The Maryland State Bar Association (“MSBA”) has teamed up with the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland, Inc. (“WBA”), the Bar Association of Baltimore City (“BABC”), and the Bar Association of Montgomery County (“BAMC”) to help members of the Bench and Bar learn quick and effective ways to improve their overall health and wellness.
It has long been recognized that legal professionals have stressful and sedentary jobs, and often work long hours. In addition, legal professionals tend to deprioritize health and wellness, constantly chasing the elusive “work-life balance.” It is difficult to change these facts overnight, but the MSBA and local and specialty bar associations are taking the first step to address these widespread issues with the first ever Bench/Bar Wellness Week.
Bench/Bar Wellness Week will focus on ways legal professionals can improve their overall health and wellness with simple changes to their daily routines. The event will feature a variety of activities, including week-long challenges, tips, and resources. The event will feature a “Step Challenge,” which will run from midnight on Monday, September 16, through 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 19. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Step Challenge in three categories: 1) individuals, 2) five-person teams from law firms, non-profits, and government agencies, and 3) judges/magistrates-law clerk or administrative assistant teams.
In addition to the weeklong step challenge, each day throughout the week will feature different themes and a variety of activities. For example, the week will kick off with “Mental Health Monday” where participants are invited to attend a seminar in Rockville that focuses on providing tools aimed at helping participants cope with difficult people, create boundaries, and reduce stress.
On “Take Care Tuesday,” participants will enjoy an introduction to meditation led by Alexa Zaledonis, and will also have the opportunity to learn about the positive effects of meditation on productivity, thinking, and overall feelings of happiness, and simple and easy meditation skills. This event will take place at Chrysalis at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods, located in Columbia, and is suitable for all levels, from beginners to those with extensive meditation experience.
“Wake-up Wednesday” will feature a run/walk with members of the Bench and Bar. Lace up your sneakers and join Judges and Magistrates from around Maryland in a run/walk at different times throughout the day. This event will provide a unique opportunity to connect and interact with members of the Bench and Bar in an informal and relaxed setting. Also available on Wednesday will be 15-minute yoga, meditation, and strength training videos that can be done in your chambers, office, home, or while travelling.
The week concludes with the Bench/Bar Wellness Expo on Thursday. With the help of FX Well, this event will be held at City Garage in Port Covington, just a few minutes south of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and will feature workshops, resources, and demos focused on nutrition, exercise and overall healthier living. Mobile health screenings, flu shots, a variety of vendors, and giveaways will also be featured. The Expo is a family friendly event.
For more information on this complimentary week-long event, please visit https://www.msba.org/wellnessweek/