Article written by Jordan Leasure
for the NABE Communicators Talk Newsletter
Top Five Daily Habits Healthy Lawyers Implement
Wellness is suddenly at the forefront of all law association publications. You’re overworked, anxious and possibly even burned out. Law is oftentimes a very rewarding vocation but it is always a trying one. Whether you are a litigator or in house counsel, trying to balance your professional responsibilities with personal relationships as well as self-care can be a daunting chore.
Those that seem to have greater resilience or vitality are those that take small bites daily. They have created a lifestyle that is sustainable and incorporates healthy choices into both their personal and professional lives. Below we’ll outline five seemingly simply tasks you can engage in to become or continue to be a Healthy Lawyer.
Practice Gratitude Daily
Gratitude is the feeling that comes from happiness that comes from appreciation. There are many days it can be a challenge to be grateful overall – but there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for – even if it’s the fact that a challenging day is over!
The practice of gratitude is of supreme importance to personal satisfaction and professional success. A gratitude journal, thank you notes and positive self-talk are all pieces of a positive mental attitude.
I find the easiest way to implement gratitude on a daily basis is to keep a notebook next to the bed and record 3 things each evening that I’m grateful for. It may be closing a large client, having another settlement close or something as simple as seeing a child laugh on my way into work. What brings you gratitude or an appreciation for life and living doesn’t need to be grand – be grateful for the little things.
Drinking water is a requirement of human health, yet a lot of us consume much less than we should. We find solace in a grande double shot latte or a second cup of merlot yet consuming a literal elixir of life is somehow inconvenient. Proper hydration not only maintains the quality of your skin, helps with sleep but even improves cognition – and who couldn’t use better recall! An easy benchmark is attempting to drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water. I don’t go anywhere without my S’well bottle. Obviously, if you’re living in a warmer climate or if you are exercising you will want to be drinking more but the above recommendations are suitable for most.
When every hour has a price tag, the number of hours you sleep can be at a premium. How can something so intuitive be so challenging at the same time? Sleep is required for restoration and recuperation. Keep the bedroom activities simple! The bedroom should be for two things – sleeping and sex. No need for a television, reading, texting, etc. Don’t work in bed – it weakens “the mental association between your bedroom and sleep,” according to Harvard’s Division of Sleep Medicine. If you bring work home keep it in a dedicated office space.
This is one of the easiest and least time-consuming habits. The quality of the soil our food is grown in becomes less nutritious every year. We’re eating on the run, eating fewer vitamins and minerals and more processed foods. Always check with your physician before starting a supplement regimen but I typically recommend a high-quality multivitamin, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics to my clients in the legal sector. It’s an easy place to start, you should see an improvement in your lab work after about 90 days and you may even see a decrease in joint pain and an improvement in mood and motivation!
When examining the physiology of your system it was designed to move -and not just from the car to the desk to the bed and vice versa. Most people spend 75% of their waking day seated. Health hazards of sitting, compounded by attorneys’ other poor habits are cutting not only careers short but lives as well. We all know that regular exercise is a fantastic stress reliever but with the cardiovascular benefits, you have the ability to improve blood flow to the brain. In a 2008 article, Exercise is Brain Food the following benefits were outlined that directly relate to attorneys.
The above benefits speak for themselves. Get out there and move!
If the above suggestions are too overwhelming pick one and start your implementation today. Whether for yourself, a friend or family member – you’re worth it!