By Erika Winston
As an attorney, you likely have a lot of people depending on you – law firm staff, clients, professional acquaintances, and family.
Trying to meet everyone’s needs can become an extremely stressful endeavor. That’s why it’s so important for you to put yourself on that long list of responsibilities. In order to practice law at your most effective level, your health and wellness must be a priority in your life.
Here are 5 tips to keep your health and wellness in check as a lawyer:
The practice of law can be a pretty sedentary occupation. Hours of sitting behind a desk… or sitting in the courtroom… or sitting in conferences… it can all add up to minimum movement throughout the day. As reported by the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity benefits you in the following ways:
- Combats chronic conditions and diseases
- Improves your mood with stimulation of chemicals in the brain
- Boosts your energy
- Leads to better sleep
- Promotes social connections
For all of these reasons, it’s vital to fit physical activity into your weekly schedule. Even a brisk walk four days a week can prove beneficial. If that just doesn’t seem doable to you, implement small strategies for greater physical activity, like:
- Parking farther from the building and walking
- Taking the steps instead of the elevator
- Using an adjustable desk that allows you to stand while working
- Doing small stretches and exercises right from your desk
Watch What You Eat
The other side of the exercise coin is watching what you’re putting into your body. Unfortunately, the demanding schedule of legal practice can lead to poor eating habits. Sometimes, it just seems easier to devour some chips in the car than to have a nutritious meal. But if that becomes your regular routine, you will undoubtedly begin to see the negative consequences, physically and mentally.
Instead, opt for foods that fill you with the good stuff – vitamins and nutrients that promote energy, elevate your mood, and keep the brain fog away. Let’s look at which snacks our friends at the Mayo Clinic suggest:
Almonds – They’re packed with nutrients and may help lower your risk of heart disease. Plus, they come in these amazing flavors now. So, whether you’re craving salty or sweet, there’s an almond out there for you.
Apples – An apple a day… need I say more?
Vegetable juice – Vegetable juices are a quick and easy way to get your daily serving of vegetables. Be careful to choose low-sodium options though.
Blueberries – These are not only packed with compounds that prevent chronic diseases, but they also improve memory and promote healthy aging.
Lawyers are notorious for working themselves too hard. You are constantly faced with deadlines and responsibilities that keep you busy, and meeting those tasks takes up the majority of your time. However, you have to step away from the hustle and bustle of your office sometimes.
Whether you take an extended vacation a couple of times a year, one long weekend a month, or even just lunchtime meditations… it’s vitally important to your health and wellness to take some time just for yourself.
A Healthy Law Office
You probably spend a large percentage of your life within the walls of your law office. So, why not promote the health of you and your staff by creating an environment that’s better for everyone. Here are a few small changes you can make for a healthier office:
Open the windows or use air purifiers to keep the air clean within the office. Air pollutants can lead to allergies, headaches, and even rashes.
Add some greenery with plants and flowers. They promote a relaxing atmosphere and some even clean the air while looking beautiful.
Change those light sources. Some forms of light can have adverse effects, resulting in eye strain and/ or headaches. Promote natural light sources when possible. If not, put some thought into what types of bulbs and lighting you are using within the office.
Get rid of the vending machines. If you do want to keep them, trade the junk food for healthier snack options.
Technology is not only there to make work easier. There are also countless options on the market to promote your health and wellness. Find tech options that help you better manage your days, while influencing you to take better care of yourself. Here are some tech innovations that help keep you healthy:
Meditation apps – These applications quickly provide you with guided meditations, so you can practice mindfulness from anywhere. Many of them allow you to choose your mantra, as well as your time frame, so you can get in an extended meditation or opt for a few quick minutes of relaxation.
Digital food journals – These tech options help you to track the food that you’re eating on a daily basis and quickly find all of the nutritional data. They can even help you stay within your caloric goals for weight loss or maintenance.
Activity trackers – Activity tracking gadgets are wildly popular for a reason. A quick glimpse of your wrist can provide you with all the information you need regarding your movement and activity from the day.
Brain-boosting games – Why not boost your brain power while having a little fun. These games are designed to help and entertain you simultaneously.
Organizational apps – Organization is always a challenge for lawyers, but there are some amazing apps out there to help you keep all of your appointments and calendars in sync. It can be stressful trying to remember everything you need to do from day to day. Why not use a tool that does it all for you?
Health and wellness must be a priority in life, but it becomes even more important when the stresses of legal practice are added to the mix. Take care of yourself by implementing these tips, so you can continue providing stellar legal representation to the clients who greatly need it.
Ms. Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law.