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The Bar Bulletin
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 4, 202105:00 AM EST

Don’t neglect yourself during these times of tension

It is critical to stay grounded and rooted at the core as we confront adversity.

By Marquita Green, attorney

The past year has been wrought with ups and downs.

We are impacted by the global health pandemic and by racial tensions. We have challenges with the economy. We have much political tension.

We have been mentally and emotionally taxed on various fronts. We have experienced losses. Death of family members and loved ones. Decrease in clients. Changes in operations at home and at work. Managing the emotions of our children. Lots of overwhelm.

People are resilient and we keep going no matter what comes against us.

We are strong for all of those who are depending on us. We keep face for all of those who are watching us. We are giving so much of ourselves to stay afloat.

But wait. What’s really happening on the inside?

In this time, it is critical for us to stay grounded and rooted at the core. This comes from being intentional about caring for ourselves.

Here are some tips for you to practice self-care for just 10-30 minutes per day:

Take a nap

You may think napping is just for children. You may be thinking that you have too much to do to nap. The truth is, naps are necessary. Think about why children take naps. Naps slow down the mind. They rejuvenate. Naps restore.

Allowing your mind to rest and relax for as few as 15 minutes will give you the energy boost you need to be more creative and less worn down.

Get moving

It does not matter how “fit” you think you are. The goal is to get moving.

Instead of remaining stuck inside the house or office, getting outside and into the fresh air will do wonders for both your mind and body. This is a great way to break up your day and to clear your mind. This type of movement will release endorphins that will restore, revive, and refresh you.

Keep a gratitude journal

Spending time to jot down a few things you are grateful for each day is a great way to shift your thoughts. Instead of focusing on everything you need to accomplish in the future you allow yourself to reflect on all the things you already accomplished.

Celebrating small wins is a great way to decrease anxiety and increase productivity.

Dress for success

Working from home does not have to equal being a couch bum. Remember why you dress up to go to the office. Sure, the (potential) client is more impressed. Of course, the boss expects it.

Don’t forget about how it makes you feel on the inside. Think about how your confidence increases when you believe you look good. Those highly contested hearings and trials are the days you really show up as your best self, right? Keep the momentum going even while working remotely.

It’s natural for you to be outwardly focused and to care for those around you. Your family members, your loved ones, your clients, your staff, etc.

If you become too overwhelmed, too tired, too anxious, or too depleted it will show up and impact your health, your relationships, your business, your finances, and ultimately every area of your life. Eliminate the downward spiral by taking a few minutes each day just to focus on you. 

Think about yourself as a car. One of two things will happen if a car runs out of fuel. The car will just stop moving until it receives more fuel or the engine will fail, be damaged and possibly ruined. Don’t take these risks. Refuel yourself daily. You’ll be all the better for it.

Marquita Green is the family law low bono director at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, coordinating reduced-fee family law legal services.

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