As a new attorney, you may find that your life is not your own, and your first year of practice could be the most stressful year of your life, even more stressful than law school. Heavy caseloads, long hours, billable hour expectations, and interpersonal difficulties can combine to take stress levels over the top for new lawyers. For the sake of your mental and physical health and quality of life, it is essential to de-stress — but how do you do it on a budget?
Fortunately for newly practicing attorneys among the 51,808 people who passed the bar in 2014, some of the best things in life really are free, or at least relatively inexpensive. Although time and money may not allow for a Caribbean cruise or a week in a luxury spa resort, there are a number of enjoyable ways to unwind at little or no expense.
Get Your Body Moving
According to the Mayo Clinic, any kind of exercise can be a stress reliever. Exercise pumps up endorphins, improves mood and self-confidence, and promotes sleep and relaxation. Swimming, dancing, tennis, a workout at the gym, or a brisk walk around the neighborhood can calm the mind and boost energy levels.
Enjoy a Staycation
If you can’t afford to travel to an exotic location for rest and relaxation, take some time off and have a vacation from home. You can enjoy whatever you like to do within driving distance and sleep in your own bed at night. Explore some attractions in your own area. Visit museums, attend local festivals, ride your bike, see a movie, go to the beach or the pool, have a back yard barbeque, or take a nap. The trick is to get away from your normal routine and make it a real vacation.
Soak Your Stress Away in a Warm Bath
According to an article on The Health Site, bathing has many health benefits. Among other things, it relaxes muscles, improves circulation, lowers blood sugar levels, removes toxins, induces sleep, and reduces stress. A long soak in a hot tub could be exactly what your mind and body need after a grueling 10-hour day. Some sources recommend adding a cup or two of inexpensive Epsom salts to your bath to aid in detoxification, sleep and relaxation.
Tune Into Your Music
Whether your preference is classical, heavy metal, or anything in between, listening to music you love can lift the spirits and soothe the soul. After a stressful day as a newly practicing lawyer, one way to unwind is to find a quiet place, kick back, plug in your headphones, and let the music can take you away.
Law is one of the most stressful professions. Whether you lose yourself in a good book, spend an hour engrossed in a video game, or go for a long walk and a change of scenery, there are a number of pleasant ways to decompress on a budget.