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What Does Lawyer Wellbeing Actually Entail?

The notion of lawyer wellbeing has gotten a lot of attention, but precious little written about what it actually means. Having thought a bit about that really fundamental question, I've had something of a change of heart-- not so much in terms of substance, but rather, in terms of scope. Please allow me to explain.

For the past couple years, I've thought about lawyer wellbeing as pertaining almost exclusively to one's mental health and physical health-- in rather dramatic ways that might require medical, psychological or other third-party professional assistance. Of course, that will always be the case, but there's more to wellbeing than tending to only the most extreme conditions.

There is a lot of everyday "other stuff" that intrudes upon everybody's life and impacts our sense of wellbeing. Things like weekend chores, shopping demands, shuttling kids and other errands that that can at times be annoying but are-- for the most part-- doable. Those responsibilities can impact our wellbeing, too. A ton of feathers is still a ton.

On a good day, errands and chores aren't really that big a deal. But on a bad day, they can become a needlessly big deal-- they interfere with our ability to pursue personal interests and they become things that we begin to resent. And we all know what happens when resentment takes over for contentment. It's not good-- for us, or for others.

So, while it may seem pedestrian and unimportant, the ability to make time for ourselves, is a compelling piece of our wellbeing. Life begins to get more complicated, and "stuff" begins to happen. Bottom line: The little things count and even though they may not demand professional attention, they can-- and should-- be tended to.

Back to the subject of lawyer wellbeing, which includes a lot of different things-- some are medical, and some are psychological. Some are temporary (like challenges deriving from other events or circumstances in life), and some are more permanent. Some seem to be trivial, and some are more serious. Wellbeing is multi-faceted, and it's continually changing.

Whatever the case may be, we're all taught to not sweat the small stuff, and I understand the wisdom behind that advice-- but by the same token, we shouldn't ignore the small stuff, either!


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