4 Ways To Achieve Work-Life Balance with George Brown College

January 10, 2020 | Diana L.

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The new year is often a time when people make new goals and resolutions – but what about assessing the amount of time and energy spent at work compared to personal aspects of their life?

Starting in January, Toronto Public Library, in partnership with George Brown College (GBC), will be offering four free Workplace Resilience programs that aim to support people in achieving work-life balance.

George Brown College logo

While work-life balance can look different for every individual, the goal of this mini-series is to empower people in strengthening workplace resiliency skills through these interactive and practical workshops. We also asked each presenter to give a sneak preview to what they'll discuss at their session.


A man eating pizza in front of a computer station.
Getty Images.

1. Nutrition and Our Brains

The power of nutrients in our diet affects how our brains function, impacting both how we learn and feel. Dr. Linda Gillis, a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Professor at the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at George Brown College, will discuss how the food we eat influences the performance levels of our brains and our moods and how this can affect us in the workplace.

"Did you know that one in three people with depression can have the symptoms reversed through proper nutrition? Did you know that memory is affected when someone is dehydrated by only 2%?" Dr. Gillis will talk about the role of specific nutrients on brain health using current nutrition research, and will share tips, ideas and recipes for healthy mind-friendly meals.


2. Valued Member of the Team

Learn self-improvement tips and become a more valuable team member in any work environment with Eleonora Andretta, a George Brown College professor of English for Academic Purposes. Explore strategies to create energy, learn how to say "no" and get rid of bad habits. 

"One of the most common misconceptions is thinking that 'people can't change' and that we can't help being who we are. The truth is, change is always possible, and therefore improving ourselves is only a matter of finding the right strategies and implementing them in our daily lives."

When we asked Andretta how she's inspired people to embrace change, she stated that she believes "a step-by-step action plan, not a generic overview on good principles and high ideals [is the] key of my approach is finding effective strategies for travelling light in life!" 


3. Mindfulness in the Workplace

Learn about different forms of mindfulness, their emotional and physical benefits, and how it can help in the pursuit of work-life balance with Jessica Paterson, a George Brown College professor in the Office of Academic Excellence. 

Paterson started practicing mindfulness approximately eight years ago to reduce anxiety and depression that she was experiencing in her personal life. and now runs formal training courses and drop-in sessions in mindfulness at the college. 

"A common misconception is that mindfulness is about turning off your brain or emptying your mind but it's really about changing the way we relate to our experience." 

Participants will be invited to engage in an assortment of beginner mindfulness practices – "tuning into your breath to anchor into the present moment. This practice is simple but can be practiced over a lifetime, anywhere, anytime as the breath is with us always." 


A group of diverse people in an office standing in a circle putting their hands together in the middle.

4. Improving Interpersonal Communication Skills

Learn how to enhance and improve the critical communication skills needed in every workplace with Rusa Jeremic, Community Services Professor at George Brown College. 

According to Jeremic, one common mistake is listening vs. hearing. "People often listen to respond, rather than take the time to hear what others are saying. One tip is to be 'other-oriented'. Validate people's perspectives  if people feel heard they are more likely to respond positively."

When we asked Jeremic why she's passionate about helping people improve their interpersonal communication skills "As a mediator, I have seen how explosive situations can be successfully resolved when we really hear what others are saying and rally around our similarities."


The Workplace Resilience mini-series is part of TPL's partnership with GBC to create more access to enhanced, lifelong learning opportunities. No registration required. 

George Brown College logo


On August 29, 2019, the Government of Canada announced changes to the Canada Labour Code that provide better work-life balance and strengthen workplace standards in federally regulated workplaces, recognizing that improving working conditions and work-life balance benefits both individuals and businesses.