Law school is a stressful place which, quite frankly, some people can’t handle.
Stress and depression often go hand-in-hand, one leading to the other in a vicious cycle. Below are a list of some things that you can help you combat stress and depression.
1) Remember - You Don’t Control Your Grades. – So stop worrying about them and just focus on your schoolwork.
2) You Don’t Control Whether You Get Hired – Until you are the interviewer, you have no control about whether you get hired and no one ever got hired because they worried themselves into it.
3) Saying “no” – We completely understand that you want to run for a board position in every club at the school, but you shouldn’t. Even if you are a board member for a club, this does not mean you need to volunteer to chair or even help out with every event. Commit to certain events and certain extracurricular activities.
4) Limit Social Media Time – Digital networking and social media networking are crucial components to finding a job in this millennium. However, spending 5 hours a day online is unproductive and can lead to anxiety. Power down, and give it a rest. Facebook and Twitter will still be there when you’ve read all your cases.
5) Avoid people who stress you out – This can be especially important in law school where you spend most of your time with the same people. If someone consistently annoys the heck out of you – avoid them. You can try to not let them bother you, but I find that outright avoidance is the surest bet. Another way this issue raises itself is during heated class debates. Now, I would never be a person to suggest not arguing your legal or political opinions during a healthy class discussion, BUT if everyday you are debating the same person with diametrical opinions to yours sometimes you just need to realize that your blood pressure can’t handle it today. Let it go.
6) Limit Your “To-Do” List – It’s not a 20-super-on-fire-gotta-get-done-right-now list, it’s a checklist.
7) Listen to Music – Last year a fabulous study came out which confirmed what many of us have felt all along, that music makes you feel better. (See Music Releases Dopamine To The Brain.) So, power up your Ipod and rock out! The more moving the music (think Whitney Houston, Journey, Bon Jovi, and Kelly Clarkson) the better you will feel after hearing it.
8) Relaxation time – Take a nap. We’ve all said we didn’t appreciate “nap time” as children. Enjoy them now. Go to a yoga or meditation class. Go to the gym (this option also comes with an adrenaline and dopamine bonus). Do something you genuinely enjoy. I know law students read a LOT but if you miss reading for pleasure, set aside 20 minutes a day to do it.
9) Laughter is the Best Medicine – Watch cartoons. Go to a comedy club. Take a laughter yoga class (no really, take one they are hilarious!) Watch a comedy. Whatever you find funny, take time to laugh.