The Healthy Lawyer: Combating Stress (I)


How stressed you get and how often it happens are two things that you can have a great influence over. Without smart habits for dealing with stressful situations, life can be a lot more burdensome than it ought to be.

Flowing from our last discussion on the  dangers of stress, below are some of the smart ways to deal with stress:

Changing Habits

  1. One Thing at a Time

You’ll feel better and less stressed if you just do one thing at a time. This will make it easier to focus and to do a job of higher quality right away. Instead of having to go back several times and polish and rearrange to get the result you want.

Do not make multi-tasking a common daily routine. If you must multi-task, make it an exception to the rule.

  1. Write Things Down and Keep your daily to-do-list Short.

When you make it a habit to write down your ideas, tasks and all the stuff you have to remember, you spare yourself the stress of worrying about forgetting. You will also free up your mind for focusing on other things than remembering.

You get a lot done by having a daily priority list. You focus on the most important and you relish on the successfully executed tasks. Rather than work on the final written address that takes couple of weeks, a counter affidavit requiring a one week time frame would never slip by to pop up just a few hours before the time frame. Ensure you allow for tomorrow to also count on the list.

  1. Don’t make Mountains out of Molehills.
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One of the best ways to make your day and life easier, lighter and less stressful is to not build mountains out of molehills. To not create extra drama, overthink or create a problem out of something that doesn’t matter much. Or just out of air. Being overly dramatic hurts and it is avoidable.

  1. Set Work Hours and Boundaries

This is very important, at least for lawyers. You must have a good balance between work and rest. Do not try to work beyond your set boundaries. Working late must never be a routine. Keeping deadlines consistently harms and must be discouraged. Let work hours be specified and strictly adhered to. Factor in all related stress and ensure your time accommodates all.

  1. Disconnect over the weekend.

It is also really helpful to find a good balance between work and rest from a weekly perspective. Do that by staying away from work and staying offline  as much as possible. Be in touch with stuff that helps you relax If you have a cellphone for work leave it at work, overtime your clients would get used to the times within which to call. Keep personal communication gadgets away and check them hours apart. Return only important calls otherwise, let it wait until Monday. Over time your routine would be an unwritten code for those wanting to get in touch over the weekend.

  1. Delegate.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. You don’t have to control or micromanage. If possible delegate and let someone else get that task or project to done.

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You don’t always have to go it alone. You might not always get it but you may be surprised at how helpful and kind people can be if you just ask.

  1. Listen to yourself.

When you are starting to feel drained, more irritable and creativity plummets then don’t just keep on going right into the brick wall. Listen to yourself and your body. Schedule more time to take care of yourself.

Just spend the evening in bed watching your favorite movies. Or go out for a walk. No one will reward you for running into that wall or even becoming burned out. Be kind to yourself and prioritize your health.

  1. Just breathe.

Release the stress, calm your mind and body down and reconnect with the present moment again by fully focusing on your breathing. Breathe with your belly for just 1-2 minutes and focus only on the air you are breathing in and out.

  1. Be smart about the three fundamentals of energy.

What are these three fundamentals? Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising a couple of times a week.

I know, these things are very obvious. But when you manage these three areas in a good way in practice then that makes a huge difference for your mood, energy, outlook of life and how well you can handle stress.


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