Who would have guessed that COVID-19 would transform into a savage global beast?
It took the world by storm. Almost a year later, the pandemic has stepped into bigger boots, and is wreaking havoc like the heartless monster it is.
If a loved one has succumbed to death during this pandemic, I empathize with you. If your practice as an attorney has flopped because of the coronavirus, I understand your frustration. And if you must deal with lockdowns and social distancing rules, I get it.
We must make what we can of the situation, especially if we want to get back to the norm (if there’s such a thing post COVID-19).
The situation is overwhelming and can dampen the spirit. And if the resilience isn’t there, you could go bonkers. But, despite it all, you aren’t the only attorney struggling with this pandemic.
That doesn’t solve your problem. And in no way am I making light of your situation. But, knowing you aren’t alone in this mess, is a breath of fresh air.
You can enrich your mental health during this horrendous time. In this article, I spill the beans on how to stay sane as an attorney in a pandemic.
Focus on Others
It’s natural to think about ‘you’ when stuff hits the fan. Your health and practice are important. But fixating on these things will only attract more anxiety and negativity.
Giving of yourself to others brings untold happiness.
When you focus on how you can help others during this pandemic, it lifts your spirit. It’s a temporary way to remove yourself from a depressing situation. And it’s one of my best tips on how to stay sane during this challenging time.
Helping others may also reveal that your situation isn’t as dire as you perceived it to be. Isn’t that amazing?
Instead of lounging on the couch for days like a sack of potatoes, call up someone. Instead of curling up in bed, brewing over ‘what could go wrong’, find someone to encourage.
Are you confined to your area? If not, could you help a neighbor with health complications to get groceries?
Are you in a position to assist someone financially? There are so many people going homeless during this time. If you can contribute to bringing bright smiles to someone else’s face, you’ll feel great about yourself.
How about writing letters to those strung up on hospital beds with the virus? You don’t know these persons, and that’s okay. Many in Chile are writing letters to comfort complete strangers.
Put yourself in their situation.
If you were struggling with a virus and isolated from others in a hospital, how would you feel after receiving a comforting, encouraging letter from a stranger?
Reach out to others. Your sunken spirit will soar like an eagle. Get on the bandwagon and see whose spirit you can lift today.
Plus, you never know what could happen. These acts of kindness may even boost your practice as a lawyer after things go back to normal.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Don’t underestimate the impact of gratitude.
This is a common form of therapy used by psychologists. To build positive thinking, consider a list of things you can be grateful for.
Your list doesn’t have to be long, and the items on it don’t have to be outrageous. Small things help you build appreciation and contentment. What one thing are you grateful for today?
Did you eat a meal? Are your toes intact? Did you get up with a roof above your head? Even if things aren’t going as anticipated, there is something positive you can express gratitude for.
You’re reading this article because the breath of life hasn’t left you. Is this worth showing gratitude for?
When you looked out the window this morning, did you reflect on the looming virus, or did you see the beauty of creation? It all boils down to perspective. Your perspective. Instead of seeing the glass as half empty, look at it as being half full.
Here’s what I want you to do to build positivity. Get yourself a journal, or an empty book you have lying around. This will be called your ‘gratitude journal’. At the end of each day, write 3 things you are grateful for. Under each item, talk about ‘why’ you’re grateful for these things.
Does writing seem too much of a bother? No problem. I have something else for you. This is a technique that I use. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to write, and that’s understandable.
Use your smartphone to video or voice record the things you are grateful for. Keep a folder on your device, and for each entry, label it with the date. Do this every day.
At the end of the month, replay your videos or look back at your gratitude journal. You’ll see that there’s more going for you than you think.
This is a beautiful tip on how to stay sane during isolation, don’t you think?
Let Go of Yourself
Yes, I said it. Let go of yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging you to dodge daily baths or to not brush your teeth. (This happens often when one’s depressed, by the way.)
I am asking you to wind down. Think about that one indoor thing you can do that blocks out everything else.
For me, it’s some soul-stirring, foot-shaking music. That’s right. You may not be able to go outside or move about as you’d like, but you can shake those legs (and booty).
Even with my feet wobbling like a penguin, I’d dance like no one’s watching.
Don’t be afraid to turn the music on and strut your stuff to the beat. We are living in stressful times, but that doesn’t mean you have to walk about with your face looking like roadkill.
Good music makes the heart cheerful. If that’s not for you, pop that TV on, and find a movie that’ll make you crack a few bones laughing. Whatever you choose to do, ensure it’s something that lifts the spirit and makes you feel great!
To take things up a notch, zoom with a friend and watch a movie together. You’ll love the experience!
This cannot be stressed enough. The health benefits associated with regular, moderate exercise are endless.
When you exercise, you sleep better. You have increased stamina and endurance to deal with physical and mental challenges. It also improves your mood and enhances mental alertness.
Even if you aren’t one of those young attorneys who can easily spring into action, there are exercise routines to suit your circumstances. (I don’t want you cracking a bone, and most definitely not during a pandemic.)
I get most of my physical workouts from watching Leslie Sansone on YouTube. Her routines are moderate but get the job done. Even people in their 80s find what she does doable.
Neither are you too old or young to exercise. If you have serious health restrictions, you might be doubtful. Have a chat with your health practitioner before diving into a routine.
But, if you’re as fit as a fiddle, head on over to YouTube and check out Leslie’s videos. You won’t regret it.
Speak with a Professional
Perhaps you should speak to a professional.
Things can get overwhelming. If you’re falling into crippling anxiety and depression, there’s help available. When you speak with a mental health coach or therapist, you’re given practical things you can do to deal with your situation.
You have someone on the other line to pour out your heart to. Someone to share your anxious thoughts with. Someone who’s understanding. Someone who won’t belittle your emotions. Someone who won’t judge or criticize you for feeling the way you do.
People expect lawyers to suffer in silence as if they are mere robots and not humans.
When you speak with a professional, you unleash burdens associated with this pandemic. Burdens you’ve carried alone for months.
As a mental health coach for attorneys, my goal is to help you deal with life’s challenges. My purpose is to help you navigate through this pandemic without losing your marbles.
To learn about the techniques I use with my patients to boost their mental health and stay sane during this pandemic, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a 30-minute free life coaching session to feel better.
I want to teach you how to stay sane as an attorney during this pandemic. Take the leap today. Your mental health affects everything you do and can even render your law practice useless. This is especially since mental challenges affect your ability to perform well.
I am ready to take the journey with you. I am waiting to see you on the other side.