I’ve saved this article for a while. Seems appropriate to dig it out now as more lawyers are venturing into solo practice with the lure of flexibility as the carrot. It’s a good carrot, though, as one study shows:
“People who choose to work flexibly are more job-satisfied, healthier and more productive.”
I recommend you read the whole article which is called “Do Five Simple Things A Day to Stay Sane.”
Another interesting tidbit to note, while somewhat common sensical, still is striking:
“We’ve known for a while there’s a link between mental health issues and low income, but what more recent research has shown is that the relationship is probably mostly accounted for by debt.”
This statement, when applied to law students graduating with great debt and few job prospects is upsetting to say the least. That’s why I’ve included what follows.
While the the thrust of the article is not on working, it does emphasize, among other things:
Developing relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will enrich your life and bring you support
Sports, hobbies such as gardening or dancing, or just a daily stroll will make you feel good and maintain mobility and fitness
Noting the beauty of everyday moments as well as the unusual and reflecting on them helps you to appreciate what matters to you
Fixing a bike, learning an instrument, cooking – the challenge and satisfaction brings fun and confidence
Helping friends and strangers links your happiness to a wider community and is very rewarding
While this may seem ‘new age’ to some, it is a nice wake-up call to those who feel overwhelmed by the stresses of debt to remember the simple joys in life and how we can stay emotionally healthy through it all. Remembering these simple joys makes those less joyful chores we have to do or endure a little less of painful.
This may seem easier to say than do. However, regardless your debt or work prospects, take time out to connect, be active, stay curious, learn and give to others while figuring out your next move. If it’s going solo, remember the flexibility you could enjoy (when practicing correctly) can have a positive impact on your health and overall productivity.