What do you get when you combine a global pandemic with a high-pressure industry? Stressed out professionals in need of urgent wellbeing support!

As a legal professional, you know all too well the demands of your sector. The long hours culture and pressure to perform is well documented, and after more than two years of uncertainty, upheaval, and very real health concerns, you’re no doubt in need of a break. Or at the very least, some support to help you navigate the stresses and strains of daily life in the legal industry.

Back in 2020, ALM reported that a worrying 31% of lawyers were depressed, 64% were living with anxiety, 10% recognised having an alcohol problem, and 3% were dependent on drugs. The previous year, insurance firm Protectivity found that 63% of professionals in the UK legal industry were stressed on a daily basis. And it’s hardly surprising given that 75% of lawyers often work outside of what would be considered standard business hours – adding up to an overwhelming 140 additional hours each year. 

The chance of burnout, then, is exceedingly high for those in the legal profession – and it’s present from the very first. The Law Society Junior Lawyers Division’s (JLD) annual resilience and wellbeing report discovered the shocking statistic that one in every 15 junior lawyers had experienced suicidal thoughts; furthermore, a survey of Yale Law School students back in 2014 found that 70% were struggling with mental health issues.


A Time for Change


Naturally ambitious, you might find it hard to prioritise your wellbeing above the demands of work, but the stark reality is that if you don’t take care of your mental health, you risk burnout, illness, and even poor performance in the profession you love so much. 

Mental health has worsened across the board since the start of the pandemic, but with that, the challenges of the past few years have also helped people to reassess what they want from life – and what they’re not prepared to sacrifice. Namely, their mental, physical, and emotional health.

The tide is turning on poor mental health in the workplace, because people are demanding better support from their employers. But we know things can be trickier in such high-pressure industries as law, where caseloads are high, work is complex, and deadlines are absolute. Still, there is no sense in neglecting your wellbeing when taking proper care of yourself can help you to perform better – and feel happier with it.

To make sure you’re fighting fit for another day of high octane legal work, take a look at some of our top wellbeing tips below. 


Top Tips for Improving Your Wellbeing


  • Give yourself permission to be brave: Question that deadline. Does your client really need that thing by the end of the day, or can it wait until tomorrow? Or after the weekend? Our own inhibitions can stop us from asking for what we need, but you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Manage expectations – including your own!
  • Work smarter, not harder: Be mindful in your work. Concentrate on one thing at a time, without distractions. Tick it off, and it’s a weight lifted. Give yourself an email curfew, and avoid booking in meetings over lunchtime. Changing to this mindset will actually enable you to be even better than you are now. 
  • Learn to check-in with how you’re feeling: It’s important you recognise what you’re feeling at any given time, and acknowledge your limitations. It’s also crucial to tune into your own warning signs and triggers. This level of self-awareness will really help you to safeguard your mental health. 
  • Move more: The legal profession is typically sedentary in nature, which is not great news for your health. That’s why it’s incredibly important to get up from your desk at least once every hour. Whether you make a drink, grab some food, look out of the window to give your eyes a rest, or go for a walk in the fresh air, your body (and mind) will thank you.
  • Prioritise recovery from stress: Stress isn’t necessarily bad for us; it’s the not recovering from stress that creates all the problems. So when you finish for the day, do whatever nourishes your mind, body and soul. That’ll be unique to you, so pay attention to the things that make you feel good – even if they don’t work for everyone. 
  • Embrace doing nothing: When you work in a high-pressure industry, you feel a certain pressure to always be busy. But doing nothing shouldn’t leave you with a gaping hole of guilt. Breaks are essential for us to recharge our batteries and come back stronger than ever, so don’t beat yourself up for making time to do nothing.

As well as caring for your own mental wellbeing in the workplace, there are a great many measures that employers can take to create a more positive culture at work. If you think your company could benefit from some guidance – and the very best wellbeing resources on the market today – send your line manager, senior leadership team, or HR department our way. 

Our team will set them up with a free demo of our science-backed, employee-led wellbeing platform.

Get in touch to find out more.


ABOUT BETTERSPACE

BetterSpace is the employee wellbeing platform putting control where it belongs: in the hands of the individual employee. Our groundbreaking solution has been developed with medical and domain expertise and is aligned to our Six Pillars of Wellbeing. BetterSpace empowers your workforce to understand and fulfill their mental health needs. 

This approach has achieved engagement rates of 94%, compared to the average usage rate of 2-18% for Employee Assistance Programmes and 10-40% for points solutions.

Want to know more? Schedule a product demonstration with us today.

Workplace wellbeing insights