Authored By: Iris Garrett
As a lawyer, your schedule can become very busy, very fast. In the book, The Anxious Lawyer, written by Karen Gifford and Jenna Cho, they say: “This feeling of ‘busyness’ is both a seduction and a major source of dysfunction for many lawyers. If we are very busy, we secretly believe we must be doing something important- in fact, we must be very important.”
Of course, this is true. The work you do is important, and so are you. Yet, too much work can come with unintended consequences, especially for your well-being. You can combat this by fitting a little rest into your daily routine.
In an article in the ABA Journal, Jeena Cho says many lawyers reject the idea that you can and should carve out time for rest (they can’t afford it, there isn’t any time left in the day… and so on). But she says lawyers must think of rest in the context of self-care: an activity for you, by you. Cho says when you view self-care in this respect, it won’t feel like it’s using up a lot of time and money.
Cho recommends incorporating the following activities to improve your self-care and to add more relaxation into your life:
Movement – Cho says broaden your definition of movement beyond just exercise, but any activity that involves being flexible and moving the body.
Hobbies – Cho says do an activity just for the fun of it. Think back to your childhood and pick up hobbies you used to enjoy.
Journaling – Cho says tap into your creativity and explore inner feelings by writing them out each morning.
Mindful Eating – Cho says how you eat is as important as what you eat. Look at your food, see the colors, smell the smells, taste the flavors, and savor the experience.
In addition to self-care, Cho says creating an optimal state of rest is also about calming the mind. For lawyers, she says this can take effort as it is natural for your mind to race thinking about a case or wondering if you sent an email. She says part of learning how to rest is becoming aware of how your mind works, acknowledging its anxious thoughts, and doing your part to move into a more elusive state.
Cho says rest doesn’t have to be an adversary to your law practice; it can be an essential and complementary force. You can read her full article by clicking here.
Photo Credit: Rommel Canlas