Question of the Week

What advice do you have for lawyers experiencing seasonal affective disorder?

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seasonal affective disorder

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As the first day of fall kicked off last week, it’s clear that there’s been a decrease in daylight.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, half a million Americans have seasonal affective disorder, a depression that occurs each year at the same time, usually starting in fall as the days get shorter, worsening in winter and ending in spring. Three-quarters of the sufferers are women, and the depression usually starts in early adulthood.

ABA Journal columnist Jeena Cho has written about SAD in lawyers on her website, and so has Daniel Lukasik, who started a support group and the website Lawyers with Depression.

This week, we’d like to ask: What advice do you have for lawyers experiencing seasonal affective disorder? How can lawyers manage their moods during the darker months and stay productive at the office or while in court?

Answer in the comments on our social media channels via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check out last week’s question: What are your best practices for working remotely?

And view some of last week’s answers from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Featured answer:

Posted by Emmalyne Squires Willen on LinkedIn:

“Here are some of my best practices:
• Treat it like you’re in an office setting. Set dedicated times that you will be at your desk and when you’re at your desk, work. If you plan to be away from your desk, mark that off on your calendar and return when you say you’re going to return.

• The laundry can wait. Distractions are everywhere, whether you are at home or in the office, and it takes discipline to walk to your desk instead of the laundry room or kitchen or worse, the couch.

• Create a dedicated work space. Even if it’s a small desk in the corner of the guest room, make it the space where you only do your work. It will make it easier to get into work mode when you’re there and get out of work mode when you are out of the office.

• Get dressed every day. Yes, that means putting on pants. You don’t need to pull out the power suit, but a reverse Mr. Rogers, where you take off your sneakers and put on your loafers, will help you get into work mode. Trust me on this.

• Working from home is still working. Learn to say no to requests because ‘you’ll be home.’ You’re not ‘home,’ you’re ‘working’ and you just happen to be doing that at home.”

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