The National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing launched the first annual Lawyer Wellbeing Week to highlight activities that law firms and attorneys can take to promote physical, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, social, and emotional wellbeing, and encouraging organizations all over the country to join in.
At Lawline, our greatest resource is our faculty, who are incredibly knowledgeable, generous, committed to the profession and their fellow attorneys. For Lawyer Wellbeing Week, we surveyed them about the different ways in which they take the time to focus on their wellbeing. As always, their responses were thoughtful, practical, and empathetic. Not surprisingly, they frequently mentioned the current COVID crisis - but most of their suggestions are practices that we should all move forward into our lives post-pandemic. We got so many great tips that we will be sharing them throughout the month of May. Check them out below in Part III of this series:
For Emotional Wellbeing: Practice Gratitude & Foster Good Habits
Samantha Lee: "One small thing a colleague recommended years ago that I still use and has a surprising impact: make your work log-in password something that reminds you of what you love and why you do what you do. Each time you type it in, you'll have an opportunity to think about those things."
Erica Minchella suggests “little shopping sprees [especially when money is tight] - the shower gel I like that costs $18, getting the ingredients to bake and then baking for my husband - get me out of myself and my depression and change my mind so that I can go back to something productive instead of moping.”
Chris Paul: “Avoid 60 to 80 hour work weeks. Find the "good ruts" - those habits and systems to make routine and redundant tasks easier and faster (ex., macros for billing entries and discipline to get it done timely to remove stress).”
For Occupational Wellbeing: Turn Off Your Phone and Focus on the Future
Pat Werschulz: “Turn off notifications on your electronic devices while you are working or relaxing.”
Alissa Van Horn: “Setting boundaries with clients is important, especially in the world of smartphones. Recognize that self-care is important to your ability to be there for clients, and take time off.”
Norma Ortiz: “I believe that I am one failure away from success. That motivates me to keep planning, growing, and trying.”
David Feldman: This is a scary time, but it is also a time of new opportunity and perspective. We need to get through the six stages of grief, and remember what matters: Try to have a daily work routine, shower every day, get up and have a dedicated workspace, try to keep the TV off and do your best to find ways to concentrate on work and business development with as few distractions as possible.
For more wellness strategies, check out this toolkit from the National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing, tune into Lawline’s excellent wellness programming, and don’t forget to take time to focus on the different aspects of your health that keep you going and make you a great lawyer.