In honor of Mental Health Month, LEAP’s attorney mentors weigh in on how they de-stress.
When life becomes overwhelming, it is important to have tactics and tools to lift you out of feeling stressed, and return to a more balanced and grounded state of mind. As we all have endured a hectic, stressful year of completely shifting our lives to appease this pandemic, the question of what it means to take care of yourself regardless of your surroundings has been essential to consider. Life as a legal professional and student can be demanding and consuming, and these are the times when having an established idea of what self-care looks like for you is essential.
Self-care is going to be different for everyone and some of our mentors have shared their favorite ways to practice this. Attorney mentor Andrés says that his self-care routine includes intense training. “I am currently in the process of preparing for a classic physique competition. I usually will work out early in the morning and escape in the evening for a quick cardio session.” Along with that, he shares that when he is not working out, he likes to meditate, take naps and take a relaxing bath. Healthy exercise habits can be some of the greatest forms of self-care. Going on a walk, running, lifting, or biking are all great options. Rose, another LEAP attorney mentor, shares that self-care is whatever makes you feel “calm and grounded”, advice she often gives her own students. Rose enjoys walking her dogs, watching the hummingbirds on her balcony, curling up with a cozy blanket and painting her nails. Some other great advice Rose shared about self-care is that, “It might not always feel like best use of time in the moment, but all those little habits make you much more productive and successful in the long run!” This is great to keep in mind as taking time for yourself sometimes feels counterproductive at the beginning. Although we live in a society that places so much value on productivity in the work place and in school, investing time in your mental and physical health is never a waste of time. Gwen, another amazing mentor says that she gives herself “permission to just chill out and not be productive” which is something I’m sure we can all be better at sometimes.
Along with Andrés, mentors Gwen and Lavinia both like to practice meditation as a part of their self-care routines. Gwen uses the Calm App which she mentions has helped her with anxiety and stress and is easily accessible on her phone. Lavinia also mentions how deep conversations with friends and going to therapy are avenues of self-care for her which are both incredibly effective. Lora emphasizes the time she cuts out of her day to be present with her family in whatever they choose to partake in together that day; “We talk, eat dinner, go for a walk. That’s my self-care!” Spending time with people you love can be one of the greatest ways to put your mind in a more blissful state to tackle your goals. With that, Trina mentions that she and her friends go roller skating and that is one of her favorite practices of self-care. They set up chairs, snacks and have music playing while they roller skate and enjoy each other’s company.
From hobbies to watching movies, our mentors have demonstrated the vastness of categories self-care can cover. Having healthy habits like these nurture a healthy, balanced life. We encourage our fellows to find what makes them feel grounded and fulfilled along their journey to changing the face of the legal profession. Thank you to our attorney mentors for sharing what self-care looks like to them!
A big thank you to Sarah Gueno for this blog post.