Just 10 minutes a day is all that’s required to improve the quality of your Law Life.
Baby steps go a long way when it comes to professional well-being.
“We don’t need anything else to add to our to-do list,” writes attorney Colleen Byers on the NCBA Blog. “We don’t need to overhaul our entire practice. Instead, we can do one little thing that could make a big, positive impact through a practice called micro mindfulness.”
Byers is a lawyer, mediator and national authority on attorney wellness. She defines micro mindfulness as sprinkling small doses of attention to the present moment throughout the day.
“It’s as simple as adding just a pinch of salt to enhance your meal,” according to Byers. “As my late grandmother used to say, ‘A little bit will do ya.’ We do not have to make any broad sweeping or revolutionary changes. Instead, micro mindfulness invites us to look for brief opportunities for a few deep breaths to regain focus and better serve our clients.”
In her NCBA blog post, Byers outlines four steps to mindfulness:
Step 1 – Notice
Step 2 – Get Curious
Step 3 – Choose Differently
Step 4 – Feel the Impact
Read Micro Mindfulness for Modern Lawyers in the NCBA Blog.
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National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being
The eye-opening 2017 report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, produced by the American Bar Association, Hazelden and other groups, found a profession “at a tipping point,” with alarming levels of stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, alcoholism, substance abuse and suicide among lawyers and law students.
From the ABA Report: “To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. To maintain public confidence in the profession, to meet the need for innovation in how we deliver legal services, to increase access to justice, and to reduce the level of toxicity that has allowed mental health and substance use disorders to fester among our colleagues, we have to act now. Change will require a wide-eyed and candid assessment of our members’ state of being, accompanied by courageous commitment to re-envisioning what it means to live the life of a lawyer.”
ABA Well-Bring Toolkit
The ABA Well-Being Toolkit contains best practices, online resources and an 8-Step Action Plan for implementing a wellness program in your practice.
“This Toolkit is designed to help lawyers and legal employers improve well-being holistically and systemically,” says attorney and psychologist Anne Brafford, one of the Toolkit’s creators, in n this ABA article. “This goal will require new choices, considerable effort, and changes that likely will upset the status quo.”
Included in the ABA Well-Being Toolkit: suggested activities, events and educational opportunities; how to assess and track progress on well-being goals; online resources and technology for well-being initiatives; reading recommendations; a list of organizations that focus on lawyer well-being; a list of speakers and consultants on well-being; an activity workbook; a Policy and Practice Audit.
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