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41 Years of Hope and Health

The Maryland Lawyer Assistance Program has Assisted Thousands of Maryland Lawyers

For Toll-Free Confidential Help call  1-888-388-5459

The Lawyer Assistance Program   is available  to all lawyers in Maryland and is committed to providing  free, confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, and law school students by offering virtual or in-person assessment, referral, short-term counseling, and continued support to ensure long term success. We offer a network of counselors that   can assist you no matter what state you are living in.  Everyone experiences personal problems, and early intervention is the key to resolving these concerns. If you are concerned about another lawyer you can make an anonymous  referral to the Lawyer Assistance Program. The Lawyer Assistance Program offers financial assistance for Mental Health and Substance Abuse treatment.

What is your Well-Being Routine?

By Lisa Caplan

Why have a routine? Humans are creatures of habit, and having a routine helps to ground us and promote health and wellness. When COVID-19 began, many people struggled with settling into a virtual work environment, which increased their stress and anxiety. I spoke with many lawyers during this time and realized that many did not have a routine that provided structure and organization. Now that we are either working virtually, returning to the office or have a hybrid work schedule we need to adjust our routines again to help us feel grounded while we  settle into our new “normal”. 

Not having a routine can lead to struggles with:

  • Time management. When we don’t have a routine we don’t make the best use of our time which often leads to running out of time and not getting everything done.
  • Stress. Not having a routine increases worrying about how you will get it all done and therefore increases your stress which can lead to anxiety.
  • Sleep problems. Worrying will keep you from a good night’s sleep.
  • Poor diet. Without a routine you will just grab whatever you can and it most likely will not be a healthy option.
  • Poor physical health. Not eating well, poor sleep and stress can lead to health problems.
  • Lack of exercise. Without a routine you won’t be able to plan to take time for yourself and your exercise

Having a routine can provide the following positive benefits:

  • Better sleep. Having a routine, including when you go to sleep and when you wake up, will improve your sleep quality, mental sharpness, creativity, performance and energy level.
  • Reduce your stress and improve your overall mental health. A routine will help you be more efficient and allow you more down time to have fun and relax.
  • Gives you control over your life. You are making decisions with intent and therefore thinking through your day. This will make your day run smoother.
  • More time to exercise. Build it into your daily routine and put it on your calendar.  It will help you take care of yourself,  lower your stress, and improve your physical well-being. It will allow you to build in daily self-care practice.
  • Positive effect on  relationships. You will be happier, healthier and therefore in a better mood, better able to communicate and more patient to manage your relationships.

Simple steps to develop your routine:

  1. Start small, especially if you don’t have a routine at all, or have not been successful in the past. Implement one change and then, when comfortable with that one, build on it.
  2. The best first step is to have a healthy sleep routine. Set a bedtime and a wake-up time. This has shown to improve your overall health.
  3. Set a time to get out of bed, take a shower and get dressed. Do not use your bed to do work. Take time to have a morning routine which will help you set the tone for your day.
  4. Have set start and end times for work and build in breaks. Setting boundaries helps to build self-care.  Even if you can’t always stick to this schedule precisely, it gives you a structure to work from that will help to organize your day.
  5. Build in healthy meals. If you don’t eat healthy you won’t have the energy to get through your day and be as productive as you can.
  6. Build in your self-care. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity if you want to be able to take care of others whether that is a client or family member.
  7. Schedule your tasks for the day. Pick three things to put on your to-do list, even if you have 100. This will help you accomplish your to-do list with less stress.
  8. Ask for help.  Reach out to the Lawyer Assistance Program, counselor, or mentor for suggestions on how to create a routine.

For more tips on wellness check out the Wellness Portal https://www.msba.org/wellness-portal/

Please feel free to reach out to our LAP Committee Members and Volunteers https://www.msba.org/health-and-wellness/

Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 25 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, paddle boarding, sailing, rock climbing and doing triathlons.