The Quest For Wellbeing (Podcast)

A spotlight has been shone in recent years on the wellbeing and mental health of legal professionals, and rightfully so. Being a legal professional is a stressful job that is often a delicate...
British Virgin Islands Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences
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Episode Description

A spotlight has been shone in recent years on the wellbeing and mental health of legal professionals, and rightfully so. Being a legal professional is a stressful job that is often a delicate dance between managing a plethora of different aspects in order to minimise the inherent stress that comes with the job. It is encouraging to see many law firms stepping up their mental health and wellness initiatives to facilitate and assist legal professionals in this very personal journey.

As wellbeing may mean different things to different people, so too will the list of challenges that keep us from realising our wellness goals. That being said, there are some common challenges that nearly all legal professionals encounter:

Work hours â industry expectations and client demands often require long hours of work or work to be done to a very tight schedule.

Lack of exercise and poor eating habits â we spend a long time each day at a desk. Due to the sedentary nature of legal work, itâs easy to neglect important aspects of health such as exercising, posture and succumbing more easily to unhealthy foods due to convenience or stress.

Lack of sleep â a familiar consequence of juggling work with personal obligations and trying to find time for interests outside of work is placing sleep lower on our priority list than it ought to be. As a working parent this may resonate strongly with you in which case we recommend you also read the piece here.

Prioritising tasks â legal professionals frequently have multiple tasks to get through at any given time; not prioritising them properly may lead to work bottlenecks and an illusion of there being more work than there really is, which increases stress.

While the fixes for these challenges may vary depending on the individual, here are some suggestions that I employ to help me manage the challenges I face:

Identify the stressors â identifying the main work challenges that are preventing you from attaining your optimal wellbeing, will aid in becoming more mindful of them and help in actively formulating an action plan to minimise their impact.

Communication â communication with your stakeholders is key; they need to know your plans and schedule so adjustments can be made to accommodate without negatively impacting work, or worst still, leaving anyone in the lurch. This may require flexibility (and compassion) at all levels to ensure that work is completed on time and expectations are managed, allowing wellbeing targets to be met.

Discipline â if your personal plan to achieve wellbeing â whether it be going to the gym a certain number of times a week, eat healthier or finding time for a hobby that helps you unwind - treat it as any other task on your agenda. The firm and your teammates can help facilitate, but you are the one that needs to execute and make time to do these things to ensure that you are on track, which in turn improves your overall wellbeing (it was never going to be easy!).

Time management â an important part to achieving wellbeing and managing a busy work life is being the master of your time. This ties in with communication with your team. Be loud about when you are planning on being unavailable due to wellbeing commitments, so you can focus on the things you need to do. Remember, the schedule is still busy and flexibility is key, but with good time management you can still hit all your wellbeing goals.

Harneys has a number of initiatives that aim to bolster its support for employee wellbeing such as remote working, flexible work schedules, encouraging physical exercise and recognising the importance of personal commitments, such as being present for your childâs middle-of-the-day school performance.

These practical wellbeing initiatives are buttressed by an internal platform dedicated to wellbeing with relevant articles on various issues as well as a dedicated wellbeing consultant to promote awareness within the firm.

Wellbeing for legal professionals is an important aspect of work th...

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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