Category Archives: Wellness

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Tools for Transitions: Finding A New Home


For most of us in academia, big transitions are inevitable. We move from graduate school in one state to a postdoc or fellowship in another and perhaps through several such temporary positions in search of permanence. And, even if found, permanence can be an illusion as needs of departments, family ties, and other life considerations get in the way. I’m in the midst of a big transition this summer: I’m relocating to Orlando for a new job at the University of Central Florida. So as I navigate th…

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Your Information Diet

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How’s your diet these days? Many people find the summer months to be a good time for making some healthy adjustments to their eating patterns, whether that means eating more fresh vegetables, eating more regular meals, or trying new recipes or cooking methods.

Just as the foods we eat affect the strength, health, and overall well-being of our physical body and brain, the information sources we absorb can affect our attention, emotional state, and mental well-being.

In a recent blog post entitle…

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Make Tomorrow Better, Today

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There are plenty of good suggestions out there about how to create new habits, how to make the most of your mornings, and how to balance your energy for optimal performance. (And we’ve even written a few of these ourselves here at ProfHacker.)

But today I just want to say that you don’t need to read another book or blog post about how to process your email or what to eat or when to do the things on your to-do list.

You already know what helps you be the best version of you.

So right now, just s…

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Open Thread Wednesday: How Fitness-Friendly Is Your Campus?

Bicycling Magazine just published their list of “9 Great Colleges for Cyclists,” and it’s got me thinking about the extent to which a campus does — or doesn’t — make infrastructure choices that encourage cycling or walking (or running) as a means of getting from place to place.

For example, when I went to a conference at Stanford University a few years ago, I was especially impressed by what seemed to be a very robust campus bike community. As the above linked article explains,

The California s…

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Open Thread Wednesday: How to Keep Your Energy Level Up

It’s June, the weather’s getting warmer in South Carolina, I’m teaching a summer course, and by early afternoon I’m ready to take a nap for pretty much the rest of the day. This experience has me thinking about how to do a better job of managing my energy. Over at WebMD, Peter Jaret shares “9 Ways to Get Your Energy Back,” straightforward suggestions involving such things as food, sleep, and exercise. I’m considering this month a personal experiment into this topic, so I’m going to make a few c…

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Tools I Use: Online Noise Generators

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We’ve written before at ProfHacker about choosing your playlist to change your life, about creating a soundtrack for the semester, about choosing songs for the pace of your desired daily run, and about noise-cancelling headphones when you just want silence.

But sometimes you don’t want either music or silence, but just the right sort of background noise. Many people love Coffitivity, a site (and also mobile app) that offers the background noise typical of a coffee shop. Although I often work re…

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Summer Reading: 2014 Edition

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Commencement on my campus was on Saturday morning. Colleagues at other institutions in my town of Spartanburg, SC celebrated last week or today. Now that the exams are marked and the grades are in, or will be in soon, perhaps you will find a bit of time for pleasure reading. I’ve made it a priority to read for fun at least a little bit every day since some time in graduate school. Many of our fellow ProfHackers weighed in on their pleasure reading habits a while back. We’ve also featured posts …

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Open Thread Wednesday: End-of-Term Self-Care Habits?

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It’s the end of the semester, which often means a kind of grading logjam occurs: “Must get late-term assignments done before the final exams/papers/projects come flooding in!” (Otherwise, the well-known Ross Geller method threatens to take over.)

In other words, folks get overworked and tired. And overworked, tired folks often fall back on comforting routines that might not be healthy in the long run, but provide just enough order amid the chaos to get you through. I myself have been known rely…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Breathe


For many of us, it’s the time of semester when everything seems to be piling up at once: committee reports, grading, planning for the summer, planning for the fall, book orders for upcoming classes, last-minute student advising, as well as all of the regular responsibilities that are a part of our personal lives.

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve often encouraged our readers to remember to take a break. In this week’s open thread, we’d like to hear your best suggestions for how to go about doing just t…

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Expecting Balance

[This is a repost of a ProfHacker oldie, originally from 27 May 2011.]

A perennial sore point in academe is the phenomenon of work-life balance. As Amy noted last year, there’s always something you could be doing. What’s more, there’s a good chance you like at least some part of the work, since it’s what drew you into the profession, and so you gladly take on more and more, until you realize that you’ve forgotten that you have a third child or sick parent, or your partner starts taking out pers…