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Tips for taking care of yourself in a pandemic

generationjd-richard-adams-620pxReminder to take care of yourself during the ongoing pandemic.

It’s good to be back contributing to the Generation J.D. Blog. I hope to write a post soon about my transition to a new firm last year while also completing a post-graduate certificate in estate planning. Unfortunately, these changes didn’t provide much time for quality creative writing – an outlet I have sorely missed.

With everything going on in the world these days related to COVID-19, and especially in our hectic and stressful legal industry, I wanted to highlight some tips and guidance I have picked up from colleagues over the last few weeks. I hope that these might be helpful to you or your loved ones as you continue to balance working from home struggles:

  1. Create a structure in your day. Use a calendar and plan out your day as you would if you were in the office. Wake up at a designated time, work out, eat your meals, and so on. Maintain a sense of normalcy with your schedule as much as possible.
  2. Avoid Zoom fatigue. Surprisingly enough, it’s actually more of a strain to field back-to-back Zoom/video calls than simple telephone calls or in-person meetings. It could be the screen interaction, or perhaps the oddity of seeing yourself talking to yourself the entire time. Either way, if you are having trouble properly handling the same volume of interactions as before, reduce them to something more manageable.
  3. Take a break. Don’t simply work from morning through the evening daily. With the lines between home and work life blurred, this can be incredibly difficult to control. Set a timer. Ask a family member to help you step away from the computer/work on your desk and leave it until the next day.
  4. Don’t feel obligated to leave the house if you don’t really want to. It’s OK to continue to stay hunkered down, especially over the next few weeks as things continue to open up and more and more people will be clustering together. You have to handle this however is most comfortable for you or your loved ones – not based on the pressure of your peers or neighbors.
  5. Be kind to yourself. This phenomenon is already stressful enough – you don’t need to add to the fire. Take the time to daily do things for yourself and your loved ones – and even tell your boss you need to take a day off and really unplug from everything. Make an effort to do this on the weekends, too.

There is no doubt that our world will be forever changed from this pandemic. Likely, video and telephone hearings and other technological advancements will become part of the norm from now on. This is a time for us to adjust, adapt and improve our own approach to the practice of law.

Do any readers have any suggestions for tips or techniques that have helped them adapt to working from home?

Richard Adams is an associate attorney at O’Byrne Law, LLC, a law firm in Timonium.