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MCBA President’s Message: Some tips and event options to help you manage stress this year

Bradley Kammholz

Happy New Year! But are you enjoying it?

Last month, I wrote about the stresses of the holiday season and year end. You’d think that with all of those stresses behind us, we’d be just fine — nice and relaxed and ready to roll.

But this time of year brings its own stresses, doesn’t it?

We’re feeling the crash from the holidays, plus starting over at zero billable hours and zero dollars in the bank. Brand new budgets and goals are staring us in the face, and catching up on cases and projects that we fell behind on during the holidays. Now, add to that a new COVID surge and our good old Rochester winter weather, and … yuck!

So, what can you do to make things better?

Continue some of the little things you did for fun during the holidays. Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean you can’t do these things any longer. So visit with friends. Cook a special meal. Read a book. Do a puzzle. Play cards with your spouse.

Remember 2022 is a marathon not a sprint. Don’t expect to get it all done in January or even during the first quarter. Take it one step at a time. Don’t ignore the work, but also don’t think everything has to be done right now.

Reduce alcohol consumption, gambling and other things that are best in moderation.

Exercise even if it’s just standing up and stretching every hour.

And try some of the MCBA’s wellness programming:

For instance, on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 12:15 p.m., the Health & Well-Being Programming Committee is having a program about Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia for Legal Professionals. We’re excited to have special guest Dr. Anton Porsteinsson, Director of the URMC Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research and Education Program. He’ll be joined by Steve Modica, 7th Judicial District Grievance Committee Chair, and moderator Kim Duguay, our Health & Well-being Programming Committee Chair. This CLE includes ½ credit of ethics.

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 5 to 6 p.m., we’ll have our monthly virtual self-help support group facilitated by yours truly and Kara Juszczak from Tree of Hope Counseling. Join us for a little support and to help others. No charge.

On Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Mendon Ponds Park West Lodge, we’ll have our first-ever Wellness Winterfest, in collaboration with the Young Lawyers Section and GRAWA’s Women’s Health Committee. There will be sledding, hiking, cross-country skiing (bring your own skis) and … snowshoeing! Thanks to REI, you can rent snowshoes at cost and receive complimentary lessons. (Because we need to give REI numbers in advance, you will need to sign up by Jan. 26 if you want to rent snowshoes). Lessons will begin at 10:15 a.m. on the dot. There will be hot chocolate, coffee, other goodies and so much fun! Families, children and friends are all welcome. We just ask that you be vaccinated and have a mask with you for when you are in closer proximity to others or in the cabin. Other than the cost of the rentals, this event is free.

On Friday, Feb. 11 over the lunch hour, we will be hosting “Mindful Resilience: Build Your Toolbox” with our friend Kara Juszczak from Tree of Hope Counseling. Put the date and time on your calendar now as this will be the perfect opportunity to reboot and refresh your resilience skills. Kara will explore resilience and offer experiential activities to build skills that help maximize our ability to endure. And thanks to a grant from the U.S. District Court of WNY, this program is free of charge.

Sprinkled in among these fantastic programs will be regular virtual yoga sessions with member Natalie Grigg. Keep a watch on our calendar for dates. We will be offering at least two sessions per month. These sessions are also free.

I hope to see all of you at these events.

Take care of yourselves. Stay safe and be happy!

Bradley Kammholz is the 2021-22 President of the Monroe County Bar Association and is a partner at Kammholz Rossi PLLC. He can be reached at