Skip to main content

For information related to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: grad.illinois.edu/covid-19-updates.

Balance and Wellness

Many professionals have a history of neglecting their personal health and well-being for short periods of time in order to complete projects. The “all-nighter” is perhaps the most well known example of prioritizing task completion over and above personal well-being. 
 
The research on wellness has begun to focus not only on the personal benefits of self-care activities, but also improvements in workplace productivity. There is strong evidence, for example, that sleep quality affects the retention and recall of information. It has also been shown that the ability to sustain attention and manage distractions is associated with sleep quality.
 
There has also been some recent research focused on how productivity is affected by breaks during the work day. These types of findings suggest that frequent breaks are not only a wellness activity, but also a method of improving in the quality and quantity of work.
 
A successful wellness plan should be integrated into your daily routine. It may be tempting to defer wellness activities whenever you are busy, and this can be a viable option at times. However, if you do so consistently, you risk some of the negative outcomes that are often associated with a lack of balance in our workplaces, including low motivation, disorganization, low morale, distractibility, etc.  
 
Some of the wellness activities that you may want to include in your workplan include:
  • A sufficient amount of time allocated for sleep on a daily basis
  • A nutrition plan that includes a healthy, balanced diet
  • Some type of consistent exercise
  • A commitment to take breaks from your work at least several times per day
  • Time set aside for play, recreation, hobbies, sports, etc.
  • Socializing with friends and family
  • Time for worship, prayer, spirituality, faith