California Lawyers Association

Finding Resilience in Tough Times

By President Emilio Varanini and 
Board of Representatives Chair Betty Williams

As businesses begin opening for in-person service following a year of pandemic closures, we look around and see that despite the many personal and professional challenges of the past year, so many of us have made it through. Let’s first take a moment to express gratitude.  

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us is that we are resilient. Maybe even more resilient than we realize. The time we have spent building our resilience this year will pay off in the long run by setting us up to succeed no matter what circumstances we face.

Today, as we mark the beginning of national Well-Being Week in the Law, it is apropos to show appreciation for our members who have stepped up to support each other with information, connection, and community. The experiences we’ve shared as we developed resources for attorneys and the public, interacted in our online communities, and worked together to strengthen our association have certainly brought us closer together in new and meaningful ways. 

We also recognize that everyone has experienced the pandemic differently. Some of us had to help children juggle remote learning. Others dealt with the stress of isolation or the illness or loss of a family member or friend.

We have each developed unique habits and practices to deal with the challenges, whether it’s exercise, meditation, or a beloved hobby. Part of being resilient is being flexible and embracing what works for you. We’ll share some of our favorites:

For Emilio, it’s making time for long walks in the California sunshine and keeping connected with friends and family. The ping of a family text thread or the escape of a book or movie can help take his mind off work. 

For Betty, it’s practicing creative hobbies like woodworking and metal sculpting, along with volunteering. Doing something meaningful keeps her spirits up.

We’ve talked to other CLA members who have established family game nights, worked from remote vacation spots, and practiced meditation. What are your new pandemic habits and are there some you plan to keep? If you’re looking for more ideas to build resilience, check out our lineup of free Well-Being Week in the Law (WWIL) events and activities.

For ongoing support, join our Health and Wellness Facebook Group. You can also count on our Health and Wellness Committee for programming every third Wednesday.

As an association, CLA is emerging out of the past year stronger than ever. The bonds we’ve forged as a community became stronger. We have a renewed appreciation for community and knowledge-sharing. We look forward to continuing this journey with you. 

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