The law can be a tremendously rewarding profession. It can also be quite tough. During Mental Health Awareness week, take some time to reflect on your own wellbeing at work. If you feel stressed or under pressure, there are sources of support you can draw on. One such source is The Law Society’s new Resilience and Wellbeing workshop, developed in partnership with leadership specialist Cirrus.
In April The Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division published its third resilience and wellbeing survey report. 93% of the 1800 respondents reported feeling stressed (being under too much emotional or mental pressure) in their role, with almost a quarter describing their stress levels as ‘severe’ or ‘extreme’.
The survey showed that the key stress factors for junior lawyers are high workload, client demands/expectations, lack of support and ineffective management. We would always encourage lawyers to raise these concerns with others at work. We would also encourage any law firm or any employer to create a culture where issues can be discussed in an open, supportive environment. However, alongside this, there are also things that you as an individual can do to develop your resilience and increase wellbeing.
The importance of mental health awareness
Mental health issues have a significant impact on our wellbeing at work. One in four of us are affected by mental health issues during our lives. There is still a lot of misunderstanding in this area. However, there is also an increasing awareness which is helping to break the silence around mental health.
Why does resilience matter?
The legal profession is going through tremendous change and most lawyers, no matter how experienced, face new and unexpected issues every day. Resilience helps us to adapt to change, keep going during challenging times, and to bounce back after a setback. It is a highly-prized attribute amongst lawyers – chances are the word ‘resilient’ appears in your job description.
If you feel stressed out or overloaded, it’s likely that your resilience may be compromised. If you can identify what makes you feel stressed, you can develop techniques to cope.
Wellbeing and work
Your mental health is one element of your overall wellbeing. Your physical health and your work/life balance matter too. There are skills you can develop to get the most from the opportunities on offer to you, both at work and beyond it. For example, you can build your ability to prioritise tasks and manage your time, enabling you to focus on what’s really important – whether that’s a work project, an exercise target, your next holiday, or any other combination of personal and career goals. Positive thinking, mindfulness and visualisation can build your confidence and self-mastery.
Join the Resilience and Wellbeing workshop
The Resilience and Wellbeing workshop developed by Cirrus for The Law Society will help you to self-assess, manage your emotional responses, and deal with everyday stressors. You’ll be better equipped to deal with the pressures of your job and will develop better skills for life.
There are three ways you can take part in The Law Society’s Resilience and Wellbeing workshops during June and July:
- Face-to-face one day events during June in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds, London and Manchester
- 5-hour interactive virtual workshop followed by a face-to-face half day event in London
- Two interactive virtual workshops in July.
The workshops are open to all members of The Law Society. If you’re interested in taking part, you can find more details here.
Your workshop leader
Karen Sadler is a lead consultant at Cirrus. She is an expert in resilience and wellbeing and has designed and delivered wide-ranging leadership development programmes for many major international clients including The University of Manchester, ScottishPower, Association of Medical Sciences. She is passionate about providing a balance of support and challenge to help you and your organisation fulfil your potential and be the very best you can be.
Cirrus is working in close collaboration with The Law Society to develop a programme of learning opportunities for members. Cirrus is a leading-edge, award-winning development consultancy with a distinguished track record in enabling individuals and organisations and individuals to achieve lasting behavioural change and transformation. We create our programmes using the latest thinking in immersive and interactive design and delivery, to ensure outstanding and practical learning outcomes.