August is National Wellness Month—Celebrate It!

  • Go to the beach, get moving, or consider a break from alcohol
  • Stress is often an issue for lawyers: give meditation and mindfulness a try
  • Don’t discount treating yourself: pamper yourself at a spa or simply enjoy some downtime by reading a book in the park

Working in law can be fulfilling, challenging, and exciting, but it can also be stressful, hectic, and relentless, depending on the day or what deal or case you happen to be tackling at any given moment.

With that in mind, even though it might seem like you need every hour of every day to get through your endless mountain of work, it’s vital to make sure you’re also taking care of yourself when you’re not in the office (and even when you are). More workplaces are realizing just how important it is not to let wellness give way to the billable hour. So pamper yourself this summer by taking care of your mind and body, all in the name of self-care.

Take Your Loved Ones to the Beach

Law firms often require long hours, and if you have a family, it can feel almost impossible to balance a crazy work life with family time. Thanks to longer days and lots of sunlight, summer is the perfect time to take a break and spend some leisure time with your family—and what’s more leisurely than hanging out at the beach? While you’re there, if at all possible, unplug, go off the grid, and enjoy uninterrupted relaxation with your partner, your children, your friends, or whomever you enjoy spending time with. Letting yourself relax and simply enjoy your loved ones is an important part of taking care of yourself.

Get Moving with a Fitness Class

Even though the last thing you probably want to do is work out after a long day in court or hunched over your desk poring over pages and pages of documents, consider the positive effects of exercise: It makes your body release endorphins, improves your mood, and, of course, is simply healthy for you in general. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to exercise is to join a fitness class. Whether you end up picking a high-energy class like SoulCycle or kickboxing, or you want to wind down and stretch every inch of yourself in yoga class, you might end up making friends and getting stronger while having fun.

Think about the last time you exercised: How did you feel afterward?

Consider a Dry Month

Heading out for drinks after work with your colleagues can be a great way to bond, but maybe it’s time to look at just how often you’re going out or opening a bottle of wine when you get home. If you think you might be overindulging, an easy way to take a step back from drinking is to try a dry month, so why not this month? Skilled mixologists do wonders with mocktails these days, so you don’t have to feel totally left out at happy hour. You might be surprised at how good it can feel to take a short vacation from imbibing.

Battle Stress with Meditation and Mindfulness

Everyone has stressful periods at work, but you need to honestly assess just how stressed you really are. Are you having trouble sleeping, finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, or finding it hard to focus at work because you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious? There’s no time like the present to tackle these problems, and if you haven’t tried meditation or mindfulness before, it might be time to start. Sign up for a seminar or try a podcast or app, like the Calm app, which guides you through breathing, meditation, and mindful thinking. Relaxing your brain for a few minutes when you get home could do wonders for your stress levels and will make you feel better overall.

Treat Yourself

Parks & Recreation might have popularized taking a full day to “treat yoself,” but what we’re talking about has less to do with buying tons of stuff you don’t need and more to do with checking in with you and what your body needs. Schedule a massage or spa day for yourself if you’ve been feeling physically tense or worked up, or take a personal day to simply bring your favorite book to a local park (and maybe even consider leaving your phone at home). Take yourself or your partner out to a nice meal and be sure to linger over every bite and sip, fully enjoying the experience. Take care of your mind and body, and they’ll take care of you. If you have to shell out a little bit of money to make sure you’re properly pampered, even just for a day, it’ll probably be well worth it in the end.

What's Next

Commit to adding one health and wellness-oriented activity to your life this month.