Who’s Involved?

The “who” is you! WWIL is an event of the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Program’s Well-Being Committee serves as a sponsor. Many state organizations, such as the Kansas Task Force for Lawyer Well-Being, KALAP, and local bar associations participate. We invite you to join us and the many other organizations in being a champion for lawyer well-being.

What is it?

Too many lawyers and their support teams aren’t thriving. It’s time to take action. Well-Being Week In Law (WWIL) is one way to do so. You’re invited to join organizations across the legal profession to lead and participate in activities that promote health and happiness across the legal profession.

Why Participate?

Too many in the legal profession struggle with mental health and alcohol use disorders. Many others, while not dealing with a diagnosable illness, still are not fully well. The aim of WWIL is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being.

Ways to Participate in Well-Being Week in Law with the Kansas Task Force

Monday, May 6th – Stay Strong (Physical Well-Being)

Stack Up Your Steps

Get physically active for 25 minutes today through small bouts of activity all day. Keep it going for the rest of the week … and beyond.

Our goal is to do at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week—ideally, aim for 300 minutes. This translates to 22 to 42 minutes per day. You can count bouts of physical activity of any length (e.g., walking briskly from the parking lot). Also try to work in two days of muscle-strengthening activity. (See U.S. DHHS’s 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines).

Be creative and stay positive about moving (“Yay- more chances for steps!”):

  • Walk (briskly) whenever possible—e.g., to work, for coffee, to lunch, to talk to colleagues, etc.
  • When you drive, park far away.
  • Replace sit-down meetings with walking meetings.
  • While watching TV, walk on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike, or do strength exercises.
  • Don’t carry everything at once—e.g., take multiple trips to bring in grocery bags.
  • Walk your dog one more time.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself to get up and move at least 3-4 minutes every hour.

Tuesday, May 7th – Align (Spiritual Well-Being)

Find The Spark: Create Meaning in Everyday Work

Cheers to all you lawyers and legal professionals who wake up each day feeling inspired by your purpose-driven work. For the many who don’t quite feel that way, there’s much you can do to create more daily meaningfulness.

Meaningfulness often emerges from personal growth; feeling that our contributions matter; service to others; and feeling like a valued part of something bigger than ourselves.

So, to create more meaningfulness, you can, for example, connect with clients to hear how your work supports them professionally and personally. Help your colleagues. Think about how your smaller piece of work fits into the larger whole. Find ways to express your skills, strengths, and values more fully through your work.

  1. To spur your thinking about creating more meaningfulness, ask yourself these three questions and then take action:
  2. How does this work impact another human being?
  3. What is made possible by my work? 3. How can I use one of my strengths more to do this task?

It takes some attention and effort but all the little bits add up to a more meaningful work experience–which, in turn, can boost your well-being and engagement.

For more information and ideas, see Dr. Anne Brafford’s article Judge’s Well-Being and the Importance of Meaningful Work (which applies to everyone, not only judges).

Wednesday, May 8th – Engage and Grow (Career and Intellectual Well-Being)

Build Breaks Into Your Work Day

Take several breaks throughout your work day to help you maintain focus, brain health, and mental well-being. Our brains start to repair themselves during breaks as short as 10 minutes.

There aren’t one-size-fits all rules about breaks, so find what works for you. Use an hourly timer as a reminder to check in with your mind and body about whether it’s time for a break. Or add daily breaks as calendar entries. Encourage and support colleagues in doing the same and avoid break-shaming.

Here’s a short article called Breaks for Breakthroughs for further guidance.

Thursday, May 9th – Connect (Social Well-Being)

Send a Quick Gratitude Note

Use IWIL’s free e-message tool to send a note of appreciation to a colleague, client, friend, or family member. Feeling and expressing gratitude is an easy, science-based way to help protect and promote our physical and psychological health (e.g., higher mental well-being and self-esteem and fewer depressive symptoms) and strengthen our relationships at work and at home.

For more information and ideas about gratitude, see this brief article How Gratitude Makes You Happier.

Friday, May 10th – Feel Well (Emotional Well-Being)

Mental Health Self Check-In

Do a mental health check-in with yourself. Start by taking a brief mental health self-assessment. Use a mental health checklist to evaluate any areas of risk for you and make a plan to take action. A few resources are provided below:

Looking for more ways to participate? Head over to the IWIL website for more ideas.