Young Lawyer Chair Messages
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August/September 2015: Life Outside the Law?
Outside the law — what do you love to do outside of being a lawyer? No, depositions, CLEs, networking, speeches and article writing are not hobbies. Those activities tend more toward improving your career rather than improving yourself. It seems that as we settle into our careers, attorneys lose sight of doing activities just for fun, relaxation and self-improvement.
The good thing is there is a simple solution: get a hobby or three.
It’s easy to blame the nature of the profession here, as well as an economy that makes new attorneys feel as if they’ve got to accept any billable-hour job that will help them pay off ever-mounting student loans. We can always put “me time” to better use, and even find time to squeeze in a personal hobby or two. Any hobby you enjoy is always worth the time.
This is where the “me time” comes in. Even if you only have 30 minutes left over at the end of the day, instead of switching on that episode of “Real Housewives” or “Fixer Upper,” muster up the energy to do something somewhat meaningful and productive. Start a hobby, go for a jog, take a class to learn something new, plan a trip, write a book — do something that may help you feel like you have something else going on in your life other than your work.
The benefits of having at least one hobby are huge, especially to attorneys whose stress levels, happiness and health are often cited as some of the worst of any profession.
Most importantly, hobbies allow you to mentally switch off for a bit. We are constantly bombarded with information, and we are infamous for taking our work home with us, even if it’s only mentally. Getting home and doing that Pinterest project while you decompress can be amazingly therapeutic. The same goes with exercise, stamp collecting and wine clubs, or being a stand-up comic, a writing whiz, a culinary aspirant or a casual rock star.
Attorneys often need help to “unplug” and hobbies can be an immense help.
I believe I’ve set forth a convincing case for adding a hobby to your life, even if you are very busy. I hope you find one that you can integrate into your life and enjoy.