Relief for Stressed Out Lawyers and Law Students

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

20140407 Relief for Stressed Out LawyersThe countdown to the bar exam has started and I’m hearing about stressed out law grads. I frequently get calls from lawyers who need new tools for coping with stress. Sometimes, even as a coach, I get overcommitted or “life happens” and I find myself feeling cranky, anxious and struggling to sleep.

Stress negatively impacts our optimal cognitive functioning. That means that we may tend to forget what we already know about how to relieve stress. So for my own benefit and yours, I’m going to list some of my favorite (and not so favorite) ways to relax.

1. Exercise. I might as well swallow the bad-tasting medicine first. I’m one of those people who hate to exercise just for the sake of exercise. Nevertheless, according to Harvard Medical School, moderate exercise can reduce the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins which are the body’s mood elevators.

If you feel the way I do about exercise, find ways to make it more fun. Walk along a beautiful trail or work out at the gym while chatting with a friend.  Take a dance class or play a sport. Reward yourself with a protein smoothie after your workout. Do something to make it more enjoyable, or you’ll just wind up stressing over your failure to keep your commitment to exercise. Read more «Relief for Stressed Out Lawyers and Law Students»