The Mindfulness Blog

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Why Care About Something That's Been Ignored For So Long?

I'm talking, of course, about workplace wellbeing. Particularly, lawyer wellbeing, but more broadly, the wellbeing of men and women throughout the business world.

In recent months, workplace wellbeing has been reluctantly recognized by law firms and other business leaders, through a variety of approaches that could generally be characterized as virtue-signaling. Some would generously note that any form of recognition is better than none but, respectfully, I don't agree.

Call it what you will, what passes these days for workplace wellbeing is-- at best-- a Tower of Babel. It's a smorgasbord of offerings that amount to little more than window dressing, and notwithstanding the trend of appointing well-intentioned individuals to serve as "Director of Wellbeing" or some equivalent title, the reality of institutional support for individual wellbeing is that it's more apparent, than real.

Wellbeing (which I consider to be a close cousin of mental health), is grounded in self-care. Self-care may sound a bit warm and fuzzy to some, but it's really not-- not at all. Self-care is not a substitute for qualified third-party professionals who are trained to deal with medically diagnosable or psychologically recognized diseases that can plague one's mental health. Self-care is something else, altogether.

Self-care is about awareness-- awareness of the fact that our mental health is every bit as important as our physical health. Taking that awareness one step further, self-care is also about doing something to address our mental health. And doing something is exactly why we should care about workplace wellbeing-- which has been largely ignored, for a very long time.

To those who would ask the question, why care, I respond by asking another question: Why not?


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