It’s been a long hard road; so much has changed since March 2020 when Covid upended our world. Life changed. Our profession changed. We all wonder if things will ever be the same again.
While most of us have adapted to a new normal — working remotely (at least some of the time), virtual hearings, still wearing masks — it has not been easy and, in fact, is not getting any easier. As a result, we are feeling a sense of burnout. How much longer can we keep this up? Will things ever improve?
While we cannot change the world, what we can do is control our reaction to it. As a new year approaches, perhaps it’s time to change our attitude, pep up, and embrace all that is good in our professional lives to reinvigorate our practices. The following tips will battle the burnout and make things brighter once more:
- Embrace A New Outlook. Instead of focusing on all that is different and that our professional lives are not the same as they were in the past, think about all that has changed for the good. Who imagined that we could work efficiently from home and that this work environment would be acceptable to both employers and clients alike? Isn’t it great to not have to commute every day, to dress up, to be tied to a train schedule? There is a certain freedom to working from home or in a hybrid model that feels liberating. We have more flexibility which makes work and life more interesting. Embrace this change and make it a permanent one.
- Keep Connections Alive. While working from home or in a hybrid model certainly has its benefits, it can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. We don’t see all of our colleagues regularly and not everyone is in the office at the same time. This does not mean, however, that we must abandon our connections. While a lunch date may not be the ideal way to meet anymore, it does not mean that we cannot get together in other ways. Picking up the phone for a chat is quick and easy, requiring no special effort. Reaching out to others will make us feel better and more hopeful about the future.
- Make Use of Extra Time. With commute times being reduced given the ability to work at home at least some of the time, we have some extra time on our hands. Instead of wasting it, build in a designated time to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, or take a moment to meditate. Any one of these activities will boost your spirit and give you a refreshed perspective when you return to work.
With a stressful profession and a stressful environment, it’s easy to understand why lawyers can experience burnout. However, taking time to improve one’s outlook, maintaining connections, and maximizing free time can cure burnout and make life interesting again.