Stress happens to every professional from time to time. Those who have the tools to handle stress constructively when it happens are better able to weather the tough times, grow from the experience, and move forward.
Here are some helpful tools for managing stress in the legal field.
Keep Things in Perspective
When stress mounts, our brains can react by producing more subjective and ultimately unhelpful interpretations of the situation we find ourselves in. Instead of dealing with things as they come, the mind may start to react negatively to the entire situation: “This is too much,” “I can’t handle this,” or “I’m no good at this.”
During stressful times, listen in more closely on your own self-talk. Take short breaks during the day to focus on your breathing and notice the thoughts that pass. If they’re adding to your stress level, find ways to gently re-frame them. For instance, instead of “this is too much,” you might say “this is a lot of work” or “what is my number-one priority right now?” Instead of “I’m no good at this,” try “This is a bigger challenge than usual” or “Who can I ask for help?”
Prioritize Your Fundamental Needs
During high-stress periods at work, it can be easy to push aside basic needs like sleep, food, movement, and relaxation. “I don’t have time for that,” you might think. “I have to finish this project.”
In fact, high-stress times are the times you most need to attend to your basic needs. Focus on planning each day with the understanding that adequate sleep, nutritious meals, time to move, and time to decompress are non-negotiable. With these fundamentals in place, you’ll find you have the energy to handle the stress during the rest of the day.
Seek Help Outside the Office When Needed
If stress is damaging your work quality or any part of your personal life, it may be time to talk to a therapist or other mental health professional whom you trust. Even spending time with a trustworthy friend or family member who helps you maintain perspective can be valuable.
If your current work demands too much from you too often, you can seek help as well. Talk to a recruiter who can assist you in finding work that balances stressful times with slower ones so you can focus clearly on your career goals.
Further Your Career With Kent Legal
At Kent Legal, our recruiters help legal support professionals connect to some of the best jobs and employers available in the greater Toronto area. To find the right fit for your career, contact us today.