By Ana Fatima Costa
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. How are you feeling?
COVID and lockdowns resulted in most law firms and legal organizations working remotely and a greater need for well-being support. With the pandemic continuing, legal employers are realizing that well-being isn’t only an individual responsibility; they too have a vested interest in the well-being of their team members.
Last week was Well-Being Week in Law, an initiative launched by Institute for Well-Being in Law (1) after a landmark study (2) acknowledged the need for greater well-being for lawyers and legal professionals, from law school to the judiciary.
Each day focused on a daily theme/need: Physical (Monday), Spiritual (Tuesday), Career and intellectual (Wednesday), Social (Thursday), and Emotional (Friday).
The truth is well-being needs to be a priority EVERY day. What can you do to take care of each of these needs, every day?
Here are some suggestions:
Physical: Take a 15-20 minute walk alone or with a family member or your dog. Breathe. Appreciate nature. Listen for birdsong. Watch for butterflies. Take a nap. Dance. Stretch. Garden. Read a novel while lying in a hammock. Listen to music.
Spiritual: Upon awakening, meditate, pray, state affirmations aloud, and/or read spiritual texts. Take comfort in creative arts. Keep a gratitude journal. Reflect throughout the day: Whom and what are you grateful for? What makes you happy?
Career & Intellectual: Listen to podcasts that stimulate your curiosity, professional growth, and well-being. Jot down your career goals for the year and beyond. List your achievements. What interests do you want to explore?
Social: Reach out to family members and friends you haven’t seen in a while. Call or schedule a Zoom. Begin to make plans to get together as restrictions are lifted. Having something to look forward to provides an instant boost to your well-being.
Emotional: Honor and acknowledge your feelings without judgment as you go through each day. What am I feeling right now? What do I need? Be curious about yourself. If you are in pain, seek professional support (3). Know you are not alone.
If you missed last week’s events, it’s not too late! Institute for Well-Being in Law is offering additional support at Well-Being Week After Party, May 17 to 21, 2021.
Ana Fatima Costa, a former court reporter and Governor of Mt. Diablo LPA, is a certified coach, author, and speaker. She will offer the Inspirational Message at LPI’s 87th Annual Meeting of Delegates and Board of Governors.
(1) Institute for Well-Being in Law: https://lawyerwellbeing.net/organizations/
(2) ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Release First National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns (Feb 3, 2016)
(3) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month
Categorized in: General
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