Burning Bright is about you thriving as a lawyer, rather than just barely surviving. Burnout does not have to be ‘just the way it is in this profession.’ It is possible to break the cycle of burnout in your legal career and to take your wellbeing and development as seriously as you take the law!
One of the common symptoms of burnout is feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by how much work you have on your desk, how many emails are in your inbox, how many hours you need to charge each month, how many demands keep coming your way which means you are working morning, noon and night with no time for yourself. Sound familiar?
Typically, when faced with high levels of overwhelm, we tell ourselves that the way through it is to work harder. If we just work that little bit longer, if we just write that brief on a Saturday morning, if we just keep checking those emails at 10pm at night, we will finally get on top of things and the overwhelm will go away. But, it doesn’t. Working harder does not actually help in reducing overwhelm, it increases it!
If this is you, here is what you can do to start reducing that relentless feeling of overwhelm. You can start saying YES TO YOU, once a day. I know, I know, this is going to feel really counterintuitive but stick with me on this one because it is a game changer.
Take a moment to think about one thing you wish you could do everyday that is important to you. Maybe it is taking a walk outside in nature. It could be reading a book that you have been meaning to read for months. What about that language you have been saying you want to learn for years? Whatever it is, make the decision to say yes to doing it every day for one week, just one week. A daily 10 minute walk, 5 pages of a book or one lesson on Duolingo. You can DO it!
This is not so much about WHAT you do, it is about building that habit of saying YES TO YOU every day because, frankly, most of us are really crap at doing that. We feel selfish for putting ourselves first. We feel guilty for prioritising our needs over the needs of others and so we fall to the bottom of the pile… and the overwhelm continues. Don’t let this be your norm!
Remember… it is time to BURN BRIGHT (not out!)!