Practicing law can be an isolating activity. This is so even though you might work in a large firm with lots of people running around.
The solution: prioritize, nurture and maintain healthy social connections.
“For most of us, over 50 percent of our waking daily lives is spent working,” says Jonathan Beitner, an attorney and co-author of the ABA Well-Being Pledge. “Given the dominance of work, enhancing the quality of our work lives can have an enormous impact on the quality of our lives as a whole healthy, positive choices to assure that we can be our best for our clients, families, organizations, and communities.”
Don’t neglect your family. Schedule time for family, friends and personal activities like exercise as rigorously as you schedule work commitments. Join professional groups and organizations. Sign up for a committee with your state or local bar association. Engage in community work and public service. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
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10 Easy Ways to Find Balance in the Law Office
(1) Come up with simple grounding techniques (closing eyes, looking out the window, focusing on hands, breathing).
(2) Gratitude list.
(3) Mindfulness practice (“The ability to know what’s happening in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it.”).
(4) Prioritize self-care: (a) Set a SMART goal; (b) Buddy system; (c) Accountability partner; (d) schedule it on your calendar like all the other important items on your calendar
(5) Walk in nature
(7) Hobbies and pets
(8) Prayer, meditation, journalling
(9) A “quiet” room in office – no screens or devices
(10) Deep breathing
Know When and Where to Go For Help
To keep your law office thriving, eliminate the stigma of seeking help for stress, substance use, burnout and other issues. Cultivate a supportive and caring climate. Protect confidentiality.
Contact your state bar’s Lawyers Assistance Program or seek professional help elsewhere.
See the ABA Report on Lawyer Well-Being for an extensive list of professional resources as well as information on how and where to get help.
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