Over the past few years, more and more lawyers have either quit their practice, switched jobs or taken sabbaticals due to stress, overwork or hostile work environments. Lawyers also have been found to be more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
Most lawyers work extreme hours, which leads to fatigue and less time for other activities like exercising, sleeping, meeting loved ones or indulging in other hobbies. Through this article, we aim to address the reasons for lawyer stress and give a few tips on how lawyers can reduce or manage their stress.
1. Create and Follow a Schedule
Unorganized work is one of the major factors resulting in overwork & fatigue for lawyers. A schematically designed schedule helps you divide tasks based on their urgency & importance, track pending work, create plans & more. Following the schedule guarantees more free time for other activities such as exercising or meeting loved ones.
2. Seek Help
By the phrase ‘Seek Help’ we mean two things.
Seek Help at the Workplace: If the number of pending tasks assigned to you is overwhelming, ask your subordinates or team members for help, and reciprocate the same when one of them needs help with their tasks. If you run your own practice, make sure you hire enough people to ensure none of the staff members are unnecessarily burdened with extra work.
Seek Help for Yourself: If the stress is leading to physical/mental health issues or unhealthy addictions, speak to your family about it and consult a professional. It is best to address these issues as soon as possible to reduce the damage they can cause.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Lawyers pride themselves on the extended number of hours they work. But the truth is, extra working hours and less sleep can result in harmful health issues in the years to come. Make sure you get a sufficient amount of sleep as per your bodily requirements.
Stress and addictions can also result in sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea. If you constantly have trouble sleeping, visit a sleep clinic or consult a professional.
4. Identify the Stress Factors
Identify the factors that are causing the stress. For example, some people may feel burdened due to excessive work while others might enjoy the work but might also need a break. Once you identify these stress factors, try to find a solution to manage them better. And if your current situation doesn’t support your stress-reducing solutions, find a workplace that does.
5. Make Use of Legal Technology
Legal technology is the use of technology and software to provide and aid legal services. The use of electronic law reports, drafting software, e-lawyering, e-filing of court processes etc., helps reduces workload at offices.
6. Take Breaks
Like sleep, breaks also play an essential role in relieving stress. Use the breaks to indulge in other activities and hobbies. Breaks are known to help mental and physical development, which also benefit the work.
7. Find a Supportive Workplace
If your current job is taking a toll on you, look for something better. Find subordinates and mentors that understand each other’s needs and know how to create a supportive work environment.
Although, it is also important to consider other factors before deciding to switch jobs, like growth opportunities, salary, type & quality of work, etc. Make sure the company or firm you are switching to is worth making the switch.
We come across stress on a daily basis. Sometimes we can avoid it & other times we cannot. But it is always important to manage the stress and not let it cause more harm. The above tips are just some of the ways of managing stress. Some other popular ways are meditation, yoga, taking a trip, spending time with pets, etc. Identify which stress reliever works best for you and just go for it. And if you know someone who could benefit from this article, share it with them.