There are many assumptions regarding lawyers – and not all of them are positive. However, contrary to popular belief, lawyers are very much human beings. And that means they have physical and mental health concerns, just like anyone else.
Lawyers face many challenges daily, from high-stress jobs to complex cases and everything in between. As such, lawyers must do everything in their power to maintain positive mental health habits, as they are a foundational step in prevention.
Find that Work/Life Balance
Having a poor work/life balance can wreak havoc on a person’s mental health. This is especially true for lawyers, where the inability to put down the job upon arriving home can cause more tension and concern.
As such, it is essential for lawyers to get in the excellent habit of leaving work where it belongs – at work. Disconnect when at home, and give yourself some time to be yourself.
Self Care is Key
It’s essential to prioritize your self-care. Self-care can take many forms; exercising, eating healthy, seeing friends/family, having a spa day, etc. Even (perhaps especially) the busiest person should make time to take care of themselves, as doing so will result in burnout and other mental health concerns.
Most importantly: don’t forget to give your body enough rest! The right amount of sleep every can do wonders for the body – and the mind. A study run by Harvard Medical School found that a good night’s sleep strengthened both mental and emotional health.
It’s easy to make the mistake of assuming that being social at work is enough. Busy and stressed people should make time to be social with their friends and family. In other words – don’t neglect the relationships you have outside of work. Instead, lean on them.
It’s Okay to Need Help
Remember that there is nothing wrong with getting help. There are trained professionals out there waiting to do exactly that. It’s okay to reach out. These days, there are several resources available, some even explicitly customized for lawyers. There are crisis hotlines, Lawyer Assistance Programs, and the Lawyers Depression Project, for starters.