As an attorney, you can often find yourself working long hours or on matters that are mentally draining. Add to the mix work-related emails and texts and you may discover it’s getting harder and harder to disconnect and enjoy other aspects of your life.
Why is that really a problem?
You may be hurting your health and your overall performance by not carving out time for yourself.
As Jarrett Green, co-founder of the Mindfulness, Stress Management and Peak Performance Program at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, told Law.com, “neglecting one’s own personal needs and equating self-care with weakness are harmful both personally and professionally, as stress and exhaustion impair cognitive ability.”
However, we all know that it can be difficult to make self-care a priority when you have multiple people and things vying for your attention. This is especially true for working parents who want to give their all to both their job and their family, which results in putting their own needs last in the order of importance.
But we all need to realize that self-care isn’t selfish or an unnecessary drain on your time—it’s an important part of living a happy, healthy and well-balanced life. Self-care is necessary to give you the opportunity to re-charge, so that you can boost your performance at work and at home.
Therefore, we’ve compiled a few simple ways you can effortlessly bring a little self-care back into your life:
- Download a Self-Care App
For those of you who have trouble putting down your phone, put that screen time to good use and download a self-care app. One of the most popular apps for self-case is Calm.com. It includes 100+ guided meditations that cover topics such as anxiety, focusing, stress relief, sleep, and relationships. The app also includes a library of Sleep Stories, exclusive music tracks for focus, relaxation and sleep, and also Calm Masterclasses taught by world-renowned experts. Most importantly, the app sends you an alert at a predetermined time of your choosing each day that encourages you to take some “Me” time, so you can automate your self-care.
One great way to refocus is to exercise, even if you can only carve out 5 minutes a day or just take a walk around the block. The practice of yoga, in particular, has been shown to improve the mental state of those suffering from depression, increase serotonin levels and decrease levels of monoamine oxidase and cortisol in the body. Further, studies have reported that the regular practice of yoga can cause an improvement in your blood pressure and help increase the drainage of lymphs, which in turn helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells and dispose of toxins.
- Listen to a Podcast
Don’t have time to read a book to wind-down? Try subscribing to a podcast instead. Podcasts are easily accessible on your phone or browser and can be listened to while you get ready for work, during your morning or evening commute, while exercising or whenever you feel like taking a break. You can take self-care a step further by subscribing to a podcast that focuses on self-help, such as the Happier Podcast by Gretchen Rubin, The Mindful Kind by Rachael Kable, The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, The Tony Robbins Podcast or On Purpose with Jay Shetty, to name a few.
- Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is an excellent tool for reducing stress and anxiety and helping you focus on what makes you happy. Mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean meditation, although meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness. Rather, mindfulness is merely the process of becoming more aware of your surroundings. It can come in many different forms and levels, starting with just concentrating on present experiences—not things that have happened in the past or that may happen in the future. For beginners, try paying attention to your environment while walking, focusing on your breath, or thinking about the way the floor feels under your feet.
Keep in mind, however, that there are many ways you can incorporate self-care into your life beyond those listed above. How you choose to take more time for yourself will be unique to you and your circumstances. What’s important is the decision itself to make self-care a priority, so you can better serve you, your work and those around you.