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The Wellbeing Superfecta

Dr. Loren Dyck and Dr. William Luse from the College of Business, with Dr. Gareth Craze from Western Sydney University, conducted a workshop at the Western Academy of Management meeting on a topic often overlooked in academia – personal wellbeing. The session highlighted the inextricable link between physical and mental health, and how prioritizing wellbeing can enhance scholarly performance.

Restful sleep, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and mindfulness/contemplative practices form the four pillars of the “Wellbeing Superfecta.” Neglecting any of these fundamental pillars can undermine both physical and mental health, which are necessary for sustained, productive, academic work.

While the benefits of embracing these pillars are evident, workshop participants discussed the unique challenges academics face in adopting a healthy lifestyle. The mentally taxing nature of scholarly work, coupled with an entrenched culture that glorifies overwork, can make it tempting to deprioritize self-care in pursuit of career advancement.

But sacrificing one’s health on the altar of productivity is not sustainable. By attending to the wellbeing superfecta, academics can cultivate the physical and mental resilience necessary to perform at their best, both in their research and in the classroom.

The workshop encouraged participants to reflect on how they could personally integrate the four pillars into their lives, underscoring the highly individualized nature of wellbeing.

The Western Academy of Management (WAM) was founded in 1960, and is an affiliate of the Academy of Management. WAM a professional association dedicated to advancing management research, education, and practice in the Western United States and Western Canada. WAM’s annual meeting, held in March, brings together scholars, educators, and practitioners from the region to share their work, network, and engage in professional development activities.