The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Rachel Schipper


The Bay Street healthy eats cheat sheet

By Rachel Schipper December 2, 2013 2 December 2013

One of the most common concerns I hear about is how to eat well when you’re busy. Rushing out the door before getting a chance to eat breakfast, skipping lunch or finding a healthy dinner when you’re at the office are all common challenges.  So too is having low blood sugar by noon, which triggers cravings for sugar and simple carbohydrates.  Then comes that dreaded January day when you realize your clothes are snugger than they used to be, and you have a chocolate hangover (at the very least). 

As we launch into the holidays, rife with parties, too little sleep, year-end deadlines and even some of the negative nutritional side-effects of vacation – help is just outside the door.  Or in this case, just under the door, in the PATH that connects so much of Toronto’s financial district.

Here you’ll find easy ways to nourish yourself on Bay Street, and holiday deals to make doing so even sweeter.  The vendors selected here offer a terrific range of healthy options to suit any diet, whether you’re doing a raw vegan-style detox, looking for warming omnivorous options, or just want to try something new.  One of my favorite things about this particular cast is that so many of them were started by corporate types who were inspired to make available food that they personally wanted to enjoy where they worked.  All dishes come with a hearty dose of entrepreneurial spirit and vision.

(Read more after the jump)

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Bad habits at an early age

By Rachel Schipper November 1, 2013 1 November 2013

Poor health amongst lawyers isn’t news.  The same goes for the negative side effects caused by poor health.  For many lawyers, it’s really just cumulative, and an exercise in getting used to a suboptimal way of living.  And yet, the truth is we made our own habits before we ever got to practising; after that, it’s our habits that have made us. Just think back to law school:

(More after the jump)

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The fear behind the fear of slowing down.

By Rachel Schipper July 31, 2013 31 July 2013

It’s no secret that the care lawyers show for their clients and colleagues (and perhaps also family and friends) pales in comparison to their self-care. 
The statistics on lawyer well-being are also no secret, with notable issues being addiction, depression, and substance abuse.  Burnout is just part of the work cycle when you’re a lawyer. 
Despite these trends that we know so well, I’ve noticed a marked hesitation among lawyers, again and again, in taking even the most conservative and incremental steps to take care of themselves.  The fear seems to be: “If I step off the mill, will I be able to get back on?” Perhaps more daunting: “Will I want to?”
So first things first:  I’d like to dispel the notion that feeling well requires a life overhaul (more on that below), and that taking care of yourself and being an excellent lawyer are mutually exclusive goals.  In reality, prioritizing well-being allows you to do whatever work you decide to do even better. 
It may be that if you shift to run on things like sleep and nutrients instead of adrenaline and coffee, you will decide to jump ship and do something else.  But that was always an option. The fact is, attrition is notoriously high in the legal profession, and the old adage that we find lawyers everywhere may mean one of two things: that legal training is a highly transferable skill; or that lawyers are prone to flee far and wide.  The fear of what’s next, however, could be keeping you from considering another option: That you might just discover a sense of calm and clarity of purpose and thinking that you didn’t know was available; and that your practice will reflect that new state beautifully. 
When the 11am and 4pm (and potentially 11pm) slump are memories of the past (along with the glucose-deprived brain that accompanies them), and important parts of your life – like relationships – are nourishing you rather than adding stress, you may wonder if you have acquired a superpower.  And then, you can do with it what you will.
Whatever you decide, the distance from here to there is much, much closer than you think.

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Rachel Schipper is a former Wall Street lawyer. She founded Curated Wellness to provide practical and innovative wellness coaching and workshops to lawyers and other skeptics in a rush.

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