Question of the Week

How have you dealt with job-related stress?

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mental health

How job-related stress affects lawyers’ mental health has recently come to the fore. (Even the last season of Better Call Saul took a hard look at stress and mental health in the profession.)

But “getting help is risky,” lawyer coach J. Kim Wright recently wrote. “We fear being seen as weak or ineffective. We don’t want our colleagues to know we are in distress.”

On Monday, the ABA’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs—as part of a National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being—released a report with recommendations to leaders in the courts, regulators’ offices, legal employers, law schools, and bar associations.

“Practices that rob lawyers of a sense of autonomy and control over their schedules and lives are especially harmful to their well-being,” the report said. “Research studies show that high job demands paired with a lack of a sense of control breeds depression and other psychological disorders. Research suggests that men in jobs with such characteristics have an elevated risk of alcohol abuse.”

And last week, columnist Jeena Cho discussed her own confrontation with social anxiety, which included seeking professional help, recognizing and addressing her cognitive distortions and establishing non-negotiable self-care routines.

So this week, we’d like to ask you: How have you kept job-related stress under control? Have you found any answers for the questions that keep you up at night? What kinds of boundaries have you set? What habits have you broken—or gotten into—for the sake of your well-being? Have you ever left a job because it was not worth the stress?

Please answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: What are your ‘law school don’ts’?

Featured answer:

Posted by Modo: “I was fortunate to have a working wife and the GI bill when I was in law school. I would say don’t forget to take some time away from studies, take your spouse out to dinner and don’t forget what helped you accomplish your goal. I have offered to speak at the local Air Force base about the importance of having a will and Power of Attorney prepared. I remember the first ‘don’t’ I was told: Don’t discuss exams with your classmates after an exam.”

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