Wellness in the Workplace


This fall, we will be talking about Mental Health in our 154th issue of the Verdict and teamed with this, we are launching a Wellness in the Workplace initiative at TLABC. We will begin this new initiative, by asking you… our members and our readers… How do you get your health on?

With the fall issue of the Verdict, we hope to provide some insight into how some of our TLABC members and staff are answering this question. Travel, theatre, un-anticipated illness and injury are all circumstances that have inspired some of our TLABC members and staff to think about their health (physical and mental) and wellness a little bit more critically. We’d like to encourage you to do the same.

While health and wellness can often be seen as an inside job, we cannot underestimate the impact we have on one another.

We, at TLABC, want to encourage our members to live well, so that we can also work well. We want to create environments where wellness in the workplace is encouraged, and health (both physical and mental) can be made a priority.

Remember that at TLABC we are a team and:

T – ogether
E- veryone
A  – chieves
M – ore

To get involved in this initiative, we encourage you to send us your photos, stories or favourite wellness posts and tag #TLABCwellness on Twitter and Instagram! Email megan@tlabc.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter@tla_bc for more information.

Business Man Relaxing On The Beach


Perspective: TLABC New Lawyers Retreat

We think it’s important to get some perspective, from time-to-time, on our events and programs from the people they are designed to benefit the most… our members!

Recently, we held our inaugural New Lawyers Retreat in Squamish, BC and from all accounts, it was a huge success!  Set up as a mentorship weekend, TLABC hosted a group of new lawyers and seasoned veterans for an outdoor adventure retreat.

One of the new lawyer committee representatives, Alexia Majidi, shares her account of this awesome event.

“The first ever New Lawyers Retreat this year was nothing short of a true success!

From the mentors, the speakers, and the general collegial atmosphere, everything was just great. Friday night was an opportunity for everyone to meet and to socialize in a more comfortable setting than what we are all used to back in the office. It was a chance for everyone to loosen up and get to know one another before getting down to business on Saturday morning.

Saturday, we all slowly made our way to the conference hall and sat back and listened to some of the greatest in our profession. Barb Cornish and Mary-Ellen Boyd gave us vital insight into a successful mediation, while The Honourable Madam Justice Lisa Warren gave us her “Top DOs and DON’Ts in the Courtroom.” As a new call, there is nothing more valuable than getting these sorts of tips straight from the top!

Later we broke into smaller groups and had a chance to ask general questions, like work-life balance and the key to a successful practice, from amazing mentors. Once the educational part of the retreat was over we all headed off on our Squamish adventures. Once back from the adventures, we got together for a BBQ and beverages before we headed off into town, finding ourselves belting karaoke tunes with (TLABC President,) Aseem, at The Chief!

I am already looking forward to planning and attending next years’ retreat! It was the perfect way to learn, meet great mentors, and to enjoy ourselves with some of the most humble and brilliant minds that make up the BC Bar today.” 

 Alexia Majidi
TLABC Member/Lawyer – Jiwa Law Corporation


Wellness Wednesday – Workspace

Several years ago I worked with a woman who bought herself fresh flowers every week. She didn’t spend a fortune, often less than $10 a week. I don’t know what it was, but somehow these flowers placed near her workspace made her, and the rest of our office, very happy.

I liked her habit, and soon incorporated it in to my own routine. Once a week I would make a point to stop on my walk home from work, and purchase a few flowers. Rather than taking these flowers to work mind you, I would place them in and around my apartment. Again, the flowers worked their magic, and seeing them around made me happy.

As I write this, I realize the only plants visible from my office, are the illustrated succulents I have chosen as computer screen saver. Cute as they are, I think it is time to add some life to my office.

Just in case I needed any further convincing, this article (below) by the Guardian has sealed the deal! Plants in offices increase happiness and productivity. – Julia Chalifoux, Publisher


Creating a Happy Workspace with Plants 


Wellness Wednesday

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There’s no way around it, particularly in our profession.  In fact, it surrounds the way we think, act, and even succeed.  Part of what is attractive about a career in litigation is the fast-paced,  high-stakes environment itself – There is a certain adrenaline rush that comes from working hard, going to court, helping clients, fighting for JUSTICE.  But with all this comes an immense amount of stress.

In our office, we’re constantly talking about “work life balance.”  It’s a lovely thought. Being able to succeed at life with everything in harmonious balance… work, family, home, health, passion, fitness, sleep… (wait, what’s sleep?)

Well, wouldn’t that be lovely.  So how does it work?

For today’s Wellness Wednesday, we are posting some tips for reducing job stress, found in Chatelaine Online.  While stress cannot be avoided, and the work must continue to get done, it’s crucial for our health to find ways to cultivate balance.

These may seem like basic concepts, but do we do anything with them?  Rarely.

And so… read, digest, implement what you can.  Baby steps, as they say.

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From “The Toxic Effects Of Workplace Stress” by Kathryn Hayward for Chatelaine Online – (October 27, 2015)…

Dr. David Posen’s tips for reducing job stress

1. Leave work an hour earlier. “Never in 30 years have I had a patient who couldn’t get the same amount of work done in less time when they took better care of themselves.”
2. Spend that extra hour after work wisely. Book time for exercise, seeing friends, napping or even just sitting near something you find beautiful.
3. Take a micro-break every 90 minutes. Research shows that’s the longest we can concentrate intensely on something. “The best thing you can do is get up and walk away.”
4. Get a better night’s rest. To do this, Posen advises patients to slowly wean themselves off caffeine.
5. Work out. Every bit helps. Exercise drains off excess stress energy, so it lowers cortisol in the body, which can help reduce anxiety.
6. Change the way you think. Modify unrealistic expectations and try to identify problematic patterns. “Type A people need to slow down, and people pleasers need to learn how to say no occasionally.”

Wellness Wednesday – Goal Planning 101

“A Goal is just a dream… with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

The goals that we make for ourselves – professional or personal – guide our daily lives and directly affect our motivation, our happiness and, ultimately, our success.

Don’t let each day pass you by in a blur of coffee, meetings and other peoples’ deadlines – make your first goal… to prioritize your goals!  The time will pass anyways, so you might as well make sure you’re filling your life with the things that make you happy and fulfilled.

Make 2016 Goal Planning Easy and Effective with these downloads by sweet paper trail.

Need further convincing that conscious goal setting is good for you?



Wellness Wednesday is Back!

In line with our New Year resolutions, Wellness Wednesday is back!

The TLABC community is dedicated to cultivating a supportive, healthy association for our members and friends.  If you have a suggestion for an issue to discuss in future #TLABC #WellnessWednesday posts, please email megan@tlabc.org – Have a wonderful week!


Are You Addicted to Stress?

Dr. Lissa Rankin in her article ’10 Signs You Have WAY Too Much Cortisol’ sites how being stressed can make us feel important, valuable and useful. She describes how despite knowing that stress is bad for us, we wear it like a badge of honour and become addicted.

Read the full article here


Life is a Journey… Not a Race


Stop the glorification of busy. 

With the holidays quickly approaching and the end of the year drawing near, we often find ourselves racing to get everything done. Suddenly in a flash, the day, week and month has ended and we find ourselves wondering where the time has gone, and what we have done. Sure, some of the ‘important’ stuff has been crossed of our to-do list, but what about the really important stuff. The phone calls to our aging parents, the casual coffee time with our friends or significant other, the unstructured play time with our kids. How much of this has been crossed off the list? This week we are encouraging you to slow down and to make some time for the really important stuff. Your parents, friends, significant other and kids will thank you.

Today, for Wellness Wednesday, we’re featuring a post we came across by Susan FitzpatrickPresident of the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

There was a stretch of time when I would spend a week or so each summer visiting some friends who were academic colleagues. Typically, our days were structured around generous amounts of “schmooze” time.  First, there was the requisite two-hour breakfast at a quaint, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. These meetings were about more than sharing a meal; we covered a fair amount of ground over coffee, eggs, and whole-wheat toast. We hashed out serious questions related to our areas of scientific interests, argued over the changing politics of academic research, and strayed unflinchingly and irreverently into topics for which we have no particular claim to insight or expertise. (read the full article here)


Wellness Wednesday

Welcome to TLABC’s Wellness Wednesday!

At TLABC we care about your physical and mental health.  That is why each Wednesday in the weeks to come we will be touching on a series of wellness-inspired tips and tricks to keep you feeling your best.

This week we are looking at ‘8 Ways to Put Yourself on Your Priority List’.

Click Here

Start eating breakfast, step away from your desk or drop in to a yoga class you have been meaning to hit up, and watch the magic of putting yourself first unfold!


Too many times (with seemingly never-ending lists of ‘to-dos’ and deadlines) it is too easy to put ourselves second by working through our lunch and staying and hour or two (or 4) late. Before we know it, this becomes our regular routine and a habit formed. Habits are hard, but not impossible to break.

Have a tip or trick that you would like to share?

Be sure to tag your ideas on Twitter @tla_bc #WellnessWed or email julia@tlabc.org