Assist In Your Community - 2nd Edition

Summer holidays may be a distant memory, but for us at Assist they were great months of building connections. 

Marian and Carolyn attended the COLAP (Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs) conference where Lawyers Helping Lawyers was the theme.  Understanding emerging psychological conditions affecting the profession, as well as networking with the most skilled and trained professionals were some of the highlights. 

We, along with our chairperson Dana Schindelka, also attended the LPAC (Legal Profession Assistance Conference) National Workshop and again enjoyed building the network of resources available to Assist and sharing best practices for lawyer assistance programs across Canada. 

Closer to home, the inaugural Assist Walk for Wellness was tremendously successful thanks to your participation.  The event enabled us to connect through the summer, have fun together and take time for ourselves. 

We hope you will enjoy some of the information learned along our travels and from our research, as well as another opportunity to take time for “You,” in our second edition of Assist in Your Community.


This edition of Assist In Your Community is focused on relaxation techniques and sleep. You know this: all too often we find ourselves caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and don’t take the time to look after ourselves. Assist wants to share with you some tips to help you feel your best. With a little more zen and a few more “zzz’s” in our lives, the world is a better place!

Relaxation Techniques
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or in need of a moment to yourself, there is nothing wrong with closing your office door and taking a few deep breaths. Many lawyers have found the practice of ‘mindfulness’ helpful. Mindfulness simply means clearing your mind of whatever stressful things might be floating around and allowing yourself to think about nothing at all. Rather, remain conscious of your own breathing and whatever your body might be feeling. Think of it as a well-deserved “time-out.” For more suggestions on how to relax, click here for relaxation and breathing techniques.

Sleep: Your New Best Friend
Everyone needs a good night’s sleep, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Sleep is an essential part of our physical and mental health, and it keeps our minds sharp. Have you thought about your sleep routine lately? Here are some tips to help you get the most of your snoozes:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. We are creatures of habit and respond well to routine.
  • Make your bedroom sleep-friendly: minimize light, noise, and clutter for a peaceful sleep setting.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco before bed, as these lead to less restful sleeps. Exercise during the day is a great way to get a better sleep, but avoid strenuous activity shortly before bedtime.

Lawyer Spotlight:
Catherine Twinn

Every so often in our newsletter, Assist will shine a spotlight on a lawyer who exemplifies Assist’s key values of health, wellness, and helping others. This month, we asked Catherine Twinn, a lawyer in Slave Lake and a Peer Support volunteer, to reflect on her experience throughout the past few months. Here, she shares her thoughts and provides inspiration.
PDF Catherine Twinn

Upcoming Events:
January 9 & 10: CPLED sessions - Assist joins the judiciary, CBA, and Pro Bono Law to speak with the students about involvement in their legal community & services available through Assist.
January 14, 2012: Peer Support volunteer training session will take place in Edmonton.
January 21, 2012: Peer Support volunteer training session will take place in Calgary.
January 26 & 27, 2012: Alberta Law Conference: Come check out the Assist booth! We have partnered with CDI College who will provide delegates with FREE relaxation massages.
March 7, 2012: Save the date for the Assist AGM.
May 17, 2012: Assist will be presenting at the Provincial Court Judges Conference on how to refer a colleague to get help.

1000 Awesome Things

If you haven’t heard of 1000 Awesome Things, we want to introduce you to it. If you have, keep reading – there are always new entries to make you smile or even laugh out loud. This blog is about finding the positive in life’s little things, and it is sure to put a smile on your face. This entry, in theme with our newsletter, is on Planning for snoozes.”

Season's Greetings!
Assist wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Assist saw a 30% increase in number of individuals helped through professional counselling services this year. Thank you to the generosity of the Alberta Bar, Assist is able to enhance our programs to provide better service.
Please click here to read Chief Justice Wittmann's letter to the Members of the Bar, in support of Assist.
Copyright © 2011 Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society, All rights reserved.
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