Becoming a lawyer is one of the most stressful professions. Attorney mental health is an important concept. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other mental health concerns can negatively impact a practice. If attorney mental health leads to a bar complaint, the Americans with Disabilities Act won’t protect you. It’s important that you take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself directly impacts the quality of legal services that you provide to your clients. Zavieh Law wants to help. Here are 8 incredibly useful (and easy to implement) attorney mental health tips you can use.
Write Your Thoughts Down
Don’t think about it as journaling (unless you like journaling). Instead, think about it as a safe way for you vent about everything that’s bothering you. You don’t have to go into extreme detail unless that makes you feel better. If you date your entries, you’ll be able to keep up with your changes in moods or behaviors. This can be very beneficial should you choose to get professional help.
Get Out and Walk Every Day
The purpose here is to simply get away from the office and your work for a few minutes. Go outside, weather permitting, and take a walk or sit in the sunshine. Regular exercise is extremely important for mental health. Walking outside in and of itself has a soothing effect. It physically removes you from a stressful environment and allows you to take a break. Sometimes, taking a break makes all the difference.
Purposefully Change Your Thoughts
This tip for attorney mental health takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth the ultimate result. When you find yourself following a negative thought pattern, immediately stop. Change your thought into something more positive.
Make a List of the People You Can Talk With
There’s just something comforting about knowing who you can talk with if you need to do that. Create a list of people you can call, text, or email anytime you just need a reminder that you’re not alone. For solo attorneys, this is particularly important since networking with other solos often takes a lot of effort.
Practice Self-Care Every Day
Your self-care routine doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be a few simple things that put you in a better frame of mind. It could be a hot bath or playing a round of golf. It could be watching trending YouTube videos of musical cats.
Learn How to Cope With Intimidation
Feelings of intimidation affect your mental health and your law practice. Look at your to-do list and figure out what you can totally remove, what you can delegate, and what’s left on the list that causes you to feel intimidated. Then, determine why you feel intimidated. Take action every day on the projects that make you feel intimidated. Even if you can only take a small step forward, you’re still moving forward.
Don’t Get Overly Involved
When you work in law, it can be easy to emotionally invest yourself. Sometimes, clients have truly unfortunate situations and you want to do everything you can to help. However, it’s important to recognize that while it’s necessary to be involved, it’s dangerous for you to get overly involved. You must learn how to set and enforce boundaries to protect your own emotional and mental well-being.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Professional Help
There’s absolutely no shame when it comes to getting professional health. Remember that attorney mental health not only affects your quality of life, but it can also affect your practice. Talk with your primary care physician for a referral, contact the state bar’s lawyer assistance program, or even check out one of the apps that immediately connect you with a licensed therapist. Invest in your well-being so that you can take the best possible care of others.
The post 8 Incredibly Useful Attorney Mental Health Tips appeared first on Ethics and California State Bar defense lawyer Megan Zavieh.
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