Tips for Relieving Holiday Stress

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

December often brings added stress to many lawyers. Some associates worry whether they have billed enough hours, and whether they can possibly make up the shortfall in the remaining weeks in the year. Other attorneys work long hours, struggling to meet hard and fast deadlines, as multiple clients try to close transactions or settle cases before year end.

Holiday shopping, traffic jams, and commitments to friends and family create additional demands on our time, and fray our nerves in a season that should be filled with laughter and good will. This year’s financial woes in the legal industry just seem like piling on.

If you feel stress during the holidays or any other time, here are some reminders about how to keep it down to manageable levels.

1. Engage in self-care.

We all know that we get cranky when we are hungry or tired, and that exercise helps relieve stress. Nevertheless, self-care is often the first thing we sacrifice when time is in short supply. Shorting self-care may actually cost us more time, however. We need fuel and rest to think clearly and process efficiently, so without them, our work takes longer to complete, or we make mistakes that cost time to correct.

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