May is Mental Health Month: let’s focus on the lesser known topic of brain health and mental acuity

By Donna Shaft, a Chicago resident and a Midwest member – and one of the organizing members of LMA! – shares a unique side to mental health. That is, focusing on brain health, mental acuity, memory and focus.

Donna Shaft runs DLG Shaft Consulting, and has previously worked inside some of Chicago’s biggest and most well-known law firms.

May is Mental Health Month in the U.S., and many professional groups and organizations promote exercise programs and healthy diets to improve the health and well-being of their members. Did you know that failing brain health is considered a public health epidemic, according to the American Heart Association?

Our jobs can be mentally demanding, which can take a toll on us physically. Working many hours with high expectations and short turnaround times for projects can feel like a lot of pressure for most. When we are not at our best mentally, we cannot be at our best physically. Outside of meditation to reduce stress, we don’t hear much about brain health from our organizations.

While exercise and a healthy diet are part of a well-rounded health regimen, there have been studies about consistent participation in programs that promote brain health, mental acuity, memory and focus. LMA cares about our members and would like to suggest some tips on how to take care of your brain, along with providing some resources below on further reading.

“Did you know that failing brain health is considered a public health epidemic, according to the American Heart Association?”

3 Activities to Consider

  • Subscribe to a brain health* and* are two brain game platforms where you can work on daily mental workouts. They can be personalized to you and have been clinically proven to improve cognitive performance, attention, mental processing speed, and memory. A perfect activity to do while on a coffee or lunch break!
    *Note – you can sign up for free, but there may be a fee to sign up for full access.
  • Learn a new skill – Curious on how to make a cake that you’ve always wanted to try, learning how to dance, or even picking up a new skill at work? This can also help strengthen connections in the brain, according to a 2014 study.
  • Listen to or play music – Seems like an easy one to do for most, but a 2017 study found that listening to happy music can help generate more innovative solutions compared to being in silence. Next time you’re trying to figure out how to tackle that project or if you’re in a rut writing your next RFP, maybe turn on something you like.

Further Reading and Sources


  • Kate Harry Shipham

    Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm with a niche in placing marketers and business developers in law firms. Kate is a former attorney, and she leverages her background as an attorney to understand the individual needs of her clients and candidates. Both clients and candidates work with Kate because of her deep understanding of the market, her ability to relate based on her attorney and search experience combined, and her professional and personable style she brings into each search.