REUTERS | Ognen Teofilovski

Mental health, stress and wellbeing in the legal profession

Are you aware of the ways in which you respond to pressure and ways in which you can manage pressure to avoid the harmful physical and mental effects of chronic stress?

Executive Coach and Wellbeing at Work specialist Bridget Clapham has developed a series of resources for Practical Law on mental health, stress and wellbeing in the legal profession. The resources include case studies, self-awareness activities and reflective exercises that provide practical steps for lawyers to take to help manage pressure and safeguard their mental health. They also provide links to other resources to further develop knowledge and skills in this area. Each of the resources can be looked at independently but are also designed to be read in conjunction with one another to optimise knowledge and skills development.

Mental health, stress and wellbeing in the legal profession: an introduction explores issues for lawyers around mental health, stress and wellbeing at work, including the nature of stress, its prevalence for lawyers, and the causes of stress for those employed in the legal profession.

Managing pressure to avoid harmful stress: the importance of self-awareness outlines the differences between pressure and stress, the signs and symptoms of stress, and the different ways in which individuals respond to pressure. It will help you build skills to enhance your self-awareness in relation to stress and wellbeing, and includes tips for improving self-awareness in relation to your responses to pressure or possible stress. Knowing yourself well and understanding how you operate under pressure is crucial to your ability to manage pressure effectively and safeguard your health.

Looking after your mental wellbeing to avoid harmful stress: the six habits of resilience and wellbeing examines the six habits of resilience and wellbeing:

  • Habit one: Be self-aware in relation to pressure and stress.
  • Habit two: Be present.
  • Habit three: Be connected.
  • Habit four: Be in a healthy mindset, choose your attitude and manage your state.
  • Habit five: Be proactive, organised and boundaried.
  • Habit six: Be human, balanced and take care of yourself.

Workplace stress: six habits to help you meet your management responsibilities looks at stress and wellbeing in the workplace from a manager’s perspective. It explains why stress matters to a legal team leader and outlines the benefits of implementing a wellbeing programme. It also highlights six management habits to help promote wellbeing and reduce stress in the workplace:

  • Habit one: Educate yourself and others about stress, resilience and wellbeing.
  • Habit two: Be an advocate for mental health and wellbeing at work.
  • Habit three: Be approachable and supportive of others in relation to stress and wellbeing at work.
  • Habit four: Walk your talk.
  • Habit five: Empower people to manage pressure well and safeguard their wellbeing.
  • Habit six: Enable people to prioritise wellbeing for themselves and for others.

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