4 Simple Self-Care Tips for Firm Owners

This article was provided by Gary Mitchell, a lawyer coach since 2005, taking a unique approach with his clients by focusing on the psychological aspect of the way they work. Having coached lawyers from coast to coast spanning numerous practice areas and at all stages in their careers, Gary continues to expand and hone his knowledge of the legal industry with every new client engagement. 

For years, self-care in the legal industry has been ignored. Sure, behind the scenes, perhaps at the water cooler, whispers occurred here and there. But no real and serious attention has been given to self-care until Covid-19 hit us. 

Years of overworking, addiction, and mental health issues have been ignored. And at what cost? At what cost to the individuals experiencing these challenges? What cost to your clients? What cost to your firm? 

My first time on an airplane 

As the flight attendants were doing their emergency demonstration and suggested that in the case of an emergency if the oxygen masks came down, we should put them on ourselves first before trying to assist the elderly or infants.

I remember distinctly that moment looking around and within eyesight, I could see elderly people and infants. I thought to myself at that moment, “Well, that’s selfish!”

Years later, and with much more life under my belt, I totally got it. Of course you put your mask on first because if you can’t breathe, you will be no good to anyone else. The bottom line is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be much help to others.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that!

1. Set your day up with the intention of success

Give yourself an injection of positivity every morning. I passionately believe you can set yourself up for a positive day by simply practicing a few strategies every morning before you dive into your work. Altogether these practices only take a few minutes, and you will notice very quickly the positive effect they have on your mood and outlook. Staying positive is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. 

Things to start your day may include practicing gratitude; coming up with your own, personal, daily affirmations; and reviewing your goals. I do this every morning before I dive into my day. Clients who have followed this advice notice improved focus and attention to their work, and reduced stress. 

2. Take frequent mental breaks throughout the day

As the old saying goes, “a change is as good as a rest.” I am a firm believer in taking several mini or small breaks throughout your day. This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. Be good to yourself. 

It’s easier to do this if you are working from home, but you can still manage it even if you are working at the office. Go for a short walk. Read something of interest, non-work related. Catch up on business development. Whatever it is, take a mental break from the intense intellectual crunch you are under. 

3. Do your best to fit some exercise into your day

Depending again on your schedule, try to make exercise a priority. This is not only good for you physically, but also mentally. Movement increases your endorphins and raises your serotonin levels in your brain, which is known to create that happy feeling. If you are not that committed to exercise, at least get out and go for a brisk walk every day. Listen to an audiobook or your favorite music. Move!  

4. Do your best to give your body the nourishment it needs

Eating healthily is more important than you may realize. Although I understand this can be incredibly challenging depending on your home situation, if you are caring for children, and if your schedule is busy. But there are some things you can do to always ensure you have healthy choices at the ready. The first is when you have some downtime, do meal prep so that at any given time you can open your fridge to healthy and delicious meals. 

And it’s not only important what you eat, but also when you eat. Eating several smaller portions of food throughout your day is much healthier than starving yourself all day and then feasting later. 

These are just a few tips to get you started on the path of self-care. Reach out to me if you would like to learn more.

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