Working as a lawyer is one of the most stressful jobs in the USA, involving long hours, difficult situations, and often the added pressure of student debt that can take many years to pay off (the student loan debt for lawyers who graduate from the country’s top law schools is frequently over $150,000 and over 75% of students graduate with debt).
Why is Working in Law so Stressful?
Lawyers must attempt to harden themselves to get used to unjust cases and work with clients who are dealing with incredibly difficult circumstances. However, this constant pressure frequently leads to stress and anxiety, which can then become a depression. The demands of the profession indeed do not leave any room for the faint-hearted.
Money worries can also add to the stress. While lawyers receive a salary that is at a much higher level than many other careers, starting salaries may not be attractive as expected and it can take many years to pay off the staggering amount of student loan debt that most student lawyers rack up while becoming qualified.
Lawyers are 1.33 times more likely to commit suicide than other members of the population – a sobering statistic for anyone considering entering a career in law.
How to Deal with Stress as a Lawyer
Stress is a normal part of life and if it lasts for a relatively short period of time, we are able to adapt and recover. However, when stress is constant and chronic, it can become more of a problem. Almost half of all law students and lawyers will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Medication does exist to help reduce the effect of stress and depression, but it is more of a sticking plaster on a wound than a long-term solution.
However, there are a number of ways you can help to combat stress without any medical involvement. Some ideas include:
- Focused hobbies such as knitting and drawing
- Sports and exercise
Pingpong as Stress Relief
You probably haven’t considered ping pong as a type of therapy before, but in fact, ping pong as stress relief for lawyers can be very effective. You can check tons of reviews of the best pool tables online and check the tools used for PingPong.
Pingpong works to combat stress on several levels:
- It is a physical activity, proven to increase mood through the release of endorphins – the body’s natural “happy hormone”.
- As ping pong is played with another player, it is a social activity, which can help with feelings of loneliness and isolation. It can also be great for team building and improving relationships at work.
- A quick game of ping-pong can help to fight fatigue and improve concentration.
- The physical sensation of hitting the ball is excellent for relieving frustration.
- Concentrating on trying to hit the ball helps the brain to zone out from whatever it’s dwelling on, allowing you to return to work feeling refreshed.
- Playing encourages you to laugh – a natural way to relieve tension and stress and relax the whole body.
So if you’re a stressed-out lawyer, it may well be worth investing in an office pingpong table, before your mental state starts to impact on your work.