Being a lawyer is one of the most stress-inducing careers in today's world. It's a competitive field with high pressure to succeed and clients who are depending on you. In your career, the grind can sometimes feel never-ending and mental health issues are common. It's imperative that you take steps to keep your mind and body healthy--because you can't help anyone unless you help yourself.
There's no doubt that you work hard and have faced symptoms of stress. Increased stress raises your blood pressure, speeds up your heart rate, and interferes with sleeping or eating habits. Take a moment to slow down and learn about the different ways you can manage stress for a happier, healthier you.
Exercise. Quite possibly the best way to blow off steam! Exercise is scientifically proven to relieve stress, Mayo Clinic says. Whether it's yoga, lifting weights, or an intense cardio session, all forms of exercise produce endorphins to give you that "runner's high" feeling. It may also lift your confidence and help you sleep better at night. If you want to shake the stress while improving your health in multiple mediums, physical activity is the surefire way.
Sleep. This one should go without saying, but too many people deprive themselves of sleep. Lack of rest will only serve to make symptoms of stress worse. Make sure you're adhering to a consistent schedule and getting at least 8 hours a night. These practices will put you at your full potential when it comes to taking on the day.
Eat well. Yes, you've heard this one before as well, but the right diet will give you the nutrients you need to fight the effects of stress. Eat a balanced diet while staying away from processed foods. Resist the temptation to binge junk food because that's a mere temporary fix. Too much sugar and fat will leave you feeling even worse off once it settles in your body. Make sure you're eating protein such as eggs, fish, or meat. Nuts and berries, which are full of antioxidants, are also great options to ward off stress while snacking.
Meditate. There are all sorts of relaxation techniques you can try to clear your mind and ease stress. Deep breathing is easy and an excellent way to calm anxiety or shake unwanted thoughts. You can tune in to an online session or simply find a quiet place to focus on your breathing. Deep, slow breaths will calm you within minutes. It's a great addition to any daily routine.
If you want more direction for meditative sessions, there's an app for that...quite a few, actually! Check out the best meditation apps of 2022 according to Verywell Mind.
There's also an abundance of healing music you can find online. This music is set at a frequency meant to relax you, which is why you can often hear it playing in a spa. Give it a try and see if it has an effect on you. Throw in some yoga stretches that focus on slow movement to take it a step further.
Time management. Managing your time effectively is directly linked to stress management. If you pile too many things on your to-do list each day, that's going to pile up the stress as well. You only have so much energy (and so many hours) in a day. If you find yourself burning out easily or unable to complete every task, it's time for a reassessment. Spread your tasks and chores throughout the work week. If you grow tired, simply rest. Don't try to force it.
If you triumph over time management, you may find your stress lessening as a direct result.
Talk about it. Whether that's through therapy or time spent with loved ones, you will feel better for seeking support from others. Internalizing our stress and other negative emotions is not good for us. We bottle up our problems because we don't want to feel weak or be a burden to others, but this can be damaging in the long-term. Humans are social creatures and benefit from a sense of belonging to a community. Do not let stigma surrounding mental health issues stop you on your quest for support.
Change the scenery. Don't hesitate to take a break now and then! The monotony of everyday life can easily get you down if you let it. Take a walk outside, pick up an old hobby, or try something new to shake things up. Better yet, take a mental health day or a vacation! This will take your mind off your stressors for a time. When you return to work, you'll return renewed and refreshed.
Maybe it's time for a new work environment too? Check out PBA's Career Center listing of current job opportunities for lawyers looking for a change.
Cut the negative. We have seen an uprising these past few years. People are laser-focused on living their "best lives" and cutting out "toxicity." But what classifies as toxic? The answer is anything that brings you down. People, food, mindsets...whatever is detracting from your quality of life, it's time to bid it farewell.
When it comes to dealing with stress, there's no "one size fits all." Try different things to see what works best for you. Weave these positive changes into your routine and you will certainly reap the rewards of a lower-stress life in no time.
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, there are resources available to help while keeping your information confidential. Stress, anxiety, burnout--no matter the issue, there are always people willing to help.