Summary: All careers have to deal with stress and impending burnout. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here is what attorneys can do to stay positive and healthy.
Have you ever complained about feeling burned out? Or has the word overwhelmed become an integral part of your vocabulary?
I am not talking about feeling overtired and needing a day off.
For example, I suggest burnout is a constant state of frustration and heightened sensitivity to life’s daily ebb and flow.
At the same time, burnout leads to extremes of either isolation and detachment or, conversely, demanding constant attention from others.
Many report feeling like their work no longer matters. There is often a sense of disappointing others. Then it morphs into an “I don’t give a damn” attitude.
Lawyers are especially susceptible to professional burnout.
Did you know that some careers have more disappointments and obstacles than others?
In other words, those who choose the law have chosen a complex, demanding, and rewarding career.
The legal profession is a most valued helping profession. Here you help people one-one or in small groups through high-stakes situations.
In addition, research states that this leads to burnout: Constant disappointments and enormous obstacles are often seen as impossible to traverse.
Everyone has down -times, and they are coming faster these days. Know how to handle them.
Look, everyone has tests and trials to overcome at work.
Talk to anyone, and you will hear a complaint of overwhelm, imposter syndrome, and self-doubt.
However, legal professionals are here to heal a hurt, fix an injustice, or find a better solution than a client can figure alone.
Lawyers, like physicians, teachers, and therapists, can feel the emotional distress of clients. The concern for clients can bleed into personal time. Then burnout is right around the corner.
Stress Mastery skills help to avoid burnout.
You can be in control of your stress. Think of it this way: stress is a personal response to an external stimulus.
Example: When you were three, a neighborhood dog bit your leg. It required six stitches. Now you hear a dog bark. What would you doc
When a stressor occurs, you automatically register the degree of danger. Then you make a quick decision, fight, flight or freeze.
Most who an animal report has bitten want to either run in the other direction or can’t move from the spot.
Moreover, all situations have a memory aspect. This dog is not the dog from decades ago. Your reaction, however, maybe the same.
Train your brain to oversee stress and not be affected by it.
Your task is to train your brain to react positively, not out of fear.
Take charge of stress so you can be there for your clients and walk away from burnout.
Here are some steps to take right now to take charge of stress and avoid burnout.
- Find the right foods and exercise that help you stay calm (hint: blueberries are at the top of the list).
- Meditate or take at least half an hour of quiet. (Hint: At least count your breath as you breathe in the count of (7) and out (7), and do this seven times).
- Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. (Hint: No need to defend, explain, or justify all the time).
- Connect what you are experiencing physically with your thoughts and emotions. (Hint: Find someone to talk with, be it a friend, boss, or coach). Speak out your upset in short sentences. (Hint: Use this model “When you…; I feel…; And then I…I want to discuss this with you rather than ignore the situation to either shout it out or stuff it down.”
- Embrace the good stress (Hint: Eustress can get you through tough times by talking to yourself about the benefits of staying uber-alert when you are “on stage.”
- Connect what you are experiencing physically with your thoughts and emotions. (Hint: Find someone to talk with, be it a friend, boss, or coach).
Become a stress master and eliminate constant debilitating stress.
Think about learning to become a stress master as an insurance policy. If you take care of the upsets, disappointments, and challenges before you are frazzled, you can change your mindset and the situation for the better.
Here’s to your success,
PS. To create more balance, consider the Stress Mastery online program. Here you learn to “practice safe stress, ” which is good for you, me, and the planet.