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Take care of business and take care of yourself

Health and well-being for lawyers

health and well-being for lawyersA career as a lawyer is often inherently stressful and filled with pressure, but taking measures to ensure your mental and physical health is still important. As an independent lawyer, you are lucky in that you don’t have the same set of pressures and expectations as you would working for a big firm. However, you are a business owner, and that comes with its own challenges.

While your work is important, your life matters more. Make a deal with yourself to put your health and well-being first, and work that into your routine and daily schedule.

Be sure to think about:

  • Creating a good home life. All good lawyers need a home life to balance out the stress of their working life. You need to take time to relax and enjoy your family, friends, hobbies and personal interests.
  • Take care of yourself. To do your job well, you need to be healthy. Make sure that you eat right, exercise and sleep. Turn off after-hours e-mail notifications and give your brain a chance to rest between work days.
  • Don’t turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. A recent report showed a high level of alcohol abuse among lawyers, with as many as one in three lawyers with behavior that indicates problem drinking. Independent lawyers seem to be less prone to alcohol abuse, but it is a good idea to find other ways to manage stress or even interact with business peers in a social setting.

Taking time out for yourself is an investment in your long-term health, but it can also support your business growth. Studies have shown the business value of getting enough sleep, taking vacations and limiting overtime. You owe it to yourself, your family, your friends and your business to take take care of you.

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