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Lawyer Wellness: Managing Stress and Burnout

Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are common in both the legal profession and in law school. The goal of this guide is to provide resources to cope with or reduce stress and tensions weighing on law students.

Managing Stress and Burnout

Mitigating stress and avoiding burnout are important considerations for law students. There are many ways to achieve these and resources with ideas are offered below. This section offers general resources related to stress management including time management techniques, self-care tips, ways to address law school anxiety, and work-life balance pointers. 


Table of Contents: Managing Stress of Burnout

 

 

Safe Spaces

  • Black Girl in Om Facebook page: "Black Girl In Om promotes holistic wellness and inner beauty for womxn of color. We encourage self-care, self-love, and self-empowerment for communities of color. We affirm the consistent, preventative actions that cultivate a clear mind, a strong body, prosperous spirit, and inspiration in our environments. We learn and share wellness practices with one another, and through this work cultivate richer understandings of what it means to be healthy and beautiful from the inside out."
  • Ourselves Black: "Narratives matter. Positive self-image, family bonds, strong communities, and a sense of security are fundamental to mental health. For black people, each has been not merely undermined but at times outright attacked by the predominant narratives in place since this country’s inception. The fight for mental health is real. And necessary...It is self-defeating to conform to the predominant narrative, and confining our dialogue about mental health to hushed stigma-laden discussions of mental illness hinders us in shaping our own. Birthed from my perspective as an HBCU educated and Ivy League trained psychiatrist, Ourselves Black is a place where we own the narrative and are unapologetic about our goal: to share imagery and tell stories infused with knowledge that promotes Black mental health."
  • Balanced Black Girl: "Balanced Black Girl was founded on the belief that wellness isn’t one size fits all. We are here to create a safe space for women of color to have candid conversations about wellness, self-care, and self-love, with a little humor along the way. We believe all women deserve equal representation in the wellness space. We’re here to help you take care of you, because you are worth taking care of."

Tools and Apps

  • Calm: This website contains resources focused on "mental fitness, relaxation and sleep." Includes guided meditations, calming music, mindfulness resources, and journalling prompts. Calm also has an app on iOS and Android.
  • Shine, Inc.: A self-care app created by women of color.

Videos

  • How to Tame Your Wandering Mind by Amishi Jha - TEDTalk: "Amishi Jha studies how we pay attention: the process by which our brain decides what's important out of the constant stream of information it receives. Both external distractions (like stress) and internal ones (like mind-wandering) diminish our attention's power, Jha says -- but some simple techniques can boost it. 'Pay attention to your attention,' Jha says."

 

Articles

  • Reining in Perfectionism by Jordana Alter Confino - Lawpracticetoday.org: Perfectionism is often touted as a positive attribute for lawyers, but it can have negative mental health affects and is ultimately different from excellence. This article offers tools to help improve lawyers' mental health by curbing perfectionism including practicing self-compassion and cultivating a growth, rather than a fixed, mindset. 

If you're interested in learning more, our Continuity of Library Services guide contain sections on (1) coping with stress, (2) prioritizing self-care, and (3) adjusting to change.

© Howard University School of Law Library.  Questions about this guide should be directed to reference@law.howard.edu.

 

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