This week is dedicated to Well-Being Week in Law (WWIL). This is meaningful to me because I practiced law for several years (I am still a licensed lawyer) and have worked with many lawyers to make appropriate lifestyle changes so that they may have a healthier work-life balance and a happier existence overall.

In celebration of the Well-Being Week in Law, I want to share wellness tips for individuals who want to feel less stress and more joy.

Self-Care Check-In

Practicing healthy lifestyle habits can work wonderfully to make life feel easier and happier. However, if you are lacking in one area, that can offset everything else. Sit down with a pen and paper and do a self-care check-in on the following areas of your life using a scale of 1-10 (1 being needing the most improvement and 10 being the most satisfied).

  • Nutrition/Diet
  • Physical Fitness
  • Mental Health
  • Sleep
  • Stress Level

Build Up Your Healthy Habits

Once you have identified areas that could use work, create a list of ways to make improvements. Pick one or two items off the list to embrace and practice them until they become a habit. Then move to the next point(s) on your list. Small changes over time will stick more than trying to do a complete overhaul at once – which often leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and abandonment of your plan.

Here are healthy tweak ideas for each of the areas addressed above.

  • Nutrition / Diet
    • Add greens to your breakfast (for example, add spinach or kale to your morning smoothie or to your eggs; or have a simple salad with a hard-boiled egg for breakfast instead of cereal).
    • Switch out your afternoon processed food snack to a healthy protein and a carb (see a list of ideas here).
    • Add more fiber (vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and gluten-free whole grains) to your diet. (Women should aim for 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day, men should aim for 30 to 38 grams.)
    • Limit alcohol to a maximum of two drinks and only on special occasions.
    • Swap out soda / sugary beverages for fruit-infused sparkling water.
  • Physical Fitness
    • Walking is great exercise; aim for at least 10,000 steps per day (or if you are just starting out, aim for 2,500 and gradually move your step goal up).
    • Commit to exercising three days a week for 30 minutes to develop a consistent schedule.
    • If you don’t have time for a long workout, try a 15 or 20-minute workout – there are many free on YouTube or on apps.
    • Incorporate resistance training into your workout routine 2-3 times per week, at least.
    • Find a workout buddy (a friend, colleague, family member, coach or an online support group) to hold yourself accountable.
  • Mental Health
    • Stay connected with your family and friends on a regular basis.
    • Go alcohol free for 30 days to cleanse your mind (and body).
    • Spend time with furry friends or adopt one.
    • Write in a journal every day.
    • Seek assistance from a mental health professional.
  • Sleep
    • Stop electronic use (phone, TV, computer) at least 60 minutes before bedtime.
    • Pick a bedtime and stick to it as closely as possible every night (including weekends).
    • Start a bedtime ritual that induces relaxation (soak in a bath, drink herbal tea, read your favorite book).
    • Journal about your day / thoughts / feelings before bedtime.
    • Ask your healthcare provider about sleep supplementation, such as melatonin or CBD oil. 
  • Stress
    • Practice mindful breathwork using this 4-7-8 breathing exercise.
    • Start a consistent meditation practice. Popular apps that can teach or guide you are Calm, Headspace, Chill Anywhere, and Insight Timer.
    • Start a journal to use as a brain dump. Jot down whatever is on your mind.
    • For those who practice religion, practice contemplative meditation through prayer and religious services.
    • Take up yoga, tai chi, or Pilates. These exercises will help to balance both your mind and body. 

Practice Gratitude

The grass is always greener mentality does not serve us well but instead makes us overlook all the wonderful things in our lives. Simple ways to practice gratitude are:

  • Keep a daily gratitude journal where you record five things that you are grateful for.
  • Take an awe-inspiring nature walk and pay attention to all the beautiful things the natural world has to offer.
  • Place a gratitude trigger – an object such as a photo that will remind you to feel grateful every time you look at it – in your home or workspace.

Whether you are a lawyer or not, I hope these tips encourage you to up your wellness goals or get your wellness back on track. To learn more about the Well-Being Week in Law and explore more wellness tips, visit this website.

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