skip to Main Content

Holiday Success = Managing Expectations

When you ask people what the holiday season means to them, you will probably get as many answers as the people you asked. For some, the holiday season brings up memories (some good, some bad, some ugly, some they hope one day to repress) of years past that they either wish or fear could be repeated each year. It can be difficult to know what to expect and how to prepare. I find it easy to feel overwhelmed and distracted by the bombardment of messages about the holidays (you should feel happy, you should spend time with family, you should throw parties, you should buy lots of stuff, you should make resolutions, you should or shouldn’t eat lots of sweets, you should compete with your neighbor for the most electricity used to light the exterior of your dwelling, etc.). By this time in the season, I’m tempted to start dreaming of life on a deserted island.

Read More

Defining Lawyer Well-Being

Recently a comprehensive report was published by the ABA titled “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change” (find the full text here). Within its pages you will find numerous recommendations for how to increase the well-being of the legal community from multiple sources (law schools, judges, attorney regulators, bar associations, employers, etc.). The report starts, as any report on well-being should start, with the definition of lawyer well-being.

Read More

ABA Report on the Path to Lawyer Well-Being

In recent months, there has been an increase in the discussions of the high rates of substance abuse and mental health issues burdening lawyers, rates much higher than the general population. A recent study has confirmed what many of us…

Read More

Don’t Wait For Your Feelings: Forgiveness

Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is an action. Done well, forgiveness can be freeing and can allow the person to heal from a painful experience and become more resilient as a result. But there are a lot of misconceptions and fears that surround forgiveness, what it is, what it is not, and what the result might be.

Read More

Don’t Wait For Your Feelings: Motivation

“I feel ready. Now I can act.” The order of those phrases sounds logical. First you feel ready and then you act on that feeling. No obvious controversy there. Yet some of the common phrases we toss around in everyday conversation are not only inaccurate, but they also negatively affect our abilities to accomplish what we desire. This is often used in terms of assessing our motivation to do something difficult. In this example, waiting to feel motivated (or ready) will most often prevent you from accomplishing something that you never knew was possible. In fact reversing the order of those original ideas is often more accurate and advantageous. I decide to act and then I notice my feelings changing.

Read More

Tips on Making the Season Brighter – Seasonal Affective Disorder

The change in the season means many different things to different people. When the season changes from autumn to winter (at least in regions where there is distinct variation between seasons), some people are excited about the holidays, winter fashion, and outdoor winter activities (think of your friendly neighborhood skiers, snowboarders, Santa impersonators). For others, the change in season is met with dread (lower amounts of energy, mood fluctuations, pessimism). While many people are negatively impacted by the colder seasons, there is a percentage of individuals who are affected to a significant degree, those who meet the criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD occurs when the change of season produces depressed mood, low energy, irritability, change in sleep patterns, change in appetite, diminished concentration, and low motivation.

Read More

Holiday Success = Managing Expectations

When you ask people what the holiday season means to them, you will probably get as many answers as the people you asked. For some, the holiday season brings up memories (some good, some bad, some ugly, some they hope one day to repress) of years past that they either wish or fear could be repeated each year. It can be difficult to know what to expect and how to prepare. I find it easy to feel overwhelmed and distracted by the bombardment of messages about the holidays (you should feel happy, you should spend time with family, you should throw parties, you should buy lots of stuff, you should make resolutions, you should or shouldn’t eat lots of sweets, you should compete with your neighbor for the most electricity used to light the exterior of your dwelling, etc.). By this time in the season, I’m tempted to start dreaming of life on a deserted island.

Read More

What now? Getting Back to Life in the Post-Election Season

This election cycle has been one for the books, in many ways. It has been time consuming and energy depleting, to say the least. This is not new. Most presidential elections in the US have a high degree of “what if” fears associated with the potential of one candidate being elected over another. If you woke up to find that your candidate lost and your “what if” fears started to feel more like a mild myocardial infarction, just remember to breathe. It won’t feel like this forever. If you woke up feeling encouraged and validated by the election results, congratulations.

Read More

People Pleasing – A slippery slope of good intentions

The phrase “people-pleaser” is not often used as a compliment. It is the tendency to prioritize pleasing others as the cost of almost all else. This can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. The hope of people-pleasers is often to maintain a positive reputation and/or to minimize the displeasure of others. Behind the habit of people-pleasing is a fear. For some, it is the fear of admitting weaknesses or being thought of as less than. For others, it is the fear of what would happen if they disappointed the people whose opinions are most valued.

Read More

The Importance of Grieving

Given the regular occurrence of tragedy in the news, it is not uncommon to fluctuate between feeling numb to tragic news and feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. The Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr aptly states that “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” Emotional pain is one of those experiences that can influence people to react in as many different ways as you can imagine (from productive to destructive). Grieving and enduring emotional pain (disappointment, rejection, sadness, etc.) is an important emotional experience. Despite the desire to avoid or minimize emotional pain, it is often the expression of pain that strengthens relationships and social support.

Read More
Back To Top