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Dealing With Depression: Strategies for Lawyers

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Dealing With Depression: Strategies for Lawyers

Have you ever been depressed? How do you know when it’s more than just a temporary mood? Research shows that lawyers face unique challenges that can lead to depression. It can be hard to tell when it’s time to get help, and many lawyers are afraid of professional stigmatization if they seek help. Discover the symptoms of depression and learn how to effectively navigate professional pitfalls that can interfere with your ability to practice law optimally. This course offers practical strategies that can empower and equip you to identify and ease symptoms of depression.

Transcript

- [Patti] Hi, everyone. This is Dr. Patti McCartney. I am a board certified naturopathic doctor, an animal naturopathic doctor, holistic healthcare practitioner, a cognitive wellness coach, and a licensed Texas attorney. I wanna thank y'all for joining me today as we discuss this topic involving depression, specifically dealing with depression strategies for lawyers. As a further introduction, I am also the founder of thelawyer-doctor.net, which is a website that offers micro coaching videos, audios, downloadable resources for lawyers and the legal community to assist with lifestyle wellness from full spectrum approach, a 360 approach. As a naturopathic doctor, we focus on all aspects of mental wellness, including the nutritional side. So this is a topic that I'm very passionate about in helping members of our profession, and I hope you gain some information from here. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have that may arise during the presentation or any input, feedback. And certainly, please check out my website if you wanna know more about any of these topics or about cognitive wellness and cognitive coaching services available, at least through what I offer. Okay, now let's go over some learning objectives here. Those include discovering how depression impacts lawyers. We know that lawyers are three times as likely according to some studies to experience depression than the general public. Identify the different types of depression and how lawyers can detect them. So there are different identifiable types of depression. We're not going to go into that too much within the confines of this course, but just know there are. But I'm going to at least give you some tips to help you detect or identify if you may be suffering, or moving toward clinical depression or situational depression, or if you're just having a bad day, for example. Okay, discovering how your diet affects depression. As I mentioned, this is a key area. As a naturopathic doctor, I focus on the root causes of issues. Naturopathic medicine, if you're not familiar with it, is really the original form of holistic medicine. If you've heard of functional medicine now, where it focuses on different diagnostic tests to identify the root cause. Functional medicine is really what many consider an offshoot or a derivation of naturopathic medicine. So we focus on the root causes. Again, in this particular presentation, that will involve even your diet and how that might impact you in ways that you hadn't realized before. Perhaps things you hadn't thought of may be contributing or just as a proactive measure. Or if you know another colleague who's experiencing depression, then perhaps this is something you may be able to share, pass on or identify in that particular individual. And learning practical tips to improve your mental performance. We all wanna be our sharpest, we all wanna be our best, and it helps to know that there are certain tips and techniques we can incorporate, so I hope to impart some of those to y'all today. And discovering cognitive tools that can help lawyers defeat depression. So if you are battling depression, it's important that you know it can be defeated without the necessity of antidepressants or drugs that may have side effects or in conjunction with those, if you're already on those, it's just important for you to become aware of the fact that you have more power than you realize in your cognitive health. Okay, how we got here? And you may be wondering, why on earth am I doing a presentation on the topic of depression? Well, again, this is something that falls within my wheelhouse definitely and is a topic I'm passionate about, but it's also because I've been a licensed attorney for a while and I understand the problems that are facing our profession and that are creating challenges for us and as I like to say, I wanna help lawyers learn to live within the profession, love the profession, and choose to thrive within the profession, rather than leave the profession. So hopefully, some of the tips here, again, will help you feel a little bit happier, a little bit healthier in the way you approach things. But you got this far, so you've got this. Okay, over the last three decades, there have been numerous studies, and I mean numerous. If you've heard of the study that was done in 2016, and then one more recently in 2020, I believe, it may have been published in 2021. You may be familiar with those that give a broad view of the problems, the mental distress going on in our profession. But actually these studies go back as far as 20, 30 years ago, probably before some of you were even born, so it's a prevailing problem and it's one that the profession has been aware of. So we have some work to do, and that's why it's such an important topic to cover and examine in the context of practicing law. But I hope you find this not just informative, but also informative to encourage you in a positive sense, not to be viewed from a negative or a situation that is not one that is impossible for us to overcome. Because, again, you've gotten this far, you've got this, you can master these tools, you can excel and go on to represent the best of the legal profession, which I have no doubt the very fact that you're taking this presentation or listening to this presentation is going to be something you will succeed in and you are certainly interested in doing by the very fact that you're listening and participating in this. Okay. With response to all of these studies that were performed, the National Task Force on Lawyer Wellness published "The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change." This was done in 2017. The report was commissioned by the ABA in response to the alarming numbers of mental distress identified within the legal profession. And as a result of this study, and the publication list of recommendations or a list of recommendations was created to help identify ways that lawyers could improve in their mental wellness. And the goal was, it's my understanding that the hope was firms across the country, all firms would sign on. I understand last time I saw, I think there were about 200 law firms, some big law firms, some smaller firms that signed onto this initiative to make lawyer well-being more of a priority in the profession. So yes, we've done some great work as far as the profession goes, and those of us within wellness wanna help carry that ball a little bit further, that goal to be advanced a little bit more. So, that's my intent here. That's certainly my hope. And again, we'll pursue some of these topics hopefully in a more positive aspect than you may initially pursue or you may initially imagine in a topic such as this. Okay, let's examine our professional responsibility, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which we are all familiar with as lawyers, beginning with Rule 1.1, which says that we have an obligation to provide competent representation. Well, here the challenge becomes if we are not at our best cognitively, are we able to perform competent representation? Yes, you may be able to get by and do your job. Are you doing your best, Anne? Is that what you want for the profession, for your clients and for yourself? Do you wanna perform at your best at all times? Of course you do. So, the definition of competent in competent representation may be key as to whether a cognitive challenge or mental distress actually rises to the level of competent representation from an ethical standpoint. But as I say so often in these presentations, these are the minimum standards. We should always strive to excel and to do above and beyond because we understand our professional reputation is always at stake and we want to be our best so our clients are satisfied with our work, we're well-recognized among our peers and for purposes of succeeding at a higher level, promotions, partnerships, so forth. It's imperative that we understand what good standing is beyond just the minimum recommendations. Okay, let's look also at rule 1.3, the client-lawyer relationship. Again, if you're in a situation where you're battling depression, whether it's just situational, and I don't mean just situational, but whether it's situational versus clinical, if you're having trouble getting through your day or focusing on your job, then it's going to make it more difficult to effectively communicate with your client, which is why I included that here. And also rule one 1.16 , which requires a lawyer to withdraw from representation if the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client. None of us wants to be that lawyer. None of us wants to say that our mental distress is at such a degree that we're not able to perform our duties as lawyers and that we feel it necessary or incumbent upon us to withdraw, to protect our clients' interests, to protect our firm's reputation and perhaps our own. So again, this is really offered as much from a proactive standpoint as it is from a management standpoint, so hopefully, you'll glean that through the presentation. So, let's look at what lawyer depression actually is. Lawyer depression is a debilitating condition and it can cause people to lose, it can cause lawyers, in this case, to lose their ability to function in all areas of their life, including their work and relationship. So true depression that is actually diagnosed as depression is a mental health condition that is going to cause you to just shut down. It's going to impact not just, again, your personal relationships. It's going to impact your professional relationships, your ability to do your job. Now, I do wanna point out here that we all hear about the high-performance lawyers who are addicted to substances or battling depression or have anxiety disorders. That may be the exception rather than the rule. And clearly, this is in existence because, again, over the last three decades, we've known these problems exist within the profession. So just because we're able to perform our jobs without those around us knowing what we're battling doesn't mean it should remain that way. And it certainly doesn't mean we benefit from that, our clients certainly don't benefit from that and the profession absolutely suffers from that as we're seeing based on the statistics. So, again, if you're not there, great, awesome. Hopefully, some of the information here can prevent you from getting there. If you're there, perhaps some of this information can give you additional tools to help you defeat the depression, or at least make you aware that perhaps you need to reach out to a cognitive coach or somebody else to seek additional help. Okay. So, depression is a low state of mood that lasts at least two weeks. That's when the diagnostic standards is. If somebody is demonstrating or showing symptoms of depression and those symptoms last for at least two weeks, that falls within the actual definition of depression. If it's something that is shorter, like a day or two or three, then that's not depression. We always hear, people around us saying, "I'm depressed." Well, you're having a bad day or your mood is off and there may be another label, if you will, or another definition, but that doesn't meet the actual criteria of depression. Clinical depression. Clinical depression requires the two-week marker, just as a point of reference there for you. So if somebody is depressed, what can we do as far as, let me go back here, to actually identifying. I put here some tips for an early detection system for deploying your depression tools, if you will, and deploying your early detection system. Because the truth is, in the end, you're going to need to be your own best doctor and your own best counselor because you know yourself better than anybody and you have faced the stresses and conquered them going through law school, passing the bar, getting into the profession, and the demands change. And in the practice of law and the legal profession, it is very demanding and there are tremendous strains that can be placed on lawyers, particularly young lawyers, so having your early detection system is a great way to be aware of the signs and symptoms before they do lead you down that path. And again, if you're on that path and just not sure that you are, then hopefully, this will help give you some clarity as well. So a point to consider, a question really is there anything in your environment that could be negatively affecting your mood? So in other words, if you're working in an environment that every time you go into work, you feel yourself getting stressed or your muscles are tensing up, or you feel like your mood has just changed, if there's somebody who you have in your daily environment in a work setting or elsewhere that you notice, and I'm not talking just the relationship now, I'm talking the physical proximity, then consider if there's a change you can make. and some suggestions for those who work in little cubby areas, perhaps putting a plant has been a suggestion, if there's somebody who you feel negatively impacts your joy or your peace of mind or your ability to focus on your day. The point here is just look around. Look around in your daily environment and see is there anything that I see physically in my environment that is impacting the way I'm responding, the way I'm reacting or the way I'm thinking about the events of my day? Our mindset is our filter. Our mindset is how we view the world. And if there's something in your environment that you can change, that's an easy fix. Do you have any lifestyle triggers? This can be self-medication. If you're drinking alcohol or if you're using some other form of self-medication system like antidepressants or some other form of medication that may reach the level of substance, illegal or otherwise a substance that helps you cope with your day, that's something to be aware of as well. And also, unhealthy relationships can fall within this. And I mentioned sedatives, antidepressants, other sedatives. Nobody should go through life needing a sedative to help them get through their day. So, that's a flag there. And if that's you or someone you know, then explore if that's something you can alter or change on your own and if not, reach out for help. I say this and I wanna preface that comment or I wanna expand that comment to say one of the largest criticisms that lawyers offer in response to the request to get help is the concern that it will impact them professionally. That if they go to see a psychotherapist or a psychologist, if it's billed, will it impact their insurance? Will their malpractice carrier be aware of it? Is this going to have some kind of negative impact on their profession with their firm or their peers? Will it get out somehow? One of the beautiful aspects of cognitive wellness coaching, which we will explore later and just mental wellness coaching in general, is the fact that it's a coach-client relationship, so it's different than a doctor-patient relationship. Yes, the protections are still there, but you're not going to have the same situation from a reporting standpoint and anonymity is built in to some of the systems available. I know through my website, the way it is structured through the micro coaching and even through direct consultation, that is something that is extremely confidential and nobody outside of that relationship is aware. Unless I'm brought into a firm to do coaching on a broad scale, then no one in a firm knows what I'm doing, so that gives you some additional protection and hopefully, some incentive to know it's not just on you to seek help in a way that may impact you professionally, because all lawyers are concerned about that, particularly young lawyers. That should never be an impediment for you seeking help. And again, hopefully, you'll learn some more information through this presentation that might make you a little bit more comfortable in what resources are available out there for you. Also, physical factors such as lack of exercise, poor dietary choices, dehydration, chronic health issues and sleep deprivation, all of these can impact your mental health. All of these can play a part in setting you up for going into a depressed mood mindset that can eventually evolve into an actual clinical depression situation, which we don't want here. So, again, if any of these speak to you, then do some self-analysis to the extent you can and reach out to the extent that you feel like you need a little bit more guidance or coaching along the way. Okay, many of the events that create or contribute to depression can be lessened or eliminated simply by creating a workable plan. Again, we're in control of our mental wellness more than we realize and warriors like to be in control. The good news is you are when it comes to your physical health and your mental health, more than you realize. It's just knowing the keys to unlock that control that you can take and empower you to create and then implement the plan toward that physical as well as mental wellness because mental wellness impacts physical wellness and physical wellness impacts mental wellness. When you look at mental health professionals who are outside of the holistic framework, most of them do not focus on the nutritional contributors to mental health or illness. It's just outside their wheelhouse. So, within the framework of this presentation and what I do, it's important for me to emphasize that connection. And truthfully, this has become more and more of an important emphasis within the evaluation and treatment of mental health issues to the point that there have been the development of fields such as nutritional psychiatry and even some psychologists and psychiatrists are getting more integrative in their approach. Even though the broad profession as a whole does not, there are some who recognize that connection. So if you know mental health professional outside of the holistic or natural health integrated framework, great. If not, then just know there are those of us out there who can assist you with this as well. So, again, have your plan in place. Have your early detection system ready to launch at any point where you're feeling off or your mood is lasting more than just a day to see what steps and changes you can make to return the balance in your life and back to the place where you're able to practice at your optimal level. Okay, so common symptoms of depression. You may say, "How will I know if I'm depressed?" Fatigue, tiredness, heaviness, if you just feel weighed down. We've all heard the expression weighed down by the burdens of the day, weighed down by the burdens of life. Well, it is a true feeling of heaviness, feeling of hopelessness. So if you find yourself feeling just hopeless, that's a big indicator that something's off. Pay attention. Again, be your own best doctor. Be your own best therapist. Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. Be aware of the signs and symptoms. Your body will talk to you. You just have to listen. Your mind will reveal things to you. You've just gotta be the one to recognize those because you don't want them to develop to the point where someone else is recognizing them because you fail to take the adequate steps. No, you don't wanna be there. And hopefully, this will help keep you from being there. Okay. Also changes in your appetite or weight. This can be either extreme. Lack of interest in hobbies, families, relationship. If you find yourself just wanting to disengage from everything around you or even if you know somebody, these symptoms don't just have to be applied to you, that can be applied to someone you knew from law school who may be having a tough time in practicing, or even someone within your firm that you're recognizing some of these signs and symptoms in. Okay. Also, impaired thinking, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Again, we are a cognitive-based profession. We all understand if we can't concentrate, if we can't make the critical decisions needed in our cases, if we can't analyze our way through a fact pattern, that's going to make it very difficult for us to meet our minimum professional responsibility obligations, but it's also going to make it difficult for us to perform our daily tasks and to achieve the goals that we set out for ourselves. Nobody wants to live in that state. Nobody chooses to. It's just there are people who don't know how to get out of it or how to prevent it. Again, hopefully, some of the information in this presentation can help with that. Okay, the lawyers' emotional balancing act. As with everything else in life and in the practice of law, it's all about balance. So the very qualities that make us excel within our legal profession can also be the same characteristics that can hinder us. So being laser focused. That helped you get through law school, it helped you hunker down and pass the bar. It helped you get into the profession. Being laser focused is great to the extent that you're focused on the right goal for the moment, for the day, wot if you're laser focused on what you should have done or what you should have said or a mistake that was made. Things happen. Mistakes happen. That's why pencils have erasers. Mistakes happen. So, I always love to remind lawyers to give themselves some grace. Give yourself some grace. You're doing great, you got this far. Okay. Trying to control the situation and outcomes. We can control a lot, but we can't control everything and we can make changes that can affect outcomes. But there are some situations that we cannot control. You can't control your client. You can try and manage your client in a professional, ethical manner by explaining to them, educating them in the way to present testimony or the process involved in estate planning or preparing for court or a deposition, mediation, whatever the case may be. But we can't control our clients and we understand that. Highly competitive attitudes. Again, competition got you to this place in your career, but there's a point where being overly competitive can become destructive. One of those ways is through our perfectionism. Being perfectionistic, it's fine if it's adaptive perfectionism. In other words, if it's spurring you on to do your best, but you realize that once your best is all you can give and you accept that and go on, that's great. Beyond that, it can become what we call maladaptive. Then it can become a problem. That's not where you wanna be. So in other words, the type A personality is the personality that also needs to be aware of the importance of striking balance because the problem arises when these qualities get out of balance. And we need to recognize the importance of keeping those healthy perspectives and not letting them get to the point to where they're affecting our daily mood, our ability to perform our tasks, or just our quality of life. Life is so short. It may not seem like it at this point, if you're a young lawyer, but it is. And it's so important that we find joy in our days and what we do. We came into this profession because we wanted to make a difference. And you can make that difference and you will make that difference. And in doing so, just don't lose part of yourself or the reason you became a lawyer, and keep in mind some of these tools that might help you a little bit more in the journey toward reaching your professional goals without them taking too much of a toll on you. Okay, let's look at the connection now segueing into how anxiety and depression are actually connected. It's estimated that as many as two-thirds of lawyers with depression also experience anxiety. Anxiety is indicated by perpetual worry that you're unable to regulate or to shut down. So, again, this is that perfectionistic thinking that is maladaptive. There is a strong belief that anxiety is at the root or at least connected to the maladaptive perfectionism. So, this is where balance comes in. We all have anxious thoughts or anxious moments. We can even control those. You certainly don't wanna reach a point where your anxiety is eclipsing your mood or your mindset. The combination of depression and anxiety symptoms together can be very destructive. Just be aware of that. So again, hopefully, some of the tools here will help and will make you aware of the importance, if you're not able to balance it on your own about getting some help or reaching out to speak to somebody about it. Okay, the connection between diet and depression. As we mentioned earlier, there is a strong connection which has only been revealed over the last couple of decades, really over the last decade. Much of the research has been conducted to demonstrate the connection, the interplay between what we eat and what we think and how we feel. Nutrition can play a significant role in the onset, as well as the severity and duration of depression. In fact, they have tracked the connection between eating patterns and depressed moods. So, for those who are experiencing depression, finding the link to what they are eating that triggers that depression has revealed much as far as that interplay. Researchers have actually tracked the onset of the depressed moods from the foods that were being eaten almost immediately, in some cases, in the way it affected the change in the mood and the mindset. So if you, for example, eat a particular food at lunch and you notice your mood is changing, where a half hour, hour, 90 minutes later or even later in the afternoon, your mood just seems off, you seem more depressed, more agitated, more irritable, think about what you ate made, make a note about that and perhaps do a food mood journal. That's something we recommend in both naturopathic and functional medicine, is tracking your moods based on the foods you're eating. And you may be surprised at how that can have an impact and the inner relationship between diet and mental health, specifically here diet and depression. Okay. Let's now look at the focus on foods that help feed the brain. We've talked about those that can have a negative impact. Let's look at those that can actually feed the brain. We all know that processed food is bad and we all understand that it's out there for us at every turn and the temptations can be great, depending on what you've been raised on, what your food preferences are, what your eating habits are, especially with long hours, getting through law school, I'm sure there were certain processed foods that were your go-to study foods. And when the days get stressful, it can get easy to reach for those. Just understand that poor dietary choices, again, have been shown, particularly processed foods. So much of what is in processed foods does have a negative impact on the way we feel and the way we think. Approximately 70% of the typical American lawyer's diet contains ultra processed food, so the solution here is add more fresh to your diet. If you're part of a firm, one suggestion is bringing in caterers or having a chef come in and do private cooking lessons. Just try some way to introduce healthier foods and healthier food choices into your diet and you may be surprised at the difference it has, not just on your overall wellbeing, but also on your mental health. Another option is to include brain boosting snacks. There are some who recommend against snacking. I'm in favor of having healthy snacks because I think they can add a lot to boosting your energy and your mindset and choosing the right ones is key here. Nuts, berries are always beneficial. I believe in letting food be our medicine and our medicine being our food because of the interplay between our health and food, so I'm always encouraging lawyers and patients, clients, so forth, to incorporate as many healthy foods, especially in the form of berries, fresh vegetables, avocados, here's a tip for a cognitive boost, if you can tolerate it. If you have avocados around or avocado-based products, then that's great. If not and you can tolerate a shot glass of avocado oil, or olive oil, that will deliver a surge of brain boosting power to you. Again, if you choose to try that, that is a tip. Also the role of biased information processing. As lawyers, we all understand that bias comes in and can taint a case, whether it's in a witness's testimony, whether it's in our client or the opposing party, the way they're presenting facts, the testimony they give, the way that a case is evaluated, a jury verdict bias can come in, each and every aspect of a lawyer's professional life, we see that. We tend to overlook the biases we have ourselves and the filters that those create for us. So just as a little exercise in addressing the bias, consider identifying biased thinking. So, again, just for purposes of your own information, your own education, think in specific situations, specific relationships, do you have a bias? We all do. It's just a matter of identifying them and where they exist and what they are. Once we know what they are, then we're able to address them and recognize how they affect your thinking. So if you have a bias that is a positive bias, that's a bias that you don't need to address, unless it's a positive bias that is helping you fail to see the reality of a situation. More times than not, though, the bias is a negative bias, and it's something you're bringing in based on your history, your background, your mindset that's affecting the way you're evaluating a situation. So just think about your day, think about your mindset in general. Think about your values and the way you approach relationships, the way you approach clients, just starting from a very introspective view and then, zoom out to more of like a 30,000 foot view approach to your life in general and see if there are any biases you can identify and how they're affecting your life and the way you're thinking. And then think about ways that you can influence those, the way you can change those. And that comes by confronting the bias, not just being aware of the bias but actually confronting it. One tip I like to give lawyers just in my practice in general, is write down your negative thoughts. If you find yourself depressed or having a bad day, sometimes it's easy to get lost in that and get that tunnel focus on what that emotion is. So for lawyers, a tip that I like to recommend is pull out your phone, turn to the notes section, and then start dictating in there your negative thought. Just like you're emptying your brain into your phone on the screen, in your notes section, just speak it out. If you prefer typing it out, then just type it out in there, just purge that into your device or typing it on your laptop or your iPad, or if you like writing it out, write it out as well. And then look at it, confront what those negative thoughts are by acknowledging 'em and then rethink those negative thoughts, what you just poured out into your device or onto your screen and then rethink it into something more positive. Think about how you can change the perspective, like on a camera where you're adjusting the frame if you are taking a picture where you're getting the focus the way you want it to be, so reshape your focus into something more positive. You can just flip an entire mindset by changing a negative and re-sculpting it, reshaping it into a positive. We do that professionally all the time. We fail so often to apply those same techniques and those same tools to our own mindset because, again, we're the one experiencing the events, we're the one living our life and we're the ones responding, so it can become difficult to identify those within ourselves. It's much easier to identify qualities and problems and mindsets in others, right? Well, it can be just as easy if we take the time to apply those same tools to ourselves. And one way is by documenting it in some form of memorializing those thoughts and then turning them around and using that as an exercise to reshape your perspective. So hopefully, that helps. Okay, where are your priorities? We understand that life is filled with priorities and we have to take control over our priorities to prioritize our time. One of the ways we can do this is through making lists, through managing our time, deciding what in our life is taking too much time that is not contributing value to our time. And again, you get to manage your time. No matter what a partner or a boss or a client may demand of you, or a spouse or children, in the end, it's your day, it's your time and you get to manage it. So don't relinquish that control over to somebody else when it's yours. And one of the best ways to do that is through a list, through prioritizing your day into focusing on what is most important and managing the functioning of your day accordingly. So, manage your time, rather than letting your time manage you. That is one of the great ways we as lawyers can take control over our day and take control over our priorities and make sure that to the extent, we can control our environment and control what is affecting our mental health and our outlook and the way we respond to the tasks of the day. That we have exercised that control. Okay, sleep and the sleep deprived lawyer. Sadly, research has shown that lawyers are the second most sleep deprived occupation out there. We all understand, we compromised on sleep, again, from our law school days, and for some of us even before then, but definitely from law school days up till now. And once that sleep cycle is broken, it gets very easy to carry that forward and allow that to continue to perpetuate sleep deprived habits going forward. And just know that whatever you lose in sleep is very difficult to make it back up. Sleep impacts all areas of our lives and it definitely impacts our ability to function. And again, if you remember from our list of symptoms, fatigue and tiredness are symptoms that can lead to depression. So if it's situational based on poor sleep, get the rest you need. That is a quick and easy fix and it will change the way you're viewing your day and it also contributes to your physical health, again, that interplay of physical and mental. You wanna do your best to keep that in balance because whatever you think you're gaining by losing sleep, you're going to notice diminished returns in the end because of the harmful effects it will play out. Trust me, I understand the struggle here. I do, and it's a struggle for all of us, but don't compromise on sleep because, again, you'll reap the consequences perhaps down the road, but you will. So, I've included some links of some articles there if you wanna learn a little bit more about how sleep impacts us. We already understand we're not as sharp, we're not as focused, our cognitive health is not at its, or our cognitive wellness is not at its best, so I understand, again, the struggle. Just keep it in mind, if there's something you can do to change, again, your priorities where you can get more rest, your body and your mind will thank you. Natural therapies, biochemic medicine, also known as biochemic cell salts are made up of the 12 mineral salts that our bodies contain and our bodies are comprised of. And Dr. Schuessler was a medical doctor and homeopathic doctor. If you're familiar with homeopathic remedies that are sublingual that go under your tongue, cell salts are similar. They cannot be abused, they cannot be taken in excess, they cannot result in any known harm or any interaction. I love cell salts, I use them in my own life, my family and in my practice. So, if you're not familiar with those, again, feel free to check out one of my websites or contact me, I'd be happy to send you some additional information. And cell salts are great because they reach both the physical and the mental wellness level as so many natural remedies are able to do. Essential oils. I encourage lawyers to utilize essential oils. I incorporate them in wellness packages for lawyers and law firms because they are so potent and powerful. Just inhaling essential oils can literally reduce stress, change your mindset. Roller bottle essential oils, which have key essential oils and carrier oils to protect your skin are fabulous for stress-reducing effects, as well as just inhaling through nasal inhalers. Acupressure, acupuncture. I'm not a fan of needles. I do prefer acupressure and that's something you can do, which is similar to reflexology, just knowing where to press to release stress. Acupressure is very powerful in helping you do that. Again, there's a wealth of information online, but if you want additional information, feel free to check out my sites or contact me. And then, massage. This can be a deep massage, lymphatic draining massage. Lymphatic draining is draining of our lymph nodes. We have hundreds of lymph nodes and our body research has shown that there are lymph nodes in our brain. They didn't realize in the past that those lymphatic pathways existed in our brain. And anywhere those get clogged, our lymph nodes are like little waste baskets that trap toxins and anywhere those get clogged, it can create some type of impairment, even a cognitive impairment, so it's important that we drain those. There's many ways to do that. One way to do that is standing in your desk and raising up your heels up and down off the ground. Your calf muscles act as pumps and can actually help stimulate that lymphatic drainage. But there are also other tips, other tools that can be done through essential oils and of course, through a massage, if you like having massages. Chair massages in the workplace are also incredibly beneficial for a multitude of reasons. Goal setting. We all understand what goals are. We are lawyers. We had goals that brought us here and hopefully, goals that will carry us much further, so we understand that there is great benefit and importance in goal setting. So, it helps to identify those goals as we proceed through our professional lives and to reassess where we are, where we wanna be a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now. Write down or, again, put in your phone what your goals are, identify those and picture yourself achieving that goal, what it looks like being on the other side of that goal and then think what positive changes can help you get there. Focusing on the things you can control. Again, life is filled with events that we cannot control. Those that we can, we should embrace and manage and feel empowered to be able to do so to the fullest extent possible. So hopefully, that helps. And gratitude. There is no replacement from having a grateful heart and a grateful mindset. And one of the best ways of doing this is waking up in the morning and thinking what you have to be grateful for in your day ahead or the day behind you. Quantifying those, keeping a gratitude journal. There's been so much research, you may be familiar with gratitude journals already. Just know there's so much information out there as far as their benefits go. So I would encourage you to find a way to express your gratitude, not just to yourself, but to others throughout the day and notice the difference. If you find yourself smiling through the day, your day will be much more enjoyable. Again, this is your life, your path. You've worked hard to get here. You wanna find joy in the journey, not just in the destination. So, find ways to be grateful, thinking of your problems or challenges in more of a positive perspective and focusing more on a positive outlook can have a tremendous benefit in finding gratitude. And I'm sure you don't have to look very far in your life to find many things to be grateful for. And you'll be surprised at the way it will impact your day in a positive manner. So, again, easy, helpful tips I hope that might bring a little bit more joy and a little bit more productivity to your day. Think it through. Again, explore thoughts, feelings, behaviors. As you go through your day, what can you change in the way you're responding to something more positive? Coping strategies, we've gone over some of 'em. Get out in the fresh air, if at all possible. Depending on the climate where you're at, just get out and breathe the fresh air. Feel the sun on your face. Take meetings outdoors, if possible. Take Zoom calls on audio where you can sit out at a table or outdoor cafe, whatever. Just even in your backyard, if you're working remotely, just get some fresh air. You'd be amazed with a change in your perspective that can have. And don't empower the problem. Remember, you have more control than you realize. I mentioned earlier cognitive behavior therapy. It is a mainstay of my practice and my cognitive wellness coaching. Cognitive behavior therapy is rational-based. It is logical. It's a form of talk therapy and it is short-term. It's intensive. It has a goal-oriented approach and it is extremely popular and beneficial for lawyers and easy to incorporate in your daily life. Lawyers, pets, and depression. I'm a big proponent of taking pets to work. I put in there a link to an article about lawyers who do so and the difference it's made in their mental health and just the workplace wellness. So the key takeaways here are the fact that depression is a source of distress and many in our profession do suffer from it, so it should never be ignored. Again, if you find yourself having an off day or someone you know is having an off day that continues on to the point to where it becomes a couple of off weeks, explore that a little further or encourage them to do so. Planning our response to triggering situations in advance can help us identify them, alter, or at least minimize their effect. Our diet does significantly impact our moods and to the point of depression and depression affects our diet. There is, again, that interplay as with so much involving our physical and mental health. Depression doesn't have to defeat our days or our goals. And depression can sometimes be minimized with the help of natural and cognitive coping strategies. So as a final word here, I wanna thank you for taking time from your busy day to join me on this presentation. I never mean to minimize any condition that an individual lawyer may be experiencing, but I want to always make you aware that there are tools and resources available for you so do not hesitate to reach out and my contact information is included here. I do hope something you have heard today will benefit you or someone you know. If you have any questions, again, reach out and don't hesitate to contact me. I love hearing from those who join in my presentations. And feel free to check out my other presentations with Quimbee. Until then, take care and be well.

Presenter(s)

PM
Patti McCartney
Attorney
DrPattiMcCartney.com

Course materials

Handout

Credit information

Jurisdiction
Credits
Available until
Status
Alabama
    Not Offered
    Alaska
      Not Offered
      Arizona
        Not Offered
        Arkansas
          Not Offered
          California
          • 1.0 competence issues
          December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Approved
          Colorado
            Not Offered
            Connecticut
            • 1.0 ethics
            December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Available
            Delaware
              Not Offered
              Florida
              • 1.0 mental illness awareness
              August 31, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Approved
              Georgia
                Not Offered
                Guam
                  Not Offered
                  Hawaii
                    Not Offered
                    Idaho
                      Not Offered
                      Illinois
                      • 1.0 mental health/substance abuse
                      January 2, 2025 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                      Indiana
                      • 1.0 ethics
                      Not Offered
                      Iowa
                      • 1.0 attorney wellness
                      Pending
                      Kansas
                        Not Offered
                        Kentucky
                          Not Offered
                          Louisiana
                            Not Offered
                            Maine
                              Not Offered
                              Minnesota
                                Not Offered
                                Mississippi
                                • 1.1 ethics
                                Pending
                                Missouri
                                  Not Eligible
                                  Montana
                                    Not Offered
                                    Nebraska
                                    • 1.0 ethics
                                    Not Offered
                                    Nevada
                                    • 1.0 aamh (substance abuse-addiction-mental health)
                                    December 31, 2026 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                    New Hampshire
                                      Not Offered
                                      New Jersey
                                      • 1.3 general
                                      January 16, 2025 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                      New Mexico
                                        Not Offered
                                        New York
                                        • 1.2 law practice management
                                        December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Available
                                        North Carolina
                                        • 1.0 substance abuse
                                        February 29, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                        North Dakota
                                          Not Offered
                                          Ohio
                                            Not Offered
                                            Oklahoma
                                            • 1.0 ethics
                                            Not Offered
                                            Oregon
                                            • 1.0 mental health/substance abuse
                                            December 28, 2025 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                            Pennsylvania
                                              Not Offered
                                              Puerto Rico
                                                Not Offered
                                                Rhode Island
                                                  Not Offered
                                                  South Carolina
                                                  • 1.0 substance abuse
                                                  Not Offered
                                                  Tennessee
                                                  • 1.0 ethics
                                                  Pending
                                                  Texas
                                                  • 1.0 ethics
                                                  Pending
                                                  Utah
                                                    Not Offered
                                                    Vermont
                                                    • 1.0 attorney wellness
                                                    December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                                    Virginia
                                                      Not Eligible
                                                      Virgin Islands
                                                      • 1.0 mental health/substance abuse
                                                      December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Available
                                                      Washington
                                                      • 1.0 personal development & mental health
                                                      December 28, 2027 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                                      West Virginia
                                                      • 1.0 ethics
                                                      Not Offered
                                                      Wisconsin
                                                        Not Eligible
                                                        Wyoming
                                                          Not Offered
                                                          Credits
                                                            Available until
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                                                            Credits
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                                                                Credits
                                                                  Available until
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                                                                  Not Offered
                                                                  Credits
                                                                  • 1.0 competence issues
                                                                  Available until

                                                                  December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                  Status
                                                                  Approved
                                                                  Credits
                                                                    Available until
                                                                    Status
                                                                    Not Offered
                                                                    Credits
                                                                    • 1.0 ethics
                                                                    Available until

                                                                    December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                    Status
                                                                    Available
                                                                    Credits
                                                                      Available until
                                                                      Status
                                                                      Not Offered
                                                                      Credits
                                                                      • 1.0 mental illness awareness
                                                                      Available until

                                                                      August 31, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                      Status
                                                                      Approved
                                                                      Credits
                                                                        Available until
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                                                                        Not Offered
                                                                        Credits
                                                                          Available until
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                                                                          Credits
                                                                            Available until
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                                                                              Available until
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                                                                              Credits
                                                                              • 1.0 mental health/substance abuse
                                                                              Available until

                                                                              January 2, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                              Status
                                                                              Approved
                                                                              Credits
                                                                              • 1.0 ethics
                                                                              Available until
                                                                              Status
                                                                              Not Offered
                                                                              Credits
                                                                              • 1.0 attorney wellness
                                                                              Available until
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                                                                              Pending
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                                                                                Available until
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                                                                                Not Offered
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                                                                                      Available until
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                                                                                      Not Offered
                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                        Status
                                                                                        Not Offered
                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                        • 1.1 ethics
                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                        Status
                                                                                        Pending
                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                          Status
                                                                                          Not Eligible
                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                            Status
                                                                                            Not Offered
                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                            • 1.0 ethics
                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                            Status
                                                                                            Not Offered
                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                            • 1.0 aamh (substance abuse-addiction-mental health)
                                                                                            Available until

                                                                                            December 31, 2026 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                            Status
                                                                                            Approved
                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                              Status
                                                                                              Not Offered
                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                              • 1.3 general
                                                                                              Available until

                                                                                              January 16, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                              Status
                                                                                              Approved
                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                Available until
                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                Not Offered
                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                • 1.2 law practice management
                                                                                                Available until

                                                                                                December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                Available
                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                • 1.0 substance abuse
                                                                                                Available until

                                                                                                February 29, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                Approved
                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                  Available until
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                                                                                                  Not Offered
                                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                                    Available until
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                                                                                                    Not Offered
                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                    • 1.0 ethics
                                                                                                    Available until
                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                    Not Offered
                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                    • 1.0 mental health/substance abuse
                                                                                                    Available until

                                                                                                    December 28, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                    Approved
                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                      Available until
                                                                                                      Status
                                                                                                      Not Offered
                                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                                        Status
                                                                                                        Not Offered
                                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                          Not Offered
                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                          • 1.0 substance abuse
                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                          Not Offered
                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                          • 1.0 ethics
                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                          Pending
                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                          • 1.0 ethics
                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                          Pending
                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                                            Status
                                                                                                            Not Offered
                                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                                            • 1.0 attorney wellness
                                                                                                            Available until

                                                                                                            December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                            Status
                                                                                                            Approved
                                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                              Not Eligible
                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                              • 1.0 mental health/substance abuse
                                                                                                              Available until

                                                                                                              December 28, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                              Available
                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                              • 1.0 personal development & mental health
                                                                                                              Available until

                                                                                                              December 28, 2027 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                              Approved
                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                              • 1.0 ethics
                                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                              Not Offered
                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                                Available until
                                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                                Not Eligible
                                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                                  Available until
                                                                                                                  Status
                                                                                                                  Not Offered

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