One of the most popular careers in America is law. This is not only because it’s financially lucrative but also because it offers a great opportunity to give back to the community and positively impact lives. It’s also popular because it provides a wide range of positions to choose from, such as paralegal, mediator, legal assistant, and of course the most popular- lawyer. However, studies show that lawyers and others in the legal profession are highly affected by mental health issues.
The law industry is a high-pressure environment starting from school into the workplace involving long working hours and deadlines. Lawyers are also exposed to tragic information, violence, and other disturbing material on a day-to-day basis. Reports show that approximately 28% of lawyers struggle with addiction, and 15% reported having suicidal ideations. The Covid 19 pandemic has further added to the existing pressure leading to poor mental health among both the general population and lawyers.
Here are some proven ways to improve your mental health and keep away burnout as a lawyer.
Get adequate sleep and rest regularly.
While the temptation to work round the clock may be present, it’s important to take time off and get an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep is good for your mind and body and gives the body time to repair itself. You can’t get much done when you are exhausted and sleep-deprived. On the contrary, productivity is reduced, and you could end up with serious health issues. There are tons of benefits associated with getting adequate amounts of sleep.
Physical activity and proper nutrition
When it comes to what we eat, the phrase Garbage in Garbage Out applies. Studies have found that more deficient diets result in poor mental health and associated health issues such as obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc. These reduce productivity and add stress to the already stressful work environment where most lawyers operate. Diets rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables are good for both mental and physical wellness. Minimize alcohol intake and if you can avoid smoking too. Incorporating exercise can also help boost moods, mental alertness and increase energy levels.
Establish meaningful relationships and a healthy support system
Support is great for your mental health. Having people, you can talk to will go a long way in helping you release frustrations and get a different perspective on things. Relationships can help take your mind off work-related stress. Support can also come from external sources such as professional counselors or therapists, mentors, or someone you look up to.
Evaluate your Whys
Analyzing your reasons for choosing a career as a law professional can help you have a different mindset. For instance, positively changing someone’s life can give meaning to what you do and help you work through the difficult patches.
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
While your job may be necessary, it’s essential to care equally for other parts of your life. Take some time off to do the things you like, such as hobbies. Ride a bike, take up gardening, visit one of the places on your bucket list. This is a great way to beat burnout and have a little fun.