Law school is an intense time in which students must learn and analyze a large amount of information. Meanwhile, the additional opportunities for students outside of classes are highly competitive. With all of the stress from law school, students need to understand how to maintain their mental health to avoid burnout. Self-care is an essential part of maintaining a healthy study-life balance. These tips help law students engage in self-care to keep focused.
Law school demands long hours of study, and it is easy to sacrifice sleep to meet those demands. One of the simplest tips for a self-care routine is to sleep an adequate number of hours each night. Getting enough sleep helps keep stress down, and a clear mind helps with studying. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults need to sleep for seven to nine hours each night.
Mindfulness is a meditative practice that involves bringing awareness to the present moment. This way students do not focus on their worries for upcoming exams or papers. Mindfulness meditation as self-care can decrease anxiety and improve mood. Students can also do it in short increments, such as between classes or right before an exam begins. Even a few minutes of quiet inner reflection can help calm the mind.
Another way to engage in self-care is to schedule time to work on enjoyable projects that are not part of coursework. It is easy for students to focus solely on studying while in law school but pursuing an interest outside of school can help students take a break from their stress. It also helps students work on skills not addressed in their programs. Depending on their interests, students could set aside time for reading, hiking, crafting, or volunteering. Evidence suggests that cultivating interests outside of work helps build confidence and mental strength. The same fundamental principle can apply to law school. Turning this time into group activities can also provide self-care by interacting with friends and family outside of law school.
Self-care has many benefits for students, especially those pursuing a law degree. Simply put, self-care means prioritizing the self. Taking the time to engage in activities that are healthy and nurturing can help law students keep calm and do their best.