August 24, 2020

The Lawyer Wellness Challenge

BY: James “Rob” Elliott

Attorney Wellness is an area that needs constant attention and focus even during the best of circumstances. With the added pressure of recent global events, this year’s Lawyer Wellness Challenge was an especially welcome reflection and assessment of ourselves during this very long year.

The Lawyer Wellness Challenge was a ten day event that took place virtually from June 18th through June 28th. Over 80 attorneys from all over Virginia participated. The event was presented virtually by the VBA Young Lawyers Division and Public Service Committee, the Virginia Lawyers’ Wellness Initiative, the Virginia Judges & Lawyers Assistance Program, and the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference.

The Wellness Challenge was designed specifically for attorneys and specifically to be completed remotely to adapt to the challenges that we’re facing with the coronavirus. As participants completed tasks from a different wellness category they would tally their scores and post about their accomplishments through social media. There were also opportunities for prizes including water bottles, T-shirts, some awards, and free MCLE programming.

The Wellness Challenge covered areas of Emotional, Social, Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual and Occupational wellness. With social distancing making things just a bit more difficult, the Challenge included some activities such as “attend a virtual mixer,” “tidy your space,” and “watch a feel good movie.” There were also some more traditional wellness activities such as “take a walk,” “make time to stretch,” and “explore a hobby.” The Challege’s interactive Activity Board is still available for use on the VBA’s website.

No matter what you do, whether it’s one of the wellness activities listed above or anything else, it is increasingly important to be mindful of your wellbeing and take a moment to really do a self assessment of your mental health. Being an attorney is an incredibly stressful occupation made even more challenging with the demands of a global pandemic. Don’t forget that before you can take care of each of your clients you need to take care of yourself.

About the Author

James “Rob” Elliott is a general practice attorney from Yorktown, Virginia. He is the Owner and Managing Attorney for the Law Office of James R. Elliott.