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Howard University
Office of Human Resources

October 6, 2021 

Dear Howard University Faculty and Staff, 

We know that achieving a work-life balance can be a difficult daily challenge. Making time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace, can increase stress levels and negatively impact your physical and mental health.  
To avoid being out of balance, the Office of Human Resources is proud to announce our Work-Life Balance Challenge from October 11-24. We will encourage all University employees to track their healthy habits and progress towards restoring or building harmony in their personal and professional lives.  
Registration for the challenge is now open! Visit to join, create an account and view the challenge rules, which state that: 
  • Employees must participate in the challenge as individuals. 
  • Employees will track healthy habits by logging into the challenge site and using the trackers provided.  
  • Employees can track data up to five days in the past if needed.  
  • Entries beyond five days from the activity completion date will be flagged for review and will only be permitted if approved by the challenge administrator. 
Please use the honor system when tracking your activities. 

Tracking activities during the challenge is easy:   Employees will earn a point for each of the following achievements during the challenge:
  • Seven hours of sleep: Sleep is a major element of good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety.  
  • Thirty minutes of physical activity: Thirty minutes of activity is not just good for your body, but your mood too! Exercise has been shown to improve mood for up to 12 hours after you have finished it. Just five minutes of exercise in a natural outdoor setting can improve mood and self-esteem. Studies show that 30 minutes of fast walking five days a week had a significant impact on mild or moderate depression. Thirty minutes of exercise can also work to boost your brainpower and improve your sleep.  
  • Disconnect from stress with meditation: Take a mental break! There are many benefits from meditation, from relieving stress to focusing on breathing to getting a better night’s sleep. Here are some helpful tools for meditating. 
  • Tune out technology an hour before bed: Get a little less screen time in your life. Studies have proven that turning off your device at least one hour before bed can help with falling asleep fast and aid in getting a better night’s sleep.  
  • Family dinner/healthy dinner: It’s time to dine! Put your phone away and turn off the TV. Eat a healthy dinner with your family or significant other. Need some more motivation to make time for a family dinner? Read this. No family to dine with? No problem. You can still enjoy your healthy dinner technology-free. Focus on the food you are eating and reflect on your day.  
  • Talk with a friend: Did you know stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy? Talking with a friend or relative can help diffuse stress. Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while or call a family member who is feeling lonely. 
  • Make time for you: Self-care can nourish your mind, body and spirit. While the main goal of self-care is taking better care of yourself, a much-needed break can also make you a better partner, caregiver, employee, co-worker and friend. Here are a few ideas for self-care. 
Challenge participants will be entered in a raffle to win a $25 e-gift card, but the true reward is better health and a foundation for a longer and happier life. We look forward to joining you on the path to better balance! 
Excellence in Truth and Service, 
Office of Human Resources 
Benefits Department 


Howard University
Office of Human Resources
Howard University
2244 10th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059