How Practicing Gratitude Improves Your Life and What Our Staff is Grateful For
The COVID-19 pandemic has seeped into every corner of our lives. The virus continues to change the ways in which we interact, the ways in which we visit public places, and the ways we appreciate what we have.
Through the pandemic, library staff has adjusted rapidly to rule changes and safety requirements to accommodate our community while also ensuring customers and staff can remain safe. Reviewing the changes and adjustments that occurred during the pandemic prompted us to ask staff what they were grateful for just in time to recognize Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season!
We wanted to highlight gratitude not only because it is such an integral piece of Thanksgiving, but also because the practice of gratitude has been proven to improve mental and physical health. Additionally, while the holiday season means cheer and good spirits for some, trends show depression and anxiety actually spike around the holidays.
Here are just a few ways in which gratitude has a positive impact on our health according to studies conducted by Harvard Medical School:
- Those who regularly practice gratitude are more likely to exercise, have lower blood pressure, and have fewer physician visits throughout their lifetime.
- A single gratitude practice (e.g., writing a thank you letter) has been shown to increase happiness scores up to 20% for the week following the practice.
- When co-workers or work superiors’ express gratitude, workers were found to be upwards of 50% more efficient in completing work-related tasks.
Poudre River Libraries Staff Gratitude
In celebrating the “season of gratitude” here is what our staff said.
Àfrica Garcia, Outreach Librarian
“I’m grateful for my awesome co-worker Ludy. I started working for the library in March 2020, so it wasn’t super easy to start a new job and 4 days later being told to work from home. Ludy was always there to support me when I didn’t know what I was doing, and she still does!”
Linda Justice, Library Assistant
“I am grateful for our customers! They have been great. They tell us how much they appreciate all that we have to offer, even though (through COVID) our offerings are often different than, more limited, and sometimes just not there as compared to pre-pandemic. We have customers who have been calling the answer center to find out what they should consider when bringing food to staff. And so many of them do bring us goodies.
Often people talk about working with the public as being a “thankless job,” But it seems like the opposite – our customers are constantly letting us know how important we are to them. And they are important to us – in fact, they are the reason we have a job!”
ia, Systems Administrator
“I am grateful for our staff at the Answer Center. Not only is the department celebrating 10 years of existence but they always answer our patrons inquiries via the phone or email with such a great attitude and customer service. It truly exemplifies the core values of the library.”
Katie Auman, Communications Manager
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work at the library alongside amazing people who love what they do. After such a difficult year and a half, it’s satisfying to have people around you who are supportive, kind, and funny.”
Susan Harrison, Answer Center Technician
“As it pertains to the library during this time of tremendous challenges, I’m thankful to be a part of this team! These ever-changing challenges (circumstances) continue to strain us, but in the midst of it all, I see my Answer Center colleagues show love and respect to everyone that contacts us. I see the rest of you doing the same! Thankful and Grateful to be working with you during this COVID wonkiness.”
Practicing Your Gratitude
If you would like to expand your own sense of gratitude, you can take this Gratitude Art Journal class with Creativebug. All you need is a Library Card to get this creative gratitude practice started! Find Creativebug on our website’s Research page, or click the image below!
More of a reader? Below is also a selection of books centered on gratitude for your enjoyment! We hope you had a wonderful holiday and take a little bit of time today to practice gratitude.
Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
Leading with gratitude: eight leadership practices for extraordinary business results by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
The Power of Thank You: Discover the Joy of Gratitude by Joyce Meyer
Attitude of Gratitude by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton