With the daily stress around politics, pandemics, and fire season, self-care is an important part of maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. Lawyers are known workaholics and, like everyone else, we need reminders on how to apply wellness practices to our daily lives. Below are 6 simple ways to take care of yourself during these crazy times.
- Practice mindfulness.
What is mindfulness and how can it help you be a better lawyer, paralegal, or jurist?
Mindfulness can also be described as “awareness.” It is being aware—or “mindful”—of the present moment: your surroundings, your own energy level, what you’re putting out there for others to see, hear, and feel, how others are feeling, and what others are saying. Mindfulness means listening, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next.
There are several mindfulness resources designed specifically for the legal profession, including earning CLE credits, at www.mindfulnessforlawyers.com, www.jeenacho.com, and at the California Lawyers Association.
- Get out of your head.
Find ways to unplug from the demands of our profession. Yoga and meditation are obviously good practices to reduce stress and improve our moods. Physical activity, such as bicycling, weight-training, walking, and hiking improve fitness. When you get outside yourself, you may even find inspiration for your legal practice. I’ve often found answers to thorny legal problems after clearing my mind with a brisk walk or a few minutes of meditation.
- Feed your spirit.
I like to start my day with coffee and 10-minutes of Eckhart Tolle on YouTube, or another one of my favorite spiritual teachers. You can find most any kind of spiritual teachings online, on YouTube, or via podcast. It’s a good way to start the day in a positive frame of mind. Many experts recommend journaling for 5-10 minutes a day. Journaling helps organize your thoughts and sort through emotions you may not even realize you’re feeling. Plus, you will be writing the first draft of the history we are all living through in real time.
- Stay healthy.
A strong immune system starts in the gut. Make sure you consistently eat good, fresh food. Take a probiotic or herbal supplement to support your immune system. Join a local food hub and support local farms. Here’s one possibility: www.feedsonoma.com. Sleep is also an important part of a strong immune system. Creating a nightly routine or bedtime ritual helps the body get a better night’s sleep. Get more tips about how to sleep better at www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better.
- Help others.
Giving back to your community not only helps others, but it helps those who give as well. Donating to a local food bank, giving blood, or working with a nonprofit is an easy way to give back. Other nonprofits for lawyers to consider supporting include Legal Aid, RAICES, and the Lawyers Guild.
- Keep things in perspective.
As chaotic as things may feel right now, keep it in perspective. The human race has faced deadly pandemics before, such as the 1918 flu, smallpox, and polio. Taking care of ourselves and using the right precautions, such as wearing a mask, regular handwashing, and social distancing, will get us through this one. Staying home more means we can enjoy quality family time and gives us the opportunity to focus on what really matters in life.
We here at Evans Kingsbury LLP wish you and yours health, harmony, and happiness during this challenging time.