Health tips for Lawyers
Many say our health is the most important thing we have, along with our families and friends.
Are you looking after yourself?
Are you enabling the best version of you to turn up as a lawyer every day? If your battery is only 50% charged, how can you function at full capacity?
What have you built into your life to enable rest, recharge and renewal?
If you continue as now, what will your health and well being look like in 5 or 10 years’ time? Does the answer tell you this is on track? Or off? What improvements are you going to make?
I challenge you to reflect on the above.
Much has been written about the pressures, stresses and mental health struggles that exist within the legal profession.
When I first understood this, I felt a strong sense of wanting to, in some small part, change this reality and help the profession and those within it improve this: so that lawyers can have a better quality of life.
The reason this struck a chord for me was directly related to my core purpose; which is to serve and inspire others to better life outcomes.
So here is a short practical ‘toolkit’ for better health, that I’ve drawn from various sources, and my own personal experience to date. Please understand that I am not a wellness practitioner nor a doctor.
1) Exercise regularly in a form that you enjoy and can maintain. Likely you accept that this is a good habit, but do you do it? If you don’t, justifying that you don’t have time, I challenge you to think again. Everyone has the same amount of time, and not making time for looking after your health will ultimately affect your life quality. For me, I make this a non-negotiable part of life. Why is exercise helpful?
a. where you are in stressful situations it enables you to burn off cortisol, and get your system back to a state of ‘rest’ which is a good thing for your long-term health. It also releases endorphins into your system.
b. My experience is exercise helps me think more clearly and be more effective. Hence physical health benefits mental health.
2) Eat well and drink enough water. Good nutrition means your body has the key nutrients to function as best it can. Putting yourself in self-audit mode, what is your diet like? How can you make simple improvements if needed?
3) Allow time to connect with nature which has a relaxing effect, and for me has helped where I wish to stimulate creative business thinking. Here is an article on the subject within ‘the conversation’: https://theconversation.com/why-a-walk-in-the-woods-really-does-help-your-body-and-your-soul-53227
4) Keep social interactions as part of your life. Interacting socially with others may increase resilience to stress.
5) Find a way to regularly switch off. Be it meditation which is so powerful, yoga or otherwise. Personally, I meditate regularly as part of my routine. I find it improves the quality of my thinking.
6) Where needed talk to someone. We all need this at various stages, either to get something off your chest, to simply share, or for some words of wisdom and support. There is strength in being vulnerable, and asking for help, or talking to someone to share how you feel, will contribute to your well being and health. As a lawyer, likely you may have to deal with difficult and trying situations. Many law firms have avenues to talk with your colleagues, or through Lawcare at the Law Society or professional counsellors.
7) A sense of belonging. Whether this is by contributing to the community through being on a board, participating in Rotary, volunteering or being part of a sporting team, a sense of belonging is a great thing for one’s sense of self.
8) Alcohol intake at moderate levels. I bumped into a retired lawyer in the gym around 6 months ago, who spoke of a colleague of a similar age. This person was down to ‘2 bottles a day’ of wine, and was experiencing a one-way health decline that was a sad reality. I hope for something better than this for you.
Related to well being, having your financial affairs in order can also help increase peace of mind and reduce stress related to money.
Whilst all this is certainly not new information, I do hope that it gives you a chance to reflect on your current reality, think about how you are going and make positive change. If it stimulates and inspires you to make even one practical improvement, that is a fantastic outcome.
May you experience good health, happiness and ongoing success.
1) Debbie Elton, Naturopath. https://www.whitecoat.com.au/naturopath/wa/edgewater/elton/131813
2) The conversation, Why a walk in the woods really does help your body and soul https://theconversation.com/why-a-walk-in-the-woods-really-does-help-your-body-and-your-soul-53227
3) Cura Medicine, Naturopathy and Nutrition https://www.curamedicine.com.au/
4) Lawcare, Law society of WA. https://www.lawsocietywa.asn.au/lawcare-wa/
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