The 1993 cult-classic movie, Groundhog Day, starring the great Bill Murray comes to my mind each January. It is most apparent to me when I see people who have lost sight of every wellness habit they began between January and October start anew following the holidays. They resolve to eat better, join a gym, actually go to the gym they joined, drink more water, get eight hours of sleep every night, et ceterea. Many of the most popular New Year’s resolutions center on living a healthier, more balanced life. Everywhere you turn, there are articles, blog posts, and news interviews on how to improve your health during the new year. It is commendable to start each year with wellness goals, and it is my sincere hope that each person who begins one has success. But until those resolutions become part of your lifestyle—rather than simply resolutions—each year you will begin anew.
So as the co-chair for the South Carolina Bar’s wellness initiative, Living Above the Bar, next year, I want lawyers in South Carolina to resolve to keep the lifestyle changes they have made during 2017, instead of starting over. But don’t get me wrong, keeping lifestyle changes does not mean refusing to try anything new as part of that lifestyle. It’s always helpful to challenge your muscles, including the mental ones, with something new.
As part of this initiative, the Bar’s Wellness Committee will offer a CLE and other wellness events during the South Carolina Bar Convention, January 19-22, 2017. The CLE presentation, entitled Fit to Practice: Finding Balance to Find Your Happy, will offer 3.0 MCLE Credit Hours, including up to 3.0 LEPR Credit Hours and 2.5 SA/MH Credit Hours and will take place on Thursday, January 19 from 1:45-4:45 pm. The purpose of the seminar is to provide multiple, short presentations from subject-matter experts on a wide range of topics, giving attendees a menu of options to maintain or regain optimal mental, physical, emotional, and professional fitness and wellbeing, healthy stress management, a healthy work/life balance, and the methods by which you can assist others whom you detect may be impaired. The speakers include:
- Jeena Cho, lawyer and author of The Anxious Lawyer, An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation;
- A fellow bar member who will show that professional productivity can be increased by leading a healthier lifestyle and getting outside more frequently;
- Fellow bar members who will discuss the impact of Rule 428, SCACR;
- An Associate Athletic Director from Clemson University, who specializes in nutrition, discussing the effect dietary and nutritional choices have on lawyers’ wellness, stress levels, professional performance, and longevity;
- A fellow bar member who has unique experience and insight into balancing the demands of legal practice with the unexpected challenges posed by familial and other non-work related obligations; and
- A mental health advocate with strategies for recognizing mental health issues in yourself and others (lawyers, judges, clients and others), strategies for seeking help in treating mental health issues, and the de-stigmatization of mental health issues.
In addition to the CLE, the Wellness Committee has put together some wellness activities. For those attending the Bar Convention, Jeena Cho is also providing drop-in meditation instruction from 7:30-7:50 am on Friday, January 20. While many lawyers have never tried meditation—and even scoff at the mention of it—it is something that can improve your life and your practice. Don’t worry, it does not involve chanting or require you to sit in a certain way. Rather, it can be done at your desk or in your home with ease. For those unable to attend the Bar Convention, Jeena Cho’s blog provides tips and instruction (and you can even sign up to receive mindfulness tips directly in your inbox), and Headspace is an app that you can download to guide you through meditation directly from your phone.
Additionally, Greenville’s fitness community is providing amazing discounts and classes during the Convention. Specifically, Barre Evolution is providing a $10 off coupon for attendees to use to attend any of the regularly scheduled classes during the Convention; Zanti Power Yoga is offering a special discounted rate of $10 per regularly scheduled class for Convention attendees; Swamp Rabbit CrossFit is providing a $10 drop-in rate for Convention attendees who are already affiliated with another CrossFit; and CycleBar Greenville will be offering free classes for Convention attendees, including a group ride with instructor Greta Pierson on Saturday, January 21 at 12:30 pm. The group indoor cycle ride is not limited to Convention attendees only. Rather, if you’re a member of the SC Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, a member of the Greenville Bar Association, or a Convention attendee, you can sign up to attend. To sign up: 1. Click here; 2. Click to Reserve your bike; 3. Sign up for an account; and 4. Pick a bike in the class.
If you have never taken an indoor cycle class before, that’s okay, and this should be what you resolve to try in 2017. Indoor cycle classes allow you to control your own resistance—even though when I used to teach it, I always told my students that I wished I had a button that would permit me to control their resistance for them. I’ll be on Bike 7 waiting for you!
Start your healthy lifestyle with us at the SC Bar Convention. Resolve that this is the last year where you start a wellness regimen over again in January. No more Groundhog Day for you. Next January, my hope is that you resolve to continue the success you create this year!