Updated: Feb. 26, 2021

Well-being is an institution-wide responsibility. When our professional and organizational cultures support our well-being, we are better able to make good choices that allow us to thrive and be our best for our clients, colleagues, and organizations. It is up to all of us to cultivate new professional norms and cultures that enable and encourage well-being. Do your part and help spread the word. Well-Being Week in Law May 3-7,  is a good next step we can take together.

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Hail to the Holy Trinity! Nutrition, Exercise, and Sleep are critical for cognitive, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Here are some ideas: 

Nutrition: Commit to a 30–day challenge! It can be not eating after dinner or simply not bringing chips or sweets into the home. Perhaps you can start each day with a smoothie? Or find a recipe that will be good health and great taste together.

Exercise: Get moving! Perhaps you need an audio book or music playlist to walk to. Not trusting gyms, try streaming a High Intensity Interval Training session from your home. Investing in home exercise equipment can help break through the blahs when the weather is dismal. Or why not try Desk Yoga?

Sleep: Poor sleep will impair your concentration. Kick your cell phone and laptop out of your bedroom! Check out these 12 tips for improving sleep. Or spoil yourself with new sheets or a weighted blanket.

Alcohol: Overuse of alcohol and other substances is a primary source of attorney impairment. Track your consumption with an app. Commit to a sober 30 challenge. Or join Washington’s attorney AA group the Unbar on Zoom by emailing unbarwa@gmail.com.

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Spiritual well-being. Well-being is a continuous process that includes spiritual well-being or embracing a greater purpose in life. Regardless of how you define your spirituality, spiritual well-being means making healthy, positive work-life choices to assure quality of life not only for your family and community but also for your legal clients. Here are some practices that support spiritual well-being:

Meditation or yoga. Don't have time? Sure you do. Start with desk meditation,  desk yoga, or a yoga class online.

Serving your community. Consider volunteering some of your time on a WSBA board of committee or your section's executive committee. It's a great way to network while giving back. Help the underserved in the justice system with pro bono representation or through the WSBA's Moderate Means Program.

Communing with nature. The Pacific Northwest offers endless opportunities to gain some headspace in the great outdoors. It's great for your physical health as well as spiritual well-being.

Alone time. Reserve some quiet time alone to ponder the meaning of life. Build awareness through journaling, art, or music. 

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Engage and Grow. We hope that you join us in committing to personal and professional development, growth and continuous learning. This week, we are excited to feature a presentation by Stefanie Harris, who will address the importance of self-compassion and resilience. Insert Program Description. Register here.

Additional relevant on-demand WSBA CLEs:

Ethics Booster

Have resources you’d like to share? Join the conversation and comment on Twitter and Facebook!

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Build connection, belonging, and a reliable support network. Contribute to groups that matter to you.

Do acts of service for others. Compassion and volunteering has huge health benefits and creates a sense of connection. To find volunteer activities in your area, check out VolunteerMatch, Washington State Parks, United Way, and MRSC.

Do Pro bono work. Provide legal services to low and moderate income individuals in your community. For pro bono opportunities, checkout Pro Bono Washington, ABA Pro Bono Center, PSJD, and WSBA Moderate Means Program.

Volunteer with WSBA. Volunteer to serve on a WSBA bar committee, board or panel! The 2021 Volunteer and Selection cycle beings March 15! Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page for more information.

Celebrate members of your team. Celebrate your teams’ wins. Share stories about what made you want to be a lawyer or a mistake you made that you thought was insurmountable.

Take care of oneself. Stress is linked to high self-focus and therefore a lower sense of connection; if you are happy from within, you are also more likely to feel connected, to reach out to others, and to make the world a happier and sunnier place.

Ask for help. People are willing to help us but if we don’t ask, they assume we don’t help. Reach out to those around you.