Professional Coaching for Lawyers
Having a successful career as a lawyer is both stressful and time consuming. With so many hours in the office taking care of your clients, you tend to put your family and personal well-being on the back burner. Your clients need you so how do you find a healthy balance?
There are also the pressures of the job itself that can cause stress. Your client’s positive outcome relies on your ability to represent them to the best of your ability every time you go to court or negotiate a settlement. That’s a lot riding on your ability as a lawyer.
Today I’m looking back at a few of the previous articles I’ve shared about job related stress and burnout, how to deal with them, how to avoid them, and even how to be more productive so that you don’t need as many hours in the office.
Stressful jobs can cause both mental and physical health issues. People who work at stress-related jobs are more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and depression. They are also at a higher risk for suicide. No job is worth that risk. It doesn’t have to be. If you can manage your stress, you can do any job without suffering the health risks.
Signs of high stress levels include:
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering important information
- Feeling overwhelmed with the normal, everyday tasks
- Being irritable, moody, or short-tempered
- Being accident prone
- Suffering from headaches, dizziness, and stomach issues
These are just a few symptoms, there are many others. Finding the right balance and reducing your stress doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to make more conscious decisions about taking care of yourself.
You can avoid job burnout and reduce your stress levels by including a few healthy options in your day:
- Get plenty of rest – your body uses this time to recover, both physically and mentally, from your day. A good night’s sleep will help you be better the next day. Turn off the TV and move electronic devices out of your bedroom or put them on airplane mode as Wi-Fi can disrupt your sleep.
- Eat well – choose healthy, nourishing foods to keep your body and mind energized throughout the day. Eating well can increase your energy levels as well as your productivity and focus. Foods high in sugar and fat will leave you feeling exhausted by midday. Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables will keep your mind fresh and help you avoid brain fog.
- Get some exercise – get up from your desk at least once an hour to move around and stretch your body. Sitting still is not only bad for your health, it can reduce your productivity and focus. Just a few minutes of walking around every hour is enough to clear your mind and get you re-focused.
- Take up a hobby – doing something you enjoy will give you a release for your tension and stress. Go fishing, take a dance class or cooking class, plant a garden. Find something you enjoy doing and make time for it regularly.
- Spend time with family & friends – it will give you the support you need to keep going. It will also reduce your stress and help you relax. Make time for the people who matter the most in your life; it will bring you some balance and joy.
Work-related stress can leave you feeling drained and unfulfilled in your life. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and as we saw in the previous article, many health risks. There can be a number of reasons for your stress, and figuring out what’s causing it can help you figure out how to resolve it. Some of the most common sources of work-related stress are:
- Not making enough money
- Your workload is more than one person can handle
- You don’t find your work challenging or engaging
- You have to multi-task too often
- There’s no room for promotion
- You don’t have the support you need from co-workers or management
- Your ideas are ignored or you don’t have enough input when it comes to making important decisions
- The requests from your clients and those from your boss are conflicting
You can learn to manage your stress by following a few simple tips:
- Track your stressors – keep a journal of when you feel your most stressed to figure out what your triggers are.
- Create healthy responses – find a healthy way to reduce your stress with yoga, meditation, taking up a hobby, or time with family.
- Create boundaries – don’t let your work life overflow into your personal life. Take time away from the office, both physically and mentally.
- Get support – talk to your boss and find a way to manage your work load better. Talk to your friends and family about what you’re dealing with so they can be there to support you.
You can find several more tips on reducing and avoiding stress by checking out my post on Avoiding Work Related Stress.
Regardless of what type of law you practice, it can be stressful. Negotiating for your client’s best interests, keeping them out of jail, or helping them plan for the future; there’s a lot riding on your ability to do your job well.
All of this pressure can not only lead to stress and issues with your physical health, it can also put you at risk for mental health issues. The stress can lead to depression, anxiety, moodiness, anger issues, and even put you at risk for suicide.
Caring for your mental well-being while working in a stressful career is a necessity. Here are a few ways you can care for your mental health with a stressful job:
Let go of perfectionism – you are only human and you are not able to be perfect all the time. The struggle to be perfect and make the “just right” decision every single time can lead to mental health issues like obsessive thoughts, feeling inadequate, sleep deprivation, difficulty focusing, and heart palpitations. Focus on doing your best and let go of being perfect.
Use stress-reducing methods – such as meditation, long walks, exercise, and being mindful to help you let go of the stress and not carry it with you all the time. A few minutes a day of mediation can help you relax and get back on track with more focus and less stress. Do it for 3-5 minutes throughout the day when you’re feeling especially stressed.
Seek help – don’t go it alone. Talk to a professional like a counselor, therapist, or coach to help you through the difficult times. As a coach working with lawyers, I can help you find a way to deal with your stress, I can also understand where you’re coming from; I’m no stranger to the stresses of being a lawyer.
Learn how to manage your mental well-being by reading the full post, Mental Health & Wellness for Lawyers, here.
With so many distractions in your day, it can be hard to stay focused. A lack of productivity can also come from being burned out and unmotivated to do your job. But if you can learn to manage your time, and your stress levels, better, you can be much more productive.
Start your day with a better morning ritual to ensure a much more productive day:
Smile – a simple smile can have a huge impact on your mood and can set you off on the right foot. It will improve your outlook on the day before you’re even out the door.
Hydrate – dehydration can cause you to lose focus, and even overeat while making poor food choices. Drink a big glass of water in the morning to help your body recover from the lack of hydration it had while you slept. It will give you instant energy.
Fill your mind with positivity – skip the news and read something inspirational or motivational in the morning instead. There’s plenty of time to catch up on the chaos of the world later.
Move – getting your body moving after a long night of lying in bed will boost your energy. Go for a walk, do some yoga, or turn on your favorite playlist and dance around the kitchen. It’s an instant mood booster.
Starting the day with a better outlook will help you be more productive through the day. Read the rest of my productivity tips to help you manage your time in my post, Increasing Your Productivity.
Reducing your stress, improving your physical and mental well-being, and managing your time better can help you do your job better and avoid burnout. Being more mindful and conscious of your actions will help you manage your time and create more balance in your life, which will naturally reduce stress and anxiety. It will also improve your physical health and reduce your chances of stress-related illness.
Are you still struggling and want to get the right support to help with this problem? Call today to schedule your FREE exploratory session with me and see how the horses and I can help you TODAY! 970-682-4405