For many practicing in the legal industry, the term “lawyer mental health” might sound contradicting because it is not common in their day-to-day practice. However, it affects them due to the stressful work conditions and demanding hours under which they operate. Thus, time for self-care and work balance is usually challenging for many. Below are four strategies you can employ to keep mental health in check during a legal battle.
1. Strengthen Your Support Network
You probably know your way around a professional network, having studied law. The question is whether or not you’re prioritizing your true supporters. You may be able to make a lot of superficial acquaintances, but you may also feel a profound bond with a select few. Your inner circle should consist of the individuals supporting you through thick and thin in your working life. Having a support network is important in the legal field because you need to have people who can help you and you can rely on.
2. Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Lawyers and other professionals in the legal field need to have healthy coping mechanisms. It’s important to find what healthy ways work best for you to help combat stress and keep your mental health in check. Everyone has a different way to cope with stress, and it’s important to figure out which ways work best for you. Some popular coping strategies include exercise, yoga, reading, cooking, or a relaxing bath.
3. Eat Nutritious Meals
Eating healthy foods that give your body nutrition and fuel will improve your mental health. It might seem easier to focus on quick meals like fast food and sugary drinks and snacks for eating after a long day or as a quick boost during the work day, but this will only leave you feeling tired and sluggish. It’s important for those in the legal industry to focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and protein so you have enough energy to complete your work. If you’re in a busy season, you can meal plan or choose healthy options when eating out.
4. Make Time for Your Fitness Routine
You need to follow a fitness routine to feel better. When you’re feeling low, you may isolate yourself and eat unhealthy foods. This can trigger a cascade of stress, doubts, and anxiety. The benefits of exercise include increased cognition, focus, memory retention, and productivity and reduced risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. For lawyers seeking to avoid fatigue from long hours at the office, exercising can be key in ensuring they stay sharp for when it’s time to work. No matter what type of exercise you choose, it’s important to spend time doing a physical activity that you enjoy.
Attorneys, paralegals, court reporters, and others in the legal industry need to carve time for themselves to practice self-care and keep their mental health in check. Everyone’s mental health and coping strategies will look different so it’s crucial to take time to decide what works best for you and how you will make time for yourself and your mental health.