December 03, 2012 Articles

Staying Healthy (and Sane) During Trial

We make the case for why prioritizing your own physical, mental, and emotional health during a stressful trial pays off.

By Nicole Hooper

You may be familiar with the quote “When you have your health, you have your everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” It is, of course, easy to relate to this in times of illness. But think how often you sacrifice your physical, mental, and emotional health or well-being to prepare for a hearing, draft multiple briefs and pleadings, or juggle the demands of various clients and competing deadlines. I work with many attorneys who have reached the highest levels of success but who readily acknowledge that on many occasions they had to sacrifice their own health to obtain their goals. It is no surprise that the stress of long hours, time away from family and friends, and isolation from typical life routines often lead attorneys to ignore their health. And this is especially true during trial. Without a strategy for managing your physical, mental, and emotional health during trial, the pressures of that demanding process can wield a toll on your long-term physical health, mental effectiveness, emotional stability, and overall engagement in the legal profession.

Thus, as you prepare your case for trial, it is important to formulate one additional strategy: a strategy for managing your health during that process. A health strategy will allow you to optimize your physical and mental energy during a severely stressful period, to manage your emotions, and to ensure that your body is properly fueled for battle. Without a targeted strategy, it is easy to permit the demands of trial to completely take over what sustains you. If you follow a few proactive steps, you should be in a great position to sustain and protect your health throughout trial.

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