CBA Record May-June 2021

Building a Pandemic Recovery Plan: CBA Members’ Health andWellness By Nina Fain, CBA Record Editorial Board Member O ver the past year, as the pandemic has resulted in unprecedented life changes, CBA members

have been challenged to address the fundamental ways that their lives have been turned upside down. To discover the key issues impacting our community, the CBA surveyed members about their CBA participation in response to Covid- 19. Female members were surveyed to glean information about the impact of the pandemic on women attorneys. Data from both surveys reveals: • 61% have experienced a professional impact as a result of the pandemic; • 80% have experienced a familial or per- sonal impact as a result of the pandemic; • 67% reported familial or personal issues stemming from the pandemic have impacted them the most significantly, as compared to professional and financial issues; and • 62% indicated mental health and well- being issues a concern. Anecdotally, survey takers revealed suf- fering from the loss of loved ones, isolation and separation from family, friends and colleagues, revocation of job offers, child and eldercare challenges, recalibration of employment, financial uncertainty, mastering new technology platforms, and generally adapting to the “new normal” in a virtual world. According to CBA CLE Director Jen- nifer Byrne, “it is no surprise, after the tumultuous year we’ve had, that CBA members are very focused on health and wellness right now. Lawyers have always faced unique challenges in this regard, but the pandemic has magnified these issues and members are craving tangible strate- gies to achieve a greater sense of balance and wellness.” In response, the CBA Record has col- laborated with the CBA Continuing

Legal Education Department and the CBA Covid-19 Member Support Com- mittee to develop programs that will offer members a fresh health and wellness start. “The programs we will offer are not cookie- cutter,” says Byrne, “but instead look at the many facets of our lives that contribute to a greater overall sense of wellness.” This collaboration harmonizes with the focus of this CBA Record issue and offers resources and inspiration to members about how they can snap back after this unprecedented pandemic crisis and develop a pandemic recovery plan. Program topics will range from coping with student loans, to overcoming nega- tive thought patterns, to the connection between wellness and diversity and inclu- sion. They also will include a unique partnership with Core Physical Therapy and Fitness Center of Evergreen Park to offer a series of interactive classes where members can hear from top experts in physical therapy, Pilates, yoga, aerial, ballet, and philology about how to improve their mental well-being and productivity

through physical fitness. Budding and experienced health and wellness enthusiasts BWLA President Kenyatta Beverly, CBA President Maryam Ahmad (who holds a third-degree black karate belt) and Covid- 19Member Support Committee Co-Chair GretaWeathersby will moderate the discus- sions and address how these strategies can be applied in a legal environment. The classes can be enjoyed by members of all fitness levels, so bring your questions, and your enthusiasm. In addition to wellness programming, the CBA will offer several complimentary specialty programs during May in appre- ciation of its members, including a virtual conversation with Secretary of State Jesse White, a special virtual tour of the Illinois Holocaust Museum exhibition, “Mandela: Struggle for Freedom,” and a compli- mentary offering of the State of Illinois’ required sexual harassment training. Register for health and wellness programs at Many programs during May are free for CBA members.

14 May/June 2021

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