Anne Brafford, JD and editor-in-chief of Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, has developed a Well-Being Tool Kit for the Legal Profession, available here. This free, practical toolkit offers many helpful resources for lawyers and law students seeking to improve their sense of well-being.
The healthy mind section includes basic information on strategies to build resilience and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. Ideas include mindfulness, managing negative thoughts and using stress in a positive way. Tips on how to cultivate a positive stress mindset are also offered.
The healthy body section discusses the link between physical activity and emotional well-being. Studies show aerobic activity and resistance training have psychological benefits. More physical activity can boost happiness, and even one hour of exercise a week can help reduce or hold back depression. The author suggests we get outdoors and consider adding in yoga, which has been linked to increased mindfulness and decreases in anxiety, fatigue and sleep disruption.
The healthy heart section discusses ways to boost positive emotions by connecting with others, performing acts of kindness and reflecting on positive events. The toolkit offers worksheets about happiness activities, using your strengths, practicing gratitude, performing acts of kindness and creating a customized happiness plan. Practicing gratitude is a valuable recovery skill, and it promotes serenity and contentment. Readers are also challenged to consider adopting Thankful Thursdays and Friendly Fridays.
A link to a 10-minute quiz to identify your signature character strengths is included, followed with a discussion of the personal and professional benefits of exercising these strengths regularly.
Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and hope. For confidential assistance with concerns affecting your personal or professional life, please contact the Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program at 1-800-688-7859.
–Anne Chambers, LCSW
This article originally appeared on The Missouri Bar website.