BACP accredited private psychotherapist Jasmine EL-Doori provides advice on how legal professionals can look after their mental health while working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Most Lawyers and other legal professionals will be feeling like their life has changed overnight with the unprecedented health and economic crisis that Coronavirus has thrown us into.
The pandemic has the potential to affect the mental health and wellbeing of large numbers of people. It’s a time of uncertainty with many stressing about their job security, finances, health anxieties and daily concerns about accessing shops and vital services. The changes are far-reaching - many of us are now working remotely from home and parents are juggling work demands with childcare now that schools have closed.
Most of us will be feeling the vacuum once filled by regular face to face contact with friends, family and work colleagues – now only a remote version of these relationships is available to us.
It’s essential that we can preserve a sense of balance in our lives to restore some calm during this storm. Being adaptable and finding ways to readjust to the new routines of life will bolster resilience during these challenging times.
Here are some ways of taking care of your mental health and holding onto yourself in this constantly changing world.
Looking after your mental health while working from home
- Maintain work-life balance
- Let go of unnecessary anger
- Remember that this won’t last forever
- Focus on today
- Don’t spend too much time engaging with the media
- Make the most of the downtime
- Appreciate the little things
- Remember why we are doing this
Maintain work-life balance
Working from home may be a new challenge and it’s important to be able to delineate the boundaries between work and domestic life. People have reported working longer hours from home without the interruptions of office life. Devise a routine that works for you; without that early commute, you have time to begin the day with exercise or take a lunchtime walk to break up the day.
Let go of unnecessary anger
To keep your mood stable, it helps to be able to accept that you have no control over the current situation. It can be damaging to hold onto anger that fights against the “new normal” and wishing for your old life back.
Remember that this won’t last forever
It’s important to accept that this new routine is for now and that it will not last forever. Dwelling on “when will this end?” can exacerbate anxiety and depression.
Focus on today
Do not focus on timescales. Making plans for the future weeks and months ahead can feel heavy in a climate of uncertainty. Instead, focus on today, knowing this will get easier.
Don’t spend too much time engaging with the media
Ration your engagement with the media. It can feel like an itch that needs to be scratched, but too much absorption in the news can magnify anxious feelings.
Make the most of the downtime
Away from the rhythm of usual life, you now have the space to appreciate the enforced downtime. We’ve all said to ourselves that we wished we had more time to catch up on reading or favourite TV shows, do yoga and meditation, clear the garden, or spruce up our living space.
Appreciate the little things
In the midst of chaos, small details and experiences can come to life – the feeling of the sun on your face, the blossom on the trees, cooking your favourite meal or catching up with friends remotely. We need to feel connected more than ever now our lives have been pared back.
Remember why we are doing this
Remember that we are making short-term sacrifices in order to save lives and guarantee that we’ll get to the other side sooner – there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
About the Author
Jasmine EL-Doori is a BACP accredited private psychotherapist with 20 years’ experience. She formerly practiced in the NHS at Guy's Hospital and specialises in:
- Anxiety & Panic Disorder
- Low Self Esteem
- Eating Disorders
- Anger Management
Jasmine is currently offering Skype and telephone consultations/sessions ideal for Lawyers, Paralegals, In-House Counsel, Partners, Legal Secretaries and any other legal professionals struggling with mental health issues.