You are important.
If you need a sign to slow down and consider your own mental health and wellbeing, this is it. Yes, I know. It was to say and not do, and way too easy to park in the too-hard basket. But prioritising you isn’t as tough or tricky as it may seem – it only takes little steps to make a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.
Life certainly throws some curly ones at you, and it’s not always easy to notice and manage your reactions to those situations. However, reflecting on how you handle stress can shed some light on your mental health and help determine whether you may need some extra support to cope with navigating challenges.
Young lawyers already face a unique set of challenges, changes and transitions, and COVID-19 has only worsened these effects. There is a greater disconnection from work and life, loss of learning and development opportunities with mentors and peers, increased social isolation, and general fatigue and languishing; whether from too much technology, longer working hours, juggling family duties and working from home, or continuous uncertainty.
It is safe to say that most of us have experienced a heightened degree of stress over the past 12 months. So, it has never been more important to take a moment, slow down, and focus on everyday actions that support your own mental health and wellbeing.
World Mental Health Day, 10 October, is all about taking care of yourself, looking after your own mental health and seeking the support that you need. So, while it may seem difficult to prioritise your health and wellbeing, you can make it easier by breaking it down into small, everyday actions.
Steps like carving out time and space to focus on you during the day, booking an appointment with a mental health professional, taking a sick day to mentally reset, or accessing the free LawCare counselling service for QLS members.
The Law Council of Australia has also established an online portal for mental health and wellbeing in the legal profession, highlighting a range of resources and assistance services currently available around the country.
Every small step towards prioritising your mental health and wellbeing is one worth taking. So go, you!
If you are currently in distress, you can seek help immediately by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.