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Lawyer Well-Being: What Does It Mean & What Should We Be Doing About It?

According to the American Bar Association’s Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers, lawyer well-being is defined as “a continuous process in which we work across multiple dimensions of wellness. The way we function in one dimension can enhance or impede the way we function in another dimension.” The report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being identified six dimensions that make up full well-being for lawyers:

1. Occupational: Cultivating personal satisfaction, growth, and enrichment in work; financial stability.

2. Emotional: Recognizing the importance of emotions. Developing the ability to identify and manage our own emotions to support mental health, achieve goals, and inform decision-making. Seeking help for mental health when needed.

3. Physical: Striving for regular physical activity, proper diet and nutrition, sufficient sleep, and recovery; minimizing the use of addictive substances. Seeking help for physical health when needed.

4. Intellectual: Engaging in continuous learning and the pursuit of creative or intellectually challenging activities that foster ongoing development; monitoring cognitive wellness.

5. Spiritual: Developing a sense of meaningfulness and purpose in all aspects of life.

6. Social: Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support network while also contributing to our groups and communities.

May is Attorney Wellness Month, and this month, we are sharing pertinent tips and information about lawyer wellness.

1. Introduce Self-Care Into Your Routine Gradually. Instead of tackling everything all at once, attorney and coach Paul J. Unger recommends creating an Action Plan and incorporating new self-care routines on a weekly basis.

2. Plan Your Week. Take a moment to sit down and plan your week. Make a list of everything that needs to get done and develop a strategy to make it happen. Prioritize your tasks, so you can handle the most important ones first. Some people prefer the strategy of handling their most undesirable duties first, as a tactic for avoiding procrastination. Figure out what works for you and implement it.

3. Embrace Technology. The marketplace is filled with tech devices and platforms to make your work life easier. From the calendaring apps that keep you on schedule to meditation apps that keep you calm, take advantage of advances in technology.

4. Exercise & Rest. According to Clio, the most important thing here is to be honest with yourself. Are your current exercise and rest strategies working for you, or would you feel better if you made some improvements? This is where the holistic approach to wellness comes together—if you’re engaging in consistent self-reflection, you’ll be able to determine whether your exercise and self-care routines are in need of an upgrade.

At AIM, we care about our insureds and are committed to promoting awareness and recognition of attorney wellness issues because we believe that healthy lawyers are better lawyers.

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