One of the problems in my career is staying fresh about library service. Often you get into ruts, feel unloved and probably underpaid and under-appreciated. I am lucky enough to have people in my life who have no problem saying "snap out of it" and then hand me some candy. Since not everyone has this available, here are some of my tried and true strategies for getting out of a rut and getting back to what you love. One of the first posts I drafted for Practical Librarian was about staying fresh by getting out there in library land. (Click here to read that post.) Today, I would like to suggest some strategies for those bad days when everything and everyone seems stupid.
Consider your energy level and ask yourself if you could be in the throws of burnout or depression. You might need a health checkup. Consider some days off or a serious break to help you get back on track. Taking charge of your health can be a mood boost by itself. Walk outside for a few minutes and grab some fresh air. Even in the coldest weather, I have been known to walk outside and "check" the parking lot or building to get a break and some fresh air.
Grant it, this works for the weeding type people more than those "resistant". Cleaning up the collection and doing routine maintenance can give you a mental boost knowing that you have organized even a small section. Out with the old and moldy can seem oddly refreshing.
Create a reading list, a read-a-like list, a pathfinder, list of websites etc. My webmaster is always wanting more stuff for our Facebook or Twitter feed. Consider some favorites that are light in nature and fun for everyone. Maybe you aren't the only one who can use a mood boost. Remember collection development is not just flipping through a Booklist. Think of articles on the web, funny videos, quizzes and contests and start sharing.
This also works with certain library types. You can organize and straighten up shelves as well as walk around the library. Good for the stacks, good for security and good for patrons. You will also feel accomplished.
These are my strategies and they might not necessarily work for you but it is important to return to your personal list of freshness strategies. They don't have to be big plans but sometimes just taking 10 minutes to walk, think or breathe can do wonders for your attitude.