Emotional stability and well-being have been part of common discourse over the past few years. Growing millions of people needing mental health services have forced companies to adapt and address and serve their needs.
A survey on mental wellbeing at work by Company in the City, a charity, showed that as many as two in five (39 per cent) staff reported deteriorating mental wellbeing due to work and where work was a contributing factor, up from 36% in 2017 and 2018 in the past year.
Ideally, workers can no longer be afraid to come out and tell their bosses that they are dealing with poor mental health. While there has been a lot of positive progress in the business sector, there is still space for growth.
In fact, the legal profession also has a long way to go in getting mental wellbeing out of the darkness and into the spotlight. The swift and stressful speed of life in the legal sector ensures that lawyers, of course, face high levels of tension on a regular basis. It is also important that they learn how to deal with these challenges in a safe way.
The concept of resilience
The Cambridge Dictionary describes resilience as “the capacity of a material to revert to its normal form when bent, strained, or squeezed. The desire to be content, effective, etc. after something unpleasant or negative has happened.” Being resilient means that instead of letting stressful experiences, challenges, or loss overwhelm you or sap your determination, you find a way to shift your attitude, recover mentally, and make strides toward your overall goals.
Why Attorneys’ Struggle
The legal situation is fast-paced and high-pressure, which, along with the fact that several law firms are multinational in their scope, will make it difficult to sustain a balanced work-life balance. Law firms also have customers all around the world and a network of offices and staff that can make it impossible to log off and maintain a balanced work-life balance.
Likewise, the DNA and skill set of a lawyer does not necessarily lend itself to being robust. It’s a lawyer’s job to cross-examine people’s reasoning, and often as many as 12 hours a day can be spent collecting gaps in claims or contracts and examining how best to use them to your benefit. Although a vital part of your career, if your social life is influenced by this mentality, it may be harmful to your emotional well-being. When under a lot of stress and continuously looking at things from a rational state of mind, it can be very hard for even the most seasoned prosecutor to “snap out” and revert to face value scenarios.
While improving your thinking and attitude on a situation will require a lot of preparation and determination, there are a variety of things lawyers can do to further strengthen their resilience. Focusing on one’s own personal well-being is the first move.
It is possible to lose sight of the effect that long hours and pressures will have on your well-being when entering the critical phases of the negotiation or when working on an especially stressful situation. However, putting aside time to reflect on your own well-being will help you cope with pressure, reduce the effect that tension has on your health, and decrease the risk that it will adversely impact your general wellbeing or cause burnout.
Resilience is more than being able to live with challenges in a constructive manner. It is also the capacity to adapt in the face of difficult circumstances and to retain a healthy emotional well-being, which is a crucial quality for lawyers.
Practical activities to help enhance well-being include keeping pace during the day, making flexibility for breaks, maintaining work limits, taking time out for enjoyable and relaxing tasks, including exercise, and developing a work routine that fits for you and the global needs of clients.
Communication is one of the most critical facets of well-being preservation. Whether it’s chatting to bosses about the most stressful aspect of the day or enjoying a light-hearted chat with friends and relatives, contact lets you wind up and has proved to be a big part of maintaining your wellbeing and attitude.
This is more critical than ever now, as we continue to work under lockout. It’s possible to shrink away from home when you’re unable to leave, so it’s crucial to take constructive measures to remain linked to family, friends, and colleagues.
In addition, exercise goes a long way to helping you relax, especially exercises that can be done at home and on the road. Although often ignored, cooking is a healthy way to alleviate tension, relax and ensure that you eat properly.
Many of the power to boost resilience and emotional well-being is with the individual, but law firms executives still have a duty to build a community that recognizes the value of employee well-being and has programs in place to better support employees.
Law firms should consider introducing measures aimed at alleviating harmful impacts of life in the legal sector by the availability of health and wellbeing services and support for a healthier work-life balance. The implementation of such initiatives will help to knock down obstacles to the conversation of mental health and show a contribution to developing a society that acknowledges its significance.
Life pressure in the legal profession can often be daunting, but establishing a coping plan and trying to take time to reflect on personal well-being will go a long way to helping to alleviate the pressure.
Being flexible is a vital part of every lawyer’s skill set, and it is necessary to take the time to develop the skill.