We all have stress, and at times it can be overwhelming. Try these tips to manage it. Some of these topics are covered in more depth on other pages of this site and in the following video by Jeena Cho, author of The Anxious Lawyer.
Exercise. Try to exercise every day, even if it’s just a short walk around the block.
Eat well. Don’t skip meals and eat as well as you can. Limit unhealthy snacks, alcohol, and caffeine.
Journal. Even if you don’t write them down, take two minutes every day to think of things for which you are grateful. You can do this on your way to work, while you’re eating lunch, or any other time that works for you. You can also journal about the things that trigger your stress and anxiety (family, a case or deal, opposing counsel, a supervisor). Thinking about triggers can help you identify them and prepare to manage them the next time they arise.
Meditate and breathe. Meditation and breathing calm and clear your mind. There are lots of apps and other guidance to help you get started, or you can just close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly until your mind starts to clear.
Volunteer. Volunteering helps you build relationships and giving back gives us a break from our stress. Get plugged into your local bar or a charitable organization.
Manage your time. One of the best things we can do is stay organized and ahead of big deadlines. We can’t always avoid it but being “under the gun” can be the source of a lot of stress.
Sleep. The importance of sleep can’t be over-emphasized. When we’re stressed, we need more sleep. Missing out on that sleep can make us less productive at work and start a vicious cycle of unproductivity, leading to more stress and anxiety.
Laugh. Humor can be the best antidote for stress and anxiety. Watch a funny movie or hang out with a funny friend. Whatever you do, find something to laugh about.
Talk to someone. Sometimes it helps to “take a load off.” Find a trusted coworker or friend and talk to them. Sometimes just acknowledging your anxiety helps you manage it better.
Cut yourself some slack. We all make mistakes. Learn from them, focus on the things you did right, and get ready for the next challenge.
Reboot. None of us can do all of these things all the time. So when you have a long week (or month or year), take a vacation, do yoga, get a massage. Whatever you do, leave the office, step away from your work, and take a breather. And then jump back on the wagon with better perspective and focus on your wellness.