By Rachel Levine
Hello Seven Client | Strategist, Therapist, Attorney, lawyerstrategist.co
When Rachel was growing her therapy practice and maintaining her law practice, she noticed that many attorneys felt overworked and burned out. Rachel understands the legal world of billable hours and the partnership track. Rachel shares just the tip-of-the-iceberg ideas to shift your relationship with yourself so that you can shift your relationship with your work.
How are you moving through life and entrepreneuriship right now? Are you feeling overworked? Burned out? Decision fatigue? Analysis paralysis? And how do you want to move through life and business?
If you had a magic wand, and if you were with me right now as I’m writing this, you would see my bedazzled wand that I use in my therapy practice. But if you had a magic wand, how would you most want to move through your own life?
I will give you a few suggested action steps to get you thinking. This is to give you a starting place or help you think about what you would prefer to begin to implement.
I invite you to just take one action step this week, just one. And then notice how you feel. The reality: you might feel guilty. If so, think about someone you really care about, maybe a good friend, a child, or a family member. If they were in a similar situation, they felt guilty for doing something helpful for themselves, would you tell them, “You probably ought to stop doing that helpful thing then”? My guess is: probably not. You would encourage them to figure out what’s going on there, and why they would feel guilty for making themselves feel better.
Here are the suggestions to try. Let’s start somewhere and celebrate every win.
Move Your Body
When your body is able to move in some way, whatever mobility is available to you, it feels better, and then your mind feels better, too.
Some say sitting is the new smoking. Why do they say this? Because sitting for prolonged periods of time mimics weightlessness. Think: astronauts in space. When they return to earth, their muscles have begun to atrophy due to spending their time in weightlessness and not having resistance for their muscles.
And you know what else happens? Essentially, your brain and body get the message that it is slowly dying when you sit for prolonged periods of time… there’s no muscular challenge.
So what? Find something enjoyable to do for your body. If you can’t think of anything, just start small, recruit a friend to join you on a quick walk, or garden for 15 minutes. What we’re looking for is a positive feeling/effect on the body and brain.
Some studies suggest that art improves our health and well-being. There seems to be a connection between an aesthetic experience and pleasure. Aesthetic beauty can bring about a mindful meditation, bringing a person more fully into the here and now.
And being more present can have a powerful effect on your well-being. Why? Because your brain expends less energy when its focus is where your feet are. In other words, if you are watching your child’s ball game, let your brain be there as fully as possible. If you are in yoga class, be there, paying attention to your breath, your muscles, whatever makes sense in your practice. I know you have life concerns. They will still be there when you’re done, whether you are worried about them in yoga or not.
Do you also make art yourself? Perfect. Do that. Any type of visual creative expression will do: drawing, playing an instrument, decorating a cake. We’re looking to engage your creative mind and let your left brain, aka the analytical mind, take a break.
Lean into Yourself
Before you blaze past this section, hear me out. You can only ignore yourself for so long before your mind and body start getting louder that it needs some care. The essence of burnout is that you’ve been ignoring your body’s signals for too long, and now, it’s simply getting louder to get your attention.
You can take action on your own behalf. We get one body to move through this life and under the right conditions, our minds and bodies want to move toward health.
Leaning into yourself is also investing in yourself. And community helps in our efforts. Sometimes, prioritizing time with friends is all we need. Other times, when we are in more distress, finding a good fit with a professional counselor can be very enriching to help us move forward in a new way in our lives.
About the Author
Rachel Levine is a strategist to attorneys and therapists who want to buck the status quo and live a full life. If you believe there’s got to be more to life that what you’re currently experiencing but have no idea where to start making changes, Rachel can help. Learn more at www.lawyerstrategist.co, on YouTube and IG @thelawyerstrategist.