Articles

How Self-Care Sustains the Legal Careers of Women

Sep 15, 2020

Sustaining a career in law is challenging for anyone, but evidence shows us that women are especially affected and in need of additional help to remain in legal careers. In a profession where women depart at a higher rate than men, in part due to intense pressure that may lead to substance use, the need for self-care early becomes critically important. Today, let’s talk about some self-care strategies that women in the law field can begin to integrate into their daily lives to help them proactively avoid relying on alcohol and other substances during emotionally demanding times.

As evidence shows women exit the law field at a higher rate than their male counterparts, mental health and substance use appear to be factors in a challenge to build a long-term career in the field. With the importance of self-care in a competitive field, it’s recommended that women seek treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health early to protect their health, prevent legal consequences, and ensure their careers remain intact and allowed to grow and flourish. For women in the legal field and other high-profile professions, confidential and customized treatment is available through residential programs. 

Identify the kinds of crises that could derail your law career in the future.

An assessment of what risks may already exist in your life can reveal what areas need attention most right now. Your list will be unique to you and could include family relationships, debt, physical and mental wellness, current drug use or alcohol consumption, and much more. Identifying the most potentially troubling areas early and actively working on creating solutions could reduce the stress and anxiety associated with them.

Respect the invisible boundary line between your legal career and personal life.

Keeping your personal life out of your professional life may seem like a surprising form of self-care to some people, but it’s about maintaining your focus on the accomplishments you want to achieve in your career and not creating an environment where you’re given leeway over your personal challenges going on at home. In the competitive field of law, personal information becomes a liability at the office and the indiscretion of colleagues can affect future opportunities as well as create a stressful workplace situation for you. While personal problems arise for everyone, relying on a therapist or trusted friends and family outside the workplace is a stronger choice.

Prioritize respecting yourself in mind, body, and soul in the office.

Self-care can be tied to every way you treat yourself in a given day, from the amount of rest you got the night before to nourishment and hydration to movement and exercise. A demanding day in a legal career can steal your entire focus, leaving you no time to fill your own needs over the course of an 8, 10, or 12-hour day. Integrating self-care into the day in a planned way allows you to prepare for your inevitable needs and find ways to meet those needs as they arise. Even with a plan for daily self-care in place, the fast-moving law office environment can force you to be flexible at times so be prepared to adjust when necessary.

Celebrate success of any size in your law career, responsibly. 

While new jobs, promotions, and other notable achievements for you or the firm are worth celebrating, a celebration does not need to be a call for excessive drinking. Heavy drinking with colleagues can lead to a list of issues that may affect your career immediately or in the future. It’s also a form of self-care to acknowledge your only successes, of any size, on a daily basis and recognize what good things you brought to life by being committed to excellence at your job.

Seek help quickly when personal problems arise before they reach the office.

If you notice the emergence of a personal issue, whether it’s depression or anxiety and it’s causing some of your routine behaviors to change, seeking help early before it begins to affect your professional life is an essential form of self-care. Managing a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder with the help of trained professionals in a treatment program can allow you to protect your health, prevent legal consequences, and ensure your career remains intact and allowed to grow and flourish. Confidential treatment made available to women in high-profile professions can help them begin a long-term recovery and address the unique needs they have related to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health concerns.

HeadWaters at Origins is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 844-439-2837.

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