Tuesday, June 27, 2006

University Libraries Provide Resources to Enrich Lives, Stir Imagination

It is officially summer, and some of us are thinking about vacation. Thoughts come to mind, such as warm ocean breezes, the feeling of warm sand slipping between our toes, tides rising and falling, and beautiful sunsets.

Vacation time is when we act on our plans to get away from all of the chaos of daily life to retreat to an oasis where time seems to stand still. However, my advice to everyone is to not wait until a planned vacation to relax — explore the University Libraries’ treasure-trove of resources to put more hours in your day, ease your troubled mind, and find the focus that you need to refresh your mind, heart, and spirit.

Last month, I highlighted three target zones for improving personal performance by using training and development materials in the University Libraries’ collections. One of the things I notice about myself and many of my friends is how we try to manage a healthy balance between work and family. Here are some techniques that I have found useful for minimizing stress:

• Get out of the kitchen! Explore the vast variety of national and international cookbooks in the University Libraries’ collection. These are guaranteed to cut your preparation time and increase the variety of food choices without compromising the taste of your cookery. Alternatively, during the summer, escape the kitchen entirely by firing up the grill to enjoy the outdoors while savoring the company of family and friends. Trying a recipe from an international cookbook is guaranteed to be an adventure and taste bud delight.
• Turn off the television and turn on to yoga. One of the benefits of an exercise program is that you will release the body’s natural endorphins that may counteract the effects of stress. Another benefit is the mental focus from pursuing an exercise program that leaves one feeling renewed. The Educational Resources Center has a nice collection of yoga videos that range from beginner to advanced. Additionally, the general collections houses many illustrated books about correct postures. These help a person who wants to have a self-paced routine.
• Stop and grow the roses. Gardening has a therapeutic effect on the human spirit and is a pastime that can be enjoyed individually or by the whole family. Some fun projects are to grow a vegetable or herb garden, dabble in some home landscaping, planting some flowers. There are books about these topics in the collection, too.

The University Libraries’ collections have a large number of resources for personal growth and development, recreation and leisure, and discovery. Exploring these resources can enrich one’s mind, heart, and spirit. Who knows, maybe you won’t even want a vacation? Nah!

Kathleen Pickens' Top Picks for Cook Books and Yoga
Six Ingredients or Less
Cooking to Beat the Lock
All Fired Up! Outdoor and Indoor Grilling
Outdoor Cooking
The Whole World Cookbook
Journey into Power: How to Sculpt Your Ideal Body, Free Your True Self, and Transform Your Life with Yoga


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