You’ll hear it from a lot of people in today’s day and age, but burnout is becoming more and more of an epidemic in our busy society (or, perhaps we are becoming aware of this issue as of late). Regardless, lawyers are certainly not immune when it comes to experiencing burnout.
It probably comes as no surprise to many, but practicing law can prove stressful, and hours on the job, shouldering the burdens of the people you’re working to help, and long hours away from family can certainly wear down an individual. With this in mind, I want to take some time to address this burnout epidemic and how we, as lawyers, can better work to prevent it.
Letting Go of Perfection
This can be a really tough one for people who feel called to excellence. But in order for us to get the job done – and to preserve our own mental health – understanding the difference between striving for greatness and never allowing yourself to catch a breath because “enough is never enough” is of great importance. This is also important when you’re seeking to help people. Perfection is often the enemy of getting things done and it’s especially important to not hold up the process when you’re looking to help people find justice or get through a tough time.
This one is simple and applies across industries, but in roles that can be especially trying from a personal standpoint, making time to see your family and enjoy the company of your loved ones goes a really long way for your mental health. It’s simple and often overlooked, but time with family and friends is of utmost importance.
Focusing on Intent
You won’t always succeed, and you won’t always feel like you accomplished what you set out to do. This is why it’s important to focus on your motives and intent. Making sure your heart is in the right place is first and foremost. In fact, it’s only from that place of interior peace that you can truly help.
Remember, an empty cup can’t overflow and pour into someone’s life. It’s vital we keep this in mind to avoid burnout for both ourselves and the people around us. If you feel like you’re experiencing burnout, it’s important to understand that it’s okay and it doesn’t mean it’s your fault. Taking the needed time to refresh and recharge is something we all have to do from time to time, and it just may be well-deserved.