As an attorney at a solo or small law firm, finding balance is challenging. You’re always trying to manage doing what you love and helping clients against growing your business and balancing the books. While you may be accustomed to embodying phrases like “making it work” and “wearing many hats,” no attorney has experience making it work amid a global pandemic.
Everything about this crisis is different. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out how to juggle working from home with your small children under foot. Maybe you or a loved one have an underlying health condition that makes this virus especially concerning. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by the constant 24/7 gloom and doom news cycle. While nothing about the situation that we find ourselves in today is normal, the difficult emotions you’re feeling, are. This is hard. And it’s important to take time to check in with and take care of yourself.
Here are some tips that can hopefully help make this time less stressful:
Take care of your mental and emotional health
Given current circumstances, even the most even-keeled individual may be struggling. Uncertainty, and the accompanying general unease, can be difficult to navigate. With so many unknowns involved with this pandemic, it’s hard to know what you should or shouldn’t do on a personal and professional level. Is it safe to dine out at your favorite restaurant? Does it make sense to explore branching out into a new practice area? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
While you may not be able to control current circumstances, for your own sanity and happiness, it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress. It can be as simple as taking time to get outdoors and go for a walk or call a friend to chat. Additionally, it’s wise to be mindful of the volume and type of content you’re consuming. Being bombarded with negative messages day in and out can take a serious toll on your mental health and leave you feeling depressed and anxious. Set limits when it comes to your media consumption and take time to do things that make you happy.
Tend to your physical health
Over time, stress can seriously and negatively affect not only your mental and emotional health and well-being, but also your physical health. According to the Cleveland Clinic, chronic stress is linked to serious health conditions including heart disease, cancer, and lung and liver ailments.
To help combat the negative effects of stress, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself physically. Do your best to eat well, get enough sleep, and move your body daily. Also be mindful of any negative behaviors that may be impacting you physically. Overeating, smoking and excessive drinking can increase your risks of developing serious health conditions and diseases.
Take stock of your financial health
These days, economic worries are top-of-mind for many people. Concerns about money create stress that in turn can raise your blood pressure, keep you up at night, and lead you to make unhealthy choices. If your firm has taken a hit due to COVID, it’s important to formulate a strategy for how to move forward.
Get in touch with your accountant or financial advisor and take time to fully understand your financial big picture. If necessary, figure out where you can trim costs. When it comes to attracting and communicating with prospective clients, what marketing initiatives make sense? Explore your options. Digital marketing tactics like legal directories, blogging and social media advertisements are more affordable options that typically yield higher ROI.
When it comes to your health and general well-being, everything is interconnected. Things that are happening in your professional life are bound to bleed over into your personal life and affect your overall health and happiness. It’s ok to admit that things aren’t normal or ok right now. It’s also ok to set healthy limits and prioritize your own mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
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