The Self-Care Journals

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As we wind down from the madness that 2020 has wrought and prepare to usher in a much better year (hopefully), let’s be intentional on taking care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. In the Self-Care Journal series, we’ll be talking with three extraordinary women about their strategies for prioritizing self-care in their everyday lives.

In Part One, we speak with Catherine Toppin, Partner at Chicago-based law firm, Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery LLP.

Starting a new, demanding job as a law partner while also embarking on the thrilling ride of motherhood for the first time were enough to convince Catherine Toppin that she had to find a way to begin putting herself first, if only for a few minutes each day. The stress of having to manage both of these endeavors during the pandemic only furthered her resolve in this department. Below she talks through a few of the ways in which she’s adapted to the “new normal” by taking the time to take care of her mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Catherine Toppin, Partner, Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery LLP

On making physical fitness a self-care priority…

[F]or someone who’s raising an infant and getting a new job as a partner in a law firm, and dealing with all of the transitions around that, I really made a real focus to emphasize my health. Recovering from childbirth and pregnancy, in and of itself, is initially a real big transition. You’re working on getting back to your body, feeling like you have some connection to yourself outside of your child.

I made walking and starting a work-out regimen… a priority. I went in on the physical wellness side, which really also helped my mental.

On enlisting her own personal self-care team…

I started to figure out who my health and wellness team is. I call them my self-care team. That means the people who provide me with healthcare. The people that provide me with spiritual insight. And the people that help me with my fitness journey. It really helps when you engage other people, trusted partners, in that process.

I got a remote fitness coach, and I engaged my sister in a health and wellness program. We did a little fitness challenge for a couple of months. We started a regular work-out routine. She also has small infants, two of them, so there are three kids between the two of us under two. And we would strap them up and walk the neighborhood for 30, 40 minutes every single day. If we couldn’t, if it rained, then we tried to do in-house walking and/or work-outs.

On channeling the spirit of Sleeping Beauty…

I also prioritize my sleep to the extent that I can. I know that may be something that people don’t really focus on. But anybody who’s had a child, especially one that doesn’t sleep through the night for months and months, and sometimes years on end, knows that a good night’s rest or even a nap can change your whole day. So, I have done my best to try and get quality sleep when I can.

Related Posts…

The Self-Care Journals – Part Two

The Self-Care Journals – Les Trois

Permission to Rest