We’ve spent some time on the blog talking about the various aspects of running and maintaining a law firm during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Now let’s talk about you.
Starting and running one’s own business can be stressful under the best of circumstances—and these are most definitely NOT the best of circumstances. We’re self-isolating for our own safety, but as humans, we aren’t really built for this kind of thing. Between the stress of running a law firm, the nagging questions of how to stay afloat, possible financial concerns and the overall sense of alone-ness, we have to be more purposeful about protecting our own physical, mental and emotional health than ever before. To that end, let’s discuss some ways to practice self-care during this crisis.
Eat Right and Exercise
There’s a lot of joking around the Internet about how staying at home is going to make us all fatter. You may indeed feel tempted to become a couch potato and keep your hands in the snack bowl—but it can hurt you in the long term. Try to maintain a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, and if you have the ability, find ways to exercise regularly while practicing social distancing. Good food and exercise won’t just keep your immune system up—it will also benefit your mental health.
Limit Your News Intake
You do need to know what’s going on; you don’t need to have the news repeating in your eyes and years from morning to night. Take some time daily to stay informed, then put it away. When you’re not working, read a good book, watch a compelling TV show, work on a hobby. Find creative ways to occupy your mind with good things.
Practice Mindfulness and/or Prayer
Take some time each day to focus on mind and spirit, whatever that looks like for you and your belief system. If you pray, spend time in prayer. If your house of worship is holding virtual services online, be sure to attend them. Mindfulness apps like Headspace and Calm can also teach you skills for centering your mind in a neutral way. Just a few minutes per day with these activities can do wonders for your psyche.
Get Therapy if You Need It
If you’re just not coping well with isolation, you’re not alone—this crisis is wreaking havoc on the mental health of millions. Most therapists are offering teletherapy sessions at this time, so don’t be embarrassed to reach out to someone if you need some extra help.
Stay Connected to Your Community
If there’s a silver lining to having a global pandemic in 2020, it’s that the Internet allows us to stay connected in ways people could not during other times in history. Take advantage of this benefit by reaching out to friends, colleagues and your professional and social communities online. Find virtual hangouts to attend. If you’re quarantined with family, take time with them, as well. Let this time of isolation be a time of building stronger connections with those you care about.
Self-care doesn’t come naturally to most of us, especially in times of crisis. But it’s in these times when we need self-care the most. Whatever you’re doing to take care of your law firm and your clients during the COVID-19 crisis, make sure you’re taking time to care for yourself, as well.