't have to be expensiveor big but sure can be conversation starters. Less calories thancandy...
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 mydesk. It's the neatest little toy ever. :)
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: One friend had quite an amazingtoy lizard collection. In New York City, the Director of Sanitationhad a whole collection of toy trucks on his shelf.
janvferguson: I think part of it is we are more "known" forbeing a "nose to the grindstone" area.
janvferguson: particularly the region i am located in. we areprobably more of a blue collar area.
janvferguson: Melissa - I have good friend who works insanitation 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 workare you in?
Brooks KXAN: Jan - OMG hilarious.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Jan - does she keep hercollection at work?!
Brooks KXAN: I don't really have toys on my desk. I havepictures. When I was a cops reporter, I had that yellow crime-scenetape around the back of my desk, but after a week or so, my editorsmade me take it down. Said it startled visitors.
janvferguson: her last name is also Kohler. ...haha
[Comment From DCDC: ] publishing
[Comment From ChefSunnyBrezzChefSunnyBrezz: ] How closelytied 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. theylook really real too.
[Comment From DCDC: ] I have a collection of happy meal toyson my shelf
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Chef - not sure I quiteunderstand what you are asking....
JackieKXAN: janvferguson, the poop is WAY funny! Guess it's amotivator when you're having a heck of a day. HA
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I've got a small wooden top onmy desk - I spin it when I'm waiting...
Brooks KXAN: Are you asking how the natural cycles - seasonsmaybe? - affect productivity in general? That might be where he'scoming from - sounds like.
[Comment From DCDC: ] My supervisor's daughters like to playwith them when he pops in with them. The oldest one even wrote me athank you note for letting her play, which of course is on theshelf with the toys.
[Comment From ChefSunnyBrezzChefSunnyBrezz: ] Does the outputreflect spring groth?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: DC - that's great.
Everyone in Austin knows about ToyJoy, right? Collector'sheaven.
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 - seeingif 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, increaseworker productivity and reduce crime."
Kind of an esoteric topic, but i'm looking.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Another thing I do in the springis hunt down all the great outdoor patios. Anyone in Austin havesome favorites?
Brooks KXAN: Opal Divine's is nice.
Is it even Spring in Newport News yet? :) LOL Or ar eyou gusystill chilly up there?
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Garrido's has a great patiooverlooking Shoal Creek.
JackieKXAN: Union Park's is comfortable, and it's right inDowntown Austin... Kona Grill's is great, too!
janvferguson: Its @ 55-60 degrees today. the convertibles areout!
Brooks KXAN: Here's a cool article on the Science of SpringFever ...
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Jan - daffodils blooming yet?
Brooks KXAN: That's not bad - 55-60 - as a Southerner, Iwould still be chilly. I wear a jacket until it's in the 70s.
Brooks KXAN: "Particularly important is the adjustment inmelatonin, a hormone that affects our mood and how we sleep. As aresult of light changes, the body naturally produces less melatoninduring 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 curioussince humans have no mating session.
Brooks KXAN: The scientists say that there's an increase insexual appetite when Spring hits.
janvferguson: Im still wearing a coat.
Brooks KXAN: But I guess when it's cold outside, there's theurge to stay in and Keep Each Other Warm, too :) Lots of babiesborn in August and September :)
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks - keep reading. A UTresearcher says sexual activity is actually highest in the fall.
Brooks KXAN: Jan - the very definition of spring fever! Stillneed 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 nomating 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 didconvertibles with the heater on as soon as there was a sunny springday!
janvferguson: Melissa, my baby was just born in October. :)
Brooks KXAN: For people who suffer from seasonal affectivedisorder (SAD), spring fever can be particularly pronounced.“They act as giddy as a puppet on a string this time ofyear,” says Rosenthal. “But they are simply extremeexamples 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 sexualappetite increases when thel ight changes and becomes more abundanti nthe spring - but then, the most sexual activity in the fall?
Brooks KXAN: Anyway. There we go. Getting off the topic athand and talking about sex LOL Again ... spring fever ...
janvferguson: although you would think w/ the weather beingwarm and the less clothes you have on, the sexual activity wouldincrease in spring/summer.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks -- LOL
Brooks KXAN: "It’s also the time when suicides andhospital admissions for depression peak. Psychologists havespeculated that depressed individuals survive the winter clingingto the hope that spring will rejuvenate their lives. When itarrives, however, their expectations are dashed as life continuesas before and the depression persists. For some people, as the poetT. S. Eliot said, April is indeed the cruellest month."
janvferguson: in terms of job hunting, it does slow down inthe spring & summer. particularly staffing.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: I think that article requires apretty close reading, which I can't do while we chat!
Brooks KXAN: I agree :) I'm just picking and choosing theinteresting parts :) It's what i do best
Brooks KXAN: I like the ideas you gave for rejuvenatingyourself 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 sunnyit seemed we'd never get free of dragging around those heavy coatsand wearing boots.
[Comment From DCDC: ] Brooks I see it like this: In thespring the appetite increases but because it is nice out we findother things to do than feed that appetite. In the fall we may notbe as "hungry" but since we can't really go out and do anythingelse, 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 withSpring Fever? Do you guys have some ideas? Other than doin gwhat ido, and complaining that in my line of work, there's no such thingas Spring Break?:) (Except when I had to go cover it)
janvferguson: i will be sure to go out to lunch and find aplace where they have outdoor seating. that helps me a bit.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Brooks - that must've beentough! To cover spring break as a reporter! Recipe for trouble??!!
[Comment From DCDC: ] I know we tend to spend much more timeoutside doing ANYTHING. Even cleaning the yard or just sittingoutside around the BBQ pit. Although we do spend a lot of timearound that pit all year long.
Brooks KXAN: Well, actually, I was 31 years old and we had togo to South Padre. I was never so glad to leave a place! I was 10years older than everyone else there. Someon eactually called myfriend - who came with me - "grandma." She was 40.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: oh, wow.
Brooks KXAN: Although, the perk was that the paper bought usa hotel room on the beach. Could have been worse. But having tointerview drunken college kids while they craned their necks to seeth wet T-shirt contest going on behind me >.. LOL NOT EASY.
Not the worst thing in the world. It had it's moments. ButMAN was I glad to get out :)
Brooks KXAN: I did get into an interesting conversation withsome of crew from Girls Gone Wild, but that's a story for antoherday. ...
Brooks KXAN: Here's what I day dream about these days ...
[Comment From DCDC: ] I think the hardest thing for me inspring is when the time changes and I have to get out of bed whileit is still dark. So hard to do until it starts getting lightearlier.
Melissa Schenker, Work/Life: Dc - yes, I've been finding thathard this week, too. I like that the day is light later, but thatearly morning is hard!
Brooks KXAN: I'd throw out one more idea for battling SpringFever 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 andbringin it back, or using it to run errands, but when i take timeto sit down to lunch, for my full lunch hour, on a pretty day witha friend, it's ENORMOUSLY helpful.
janvferguson: that is what i do. and find a place w/ outdoorseating! a must!
Brooks KXAN: And music =- that helps. this week, in Austin atleast, it's easy - there are daylong shows going on all week. Butat 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, Iused to go out into the courtyard and eat lunch and then just putmy 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 SunBreaks here, too, and just go sit in the parkinglot for a fewminutes. Its' amazing what it'll do for you.
Brooks KXAN: Ok, we're about to run out of time - thankseveryone for joining us - Jan, it was great having you with us -hope you'll get to join us again soon! Melissa- a pleasure asalways!!!!
janvferguson: thank you for having me!
Brooks KXAN: Everyone, have a wonderful rest of the week andjoin us next week, same time, same place, right here, for a chat onretirement.
AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES, GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!
Brooks KXAN: over and out!
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