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Legal Management The Magazine of ALA

At Panitch Schwarze, the wellbeing of our employees is of utmost importance. That’s why we are offering a new program to provide our team members with the tools and resources to empower them to be healthy in mind, body and spirit.

Launched in 2019, the Panitch Schwarze Wellness Program is open to all our team members. This year, we are growing and expanding the program through a partnership with Prasada, an organization that offers workplace wellness programs.

Understanding Wholebeing

Prasada offers a program called Wholebeing. According to Prasada, Wholebeing means recognizing that we each live within three worlds: the inner world of the mind, the world of the physical body and the world outside, which it calls nature.

The world of the mind is the world that you make up inside your head. It holds the interpretation of your experiences, your stories, your thoughts, emotions and feelings, the ideas of love and fear and so much more. It can be a place of joy, curiosity and wonder or a place of terror, uncertainty and chaos. It is a place you create through practices such as meditation, mindfulness, gratitude and breathwork.

The world of your physical body is the structure that holds you together in the material world. Your bones and muscles provide the framework through which the systems for air, blood, information and energy flow. Your body is also the place where your mind and soul abide and the vehicle that moves you through space and time to experience life. Your body is honed to function optimally through movement, exercise, and practices such as yoga.

The world of nature includes all that is outside your body: the natural world of forests and birds, the sun, oceans and fishes, sand and soft moss. The word nature here also includes the manmade built environment that we have constructed for our survival and comfort as we live, work, gather and play. Staying close to nature as much as possible enhances healing, happiness and health.

Prasada’s programs focus on wholebeing as a way to discover the ways in which all three worlds are intimately connected. Wholebeing practices are habits of awareness where we train, create, heal and grow within each of these three worlds.

Workplace Wellness Program

Panitch Schwarze’s Wellness Program includes several components to share health-related information and reinforce healthy regular practices. Quarterly hour-long lunch and learn workshops focus on resiliency, moving for health, mindset and gratitude. Monthly 30-minute classes teach employees healthy practices including chair yoga, walking and mindfulness. And monthly 15-minute “fix” classes put the learning into practice through stretching and breathing exercises, and explorations of mindfulness, joy, nature, and creativity.

The 60-minute workshops help participants explore the science, strategies and interactive activities of wholebeing practices. They reinforce habits of awareness for mind and body in order to move their physical, emotional and mental health to a better state. These programs include strategies that can be incorporated into daily life.

Resiliency classes discuss the basics of resilience and how to shift expectations. It helps participants learn how to build their “bounce back muscles” in preparation for the unexpected.

Move It! classes explore how the act of moving changes the brain and makes people healthier and happier. It reviews research about why our “park-at-our-desk” lifestyle is making us sick. It also shares ways to get moving that can fit into our staff’s already overscheduled days.

Mindset Matters classes explore growth mindset versus fixed mindset, quizzing participants to help them determine which one they currently have and teaching mindfulness practices to help them build a growth mindset.

A Smart Investment

Our goal with these programs is to create happy, healthy, satisfied attorneys and employees. The classes are open to all levels; no experience is required. Research has shown that focusing on wellness, even for just a few minutes a day, improves health and decreases stress levels.

It also brings benefits for the workplace. Energized, engaged employees demonstrate greater focus and drive greater productivity. At Panitch Schwarze, we believe that this investment in a firm-wide wellness program will pay handsome dividends for our staff personally, and for our business.

This article was originally published on Sept. 11 in the September issue of the Association of Legal Administrators’ Legal Management Magazine.

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