If you are experiencing high-pressure, high-demand, never-ending emails, back-to-back meetings, working more than 50 hours (minimum) on a weekly basis, you are most likely susceptible to lawyer burnout. Lawyer burnout is a real issue that occurs more often than we think.
“Recent studies have shown that 64% of attorneys have anxiety, 31.2% feel depressed, 10.1% feel they have an alcohol problem, and 2.8% feel they have a drug problem.”
According to the Attorney Workload and Hours Survey by Bloomberg Law in 2021, lawyers are less satisfied at work and felt burned out more than half of the time. The survey also noted that lawyers worked an average of 53 hours per week – and 80 hours on their busiest week. Mental health and work related issues can include: Disrupted sleep, anxiety, depression, personal relationships, and health issues.
The pandemic heightened this issue and brought to surface the disparity between a lawyer’s work life and a non-existent personal life. So how do we go about fixing this?
1. Plan ahead – Planning ahead and knowing what is coming up can help reduce stress. When you are planning your week, we recommend planning for family events first. In theory, this is easier said than done, but it’s a good way to balance your work/personal life and will shift your mindset when it comes to what is important. We recommend using the My Great Life® planner and hope it becomes a staple in bringing both your professional and personal goals into focus.
2. Exercise or meditate – Exercise and meditation not only helps your mind and body relax but it also helps your brain recover. It can assist with an energy boost, can improve mood and self confidence.
3. Set boundaries – This is probably one of the hardest strategies to accomplish. By setting boundaries and learning when to say “no” – you are setting yourself up for success and lowering your stress levels. You are taking control of your life.
4. Take time off – Taking time off allows you to reset, it gives your brain a break – allowing you to do the things that make you happy, and provides with the option to reenergize.
Even though sometimes lawyer burnout is inevitable, it’s worth recognizing the signs, symptoms, and strategies to get ahead of the issue. Whether it’s planning ahead, exercising, meditation, setting boundaries or taking time off, we hope that you are able to apply some of these strategies to focus on self-care and balance between your personal and work life.