Tips For Managing Workplace Stress
Content provided by LawCare
Stress is by far the most common reason for calls to the LawCare helpline. Lawyers often don’t notice the signs of stress, some of which are:
- Problems sleeping
- Physical symptoms eg headaches, skin complaints, frequent colds, aching muscles and digestive problems
- Excessive drinking and smoking
- Comfort eating or skipping meals
- Mood swings:
- Panic attacks
Chronic stress increases the risk of addictive and damaging behaviour, of developing anxiety, depression and other mental and physical health problems. It is important to take steps to control stress before it overwhelms you. When you feel the stress building, stop, breathe deeply and slowly, and work through this list:
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I didn’t do this?
- Will this still matter next month?
- Would I feel better about this if I broke it down into smaller sections and tackled it a piece at a time?
- Must this be done now, or can I delay it until I am feeling better about it?
- Can I pass this on to someone else?
- Am I trying to do too many things at once?
- Would talking to someone about this make me feel better?
- Do I need a holiday/good night’s sleep before I tackle this?
Looking after yourself and listening to what your body and mind are telling you is vital in making you a stronger and more resilient person. Here are some tips for self-care which can help prevent stress from occurring:
Find a physical activity you enjoy and make it part of your life.
Take a Break
Use your lunch break to get away from your desk. Ploughing on when you need a break is counter-productive; step outside, even if for just a few minutes. Take all your annual leave and try to avoid working at weekends.
Get into the practice of quieting the mind at bedtime, having a bedtime routine and trying to keep the time you turn in consistent.
Eating a balanced diet improves wellbeing. If you’re busy at work, buy a nutritious lunch on your way in, keep healthy snacks in your drawer, or set a reminder to go out for lunch.
Drink in moderation
Stay within the recommended alcohol limits: heavy drinking affects brain function.
Keep in touch
Maintain good relationships with friends, family and your wider community: strong connections can help you to feel happier
Share how you feel
Talk about your feelings. You may be surprised how many people have felt the same.
Mindfulness can help you focus on the present and reduce stress and tension. It’s fantastic for lawyers who can find it difficult to switch off.
It has been proven that giving – time or money – can make you feel valued and give you a sense of purpose
Ask for help
Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. The LawCare confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888 is a safe place to talk without judgement and is open 365 days a year. With calls answered by trained staff and volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law, we’re here to listen and help you work out the next step.