Few would argue that being a lawyer isn’t a highly stressful job. Whether you work in law as a family lawyer advocating for young adults in high-risk families or protecting businesses’ financial wellness through corporate law, a lot rides on your ability to work at your best.
In order to best serve your clients and your own mental health, it’s a good idea that lawyers regularly consider their own mental wellness and seek mental health care when needed. If you’re an attorney but aren’t sold on the idea of going to counseling for your own mental health problems, substance abuse issues, or relationship issues, here are a few things to consider.
Legal work is stressful.
Working as an attorney, you already know how stressful it can be to put your efforts toward your clients’ best interests in serious matters. Whether you’re working to get someone the money they deserve in a personal injury claim or serving as an administrative level change-maker like Malliha Wilson, the reality is that many people and their lives depend on your hard work. The stress of knowing your performance will change someone’s life can be a lot to deal with.
On top of wanting to do your best to serve your clients and protect your reputation, it’s important to consider that you deserve a quality life and peace of mind, too. As someone who works hard to serve others, it can be easy to neglect your own self-care and interests. For this reason, taking time out to unplug, spending time with friends and family, and seeking professional help can add up to better job performance and happiness in your personal life.
No matter how great of a job you do in taking care of yourself and your mental health, it won’t make complex litigation and some of your cases any less stressful. Knowing that you can’t change the law or legal system, it’s a good idea to make adjustments to how you work within it instead. In focusing on your mental health, you’ll ultimately be glad you did and have a more fulfilling career.
People of all ages and walks of life struggle.
Many lawyers and other highly skilled professionals avoid getting the mental health services they need for a variety of reasons. One reason could be that they believe they shouldn’t need professional help to manage the stress that comes with a job they signed up for. The truth is that all people struggle with sadness or at least minor symptoms of depression at one point or another.
Whether you’re grieving, having issues with substance abuse, or simply need someone to talk to about your relationship, being willing to ask for help will make your legal work easier. That is, in working through your own issues, you’ll be less distracted at work. Don’t let being afraid of or embarrassed to ask for help stop you from getting the tools and resources you deserve.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed things.
Times of change can bring great stress. It can be challenging to navigate the legal system remotely or to juggle home responsibilities with work. This is just another reason a successful attorney might want to reach out for help. The global pandemic has caused major changes in the way we live, do business, see clients, and even handle cases. It’s also impacted how we can access mental health services. One great change that’s come with the pandemic is that telehealth and teletherapy services are easier to access than ever.
At the end of the day, you’ll be able to represent your clients at your best if you take care of your own mental health challenges. In finding a counselor or therapist who can help you to navigate job stressors and other issues, you’ll not only be doing your clients a favor but yourself, too.